Man card - Dad shifts
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I heard Matt Chandler this weekend walk through elders from 1 Timothy 3 and 1 Peter 5. While working through these passages, he rolled out with this idea of a man of God's shifts. It took me back to teaching men through the a study of Titus last Summer. These guys were wrestling with Titus 1- the idea of a man's primary call to his family. I've worked with college students and singles, many of whom are having their idea of masculinity reshaped by Jesus through the Word. The priority of Christian, husband, and dad was new to them. My sending a return text to them saying "Is this an emergency? If not, then we can talk in the morning" was new to them.

Here is what Paul says to Timothy,

He {the elder} must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God's church?" 1 Timothy 3:4-5

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A man's house is the training ground, the proving ground for making disciples. Family life seperates the boys from the men. These ideas have been going through my mind with all of the covenant ceremonies I've officiated, my time away from my family over the recent weeks, and my own shortcomings in loving and caring for my wife and kids.

Here are the shifts that Matt used:

Shift One - The Day Job - this is the eight to five where you do your work as unto the Lord. On the way home, one shift ends and prep time for the next shift begins. You pull up into the driveway and the game face is on for an even more difficult task at hand--Man Card shift two.

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Shift Two - The Kids - the door opens, and the kids drop everything to run and tackle you at the door. Yet, most days you walk in the door amidst screams and pandemonium. You have three hours--you're on the floor wrestling, sipping tea with the princess, and cleaning up messes made throughout the day while making sure the kids don't thrash on each other. Dinner time, bath time, story time, Bible time demand a zone defense between husband and wife. Becky and I count down the time until 8:30PM when second shift is over. Yet, it isn't over.

 

Shift Three - The Queen - It's 8:30 and shift three is about to begin, but there are continual false starts to punching in on this time clock. Sippie cups, things that go bump in the night, and "Daddy, let's talk" by the bedside of the kids bleeds over into third shift time. Shift three happens in several different environments--cleaning up the dishes, going through some of the to do lists, dealing with the stupid dog--whatever alleviates some of the pent up pressure of the day. Another environment, just sitting on the couch and allowing time to process what has been going on throughout the day. Becky calls it adult conversation - this is Becky's time, where my role is to wash her with the word, nourish and cherish her like Christ has done for his bride. I prayerfully need to up my game for this shift from 8:30 until...

"Where is MY TIME?" Matt anticipated the question asked by some of the husbands or some of the single guys. Frankly and to the point - Matt said, "Your time is from 5AM until the kids wake up." If you don't like this, Matt said "stay single!"

Becky and I were talking through the message this morning - it is one of the most practical explanations of elders and body life that we've ever heard. We strongly recommend it.

Husband, dads out there - what are your second and third shift tricks of the trade?