Today is Election Day in the US. I don’t care if you are voting for Mitt Romney or Barrack Obama; neither are going to solve the real problems that our country has. Unfortunately, presidential elections have turned into having groups of political advisors and polling groups that decide what a candidate believes. Recently, I watched an interview with one of the candidate’s top advisors and they responded with the same answer to three different questions. The answer they gave when extracted and looked at was not an answer to any of the questions. It really was not even a true or realistic thought. Upon further examination, the answer implied that a process that the government has had in place for the last 20 years with no real success was right at the point of making a big change. Today, the political realm has turned into an atmosphere where it is more important to get out your “talking point” than really having a true position. So, I began to think about how can we as husbands avoid being a politician to our family.
Making Commitments that We Can’t Keep
One of the biggest things that frustrate us with candidates for office is when they make commitments that they truly cannot keep or even have the power to make changes. They may have the influence to help get some of their agenda accomplished, but truthfully they cannot do anything without large support from the other elected officials. Do we ever fall into the trap of making commitments to our wives or our children that we can’t or don’t keep? We need to be true to our word and try our best to make good on the things that we say we will do for our family. That could be taking care of a project at the house, playing a game with one of the kids, helping your wife with an activity or chore, and even just making sure that you are there for church, ballgames, plays, dance recitals, and school activities. Be careful that you keep your promises.
Saying Anything to Get the Vote
Another problem that often frustrates us with politicians is that it seems they are willing to say anything to get hired. From the outside, one might come to the conclusion that in reality they have no true values. Their “values” are more “talking points” to the ears that are listening at the time. Do we ever do the same in our families? Have we ever fallen victim to trying to “sound” good to our family instead of holding firm to values that may be important to the long-term health of our family? Basically, are we being the leader in our homes and not just looking to maintain the peace at all costs? Are we making good decisions for our kids instead of trying to make them happy? Are we leading our homes in a loving manner as Christ loved the church?
Shaking Hands and Kissing Babies
Candidates travel all over the country shaking hands and kissing babies during an election year. They want to come over as caring and look presidential. This is great, but what do they know about you 2 minutes later. In our families, we need to be able to show love and affection for our wife and kids. The difference is that we need that love to be honest and intimate. As a husband and father it is incredibly important to seek out and grow that personal relationship with your wife and kids. In much the same way, it is important that we seek out to find that personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Another big thing that aggravates people is the constant arguing that seems to persist among Democrats and Republicans. Everything that Republicans vote for is something that Democrats abhor and everything that Democrats vote for is something that Republicans detest. I find it hard to believe that when the issues involved all center on real people that every issue could be so all right or all wrong. Why is it that the people that we elect to make decisions for this country seem to be the least likely to be able to make compromises and work together? In my job, I often times work in large groups of people with different interests in the issues that are being discussed. It is often one person who is not willing to compromise for the best interest of everyone that causes frustration, wastes time, and everyone loses. In our family, as a husband, we are to make decisions to lead our family. Are we careful to look out for the best interests of our wife and kids rather than to make a decision selfishly looking for what we alone want? Don’t get me wrong on this one. It is of utmost importance that you understand the difference in maintaining your values versus making all issues life and death decisions.
Mudslinging and Negative Ads
It has been proven that people are more likely to vote in an election against someone they hate rather than vote for someone that they like. People are more motivated to vote to keep something bad from happening than because they believe a candidate will bring something positive to the office. Another interesting thing is that if we either look at both candidates negatively or both candidates positively, people tend to not vote because they feel they are going to lose or win with either. Similarly, we are inundated by negative ads this time of year because we are much more likely to want to get the dirty rascal out than to evaluate how they stand on the issues. In your family, are you using negative ads to try to gain favor in your family? Do you work with your wife to try to present a united front to your kids or do you often throw her under the bus? Do you look for ways to increase the harmony of your family or do you try to tear down the trust and spirit?
Living on the Benefits, Money, and Power
Politicians are not all bad people. It sure seems that way a lot of the time because that is what we see so much of in the press. They certainly as a whole haven’t done themselves any favors over the years. There is so much money that has been flooded into the process to push certain agendas and many political offices are essentially lifetime jobs that in reality politicians campaign from one election to the next without much regard for working on the real pressing issues of the country that might hurt their voter turnout. It seems that the most pressing needs of our government must be how well compensated the officials are in their retirement and health benefits regardless of how little time that they have spent serving the country. It is no surprise that the power that a politician may attain could cause them to lose focus on fall victim to many temptations. Temptations to make financial gains from their position, exchange their vote for gain, or even fall to sexual temptation. As a husband and father do we fall victim to making our roles as the leader in our family an idol? Do we get caught up in the power and let our focus get out of alignment? Do we think we can somehow provide adequate direction and leadership by taking shortcuts and the easy way out? We can be respected as husbands and fathers not by making one good decision but by enduring for the long haul. Hebrews 12:1 (NIV) says “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”
Politicians or Husbands?
As a husband we made a commitment to our wives and established vows that we would work to maintain. This commitment wasn’t established over a term of 2, 4, or 6 years, but it was established for as long as you live. I am sure all of us have made mistakes over the years, but we get back up and try again to do better. Your wife made a commitment to vote for you a long time ago. Have you done your best to serve her and maintain the vows that were established between you? To maintain the promises that you made? Have you stood firm in keeping your commitment? As part of your marriage commitment you were also charged with bringing up your children. Are you fulfilling that commitment and seeking to mold them into upright people who fear God? I challenge you today to figure out if you are playing husband or politician with your family.