Thursday, March 15, 2012

I Hear Voices.....The Good Kind: Fatherhood Advice from Brian Christy

Brian Christy pretending to be psyched about gum ball gift from grandson.
This is the first entry in a series called, "I Hear Voices.....The Good Kind".  One entry each week I intend to highlight some other voices on the subject of Family Leadership.  Some voices will be of men I know and respect.  Others will be of authors, pastors, or counselors - people you might consider "experts" in their field.

To kick things off, I decided to interview my dad, Brian Christy.  Why not?  I'm lucky enough to have an exceptional dad.  Am I biased?  Yes, but then again how many men hate their dads?  Mine has done a lot of cool things for a lot of different people.  Most important of all?  He has led his entire family to love the Lord.

Chase: If there is one thing you could tell a young father/husband what would it be?

Brian: Be patient with yourself, your wife and your children. It is sometimes difficult to have enough vision to see down the road and get a clear picture of where you will be as a family. Sometimes we make small decisions seem much more important than they really are. The most important thing to remember is that a sincere desire to follow God should be the ultimate purpose for our lives. The life-road each of us take will have twists and turns, roadblocks, high speed lanes, times of feeling completely lost, and more surprises than we can ever prepare for or imagine. It is our responsibility as husbands and fathers to help provide as much vision as possible to make the road clear for our family, and at times it is to serve as the GPS device that helps them find their way.

Chase: As you look back, what have been the most important rituals and traditions for your family?

Brian: I think in some ways the most important ritual we have had as a family is to remind one another to be cautious of rituals and traditions. Oh sure, we have some holiday family traditions and we sometimes make a ritual of watching the Indianapolis Colts, but on a spiritual level it has always been important to my wife and I that our children know that faith is far more than traditions and rituals. Our faith in God should be about personal commitment to the one who created us. We should focus on making our faith practical and relevant in our culture so that others might be drawn to Jesus through everyday relationships. It can be good to make a tradition of practicing our faith as long as we keep in mind that those traditions do not replace true personal commitment to Jesus.

Chase: As a father, what is one mistake you have made? What would you do differently?

Brian: I think the greatest mistake I have made as a father is that I have not always been patient enough with my children to allow them to learn. If one of my kids wanted to help me with a project, I was always in too big of a hurry to get things completed and too much of a perfectionist to deal with their fledgling efforts. I am sure that there are a number of skills that they are lacking today only because I was not patient enough to wait for them to learn.

Chase: In as few words as possible what does "family leadership" mean to you?

Brian: “Family leadership” means leading by example.  It doesn’t matter what or how much you say, but instead it matters most how you live.

Chase: What is THE most powerful way to impact your family's relationship with Christ?

Brian: There is nothing I can say or do that will impact my family more than living out my faith. Sometimes we talk about spiritual pitfalls. Sometimes my wife and I give spiritual advice, but THE most powerful way to impact my family is to openly express a desire to follow God and serve Him no matter the cost.

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