As far as I know, no man has ever intentionally set out to fail in his marriage, distance himself from his children, and mislead and misguide his family. But if you ask the average man, “Do you have a written, strategic plan for loving your wife, raising your children, and successfully leading your family?” He’ll probably look at you as if you were a college professor giving him a pop quiz on the first day of class. Can you say, “Deer in oncoming headlights?”
I confess I wasn’t prepared for this question until I heard retired NFL, Super Bowl-winning coach, Tony Dungy talk about this topic in a media interview. Coach Dungy explained that he could never go into a football game expecting his team to win without a strategic game plan. Then he asked, “How can we as men, husbands, and fathers expect to be champions in our homes without one?” Ouch!
The truth is, most men were never told or taught about the importance of creating a winning game plan for reaching their family goals. Most of us just say to ourselves, “I’ll just figure it out.” But could you imagine Coach Dungy saying that before he and the Indianapolis Colts faced the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI in 2006? So, here are 3 simple steps on creating a winning game plan for your family:
Step 1: Set Aside.
Simply set up and block out a designated time (at least 60-90 mins.) to plan; and make sure you’re both rested, free from distractions (including your children), and in a good mood.
Step 2: Define Priorities.
Sit down and talk to your wife, and ask her the following question:
When it comes to our family, what do you think should be our top 5 priorities (i.e., What should be most important to us?) Then you write down yours as well. Then discuss your answers until you both agree, and then write down the revised list and post them somewhere so your family can see it. For instance, for our family, we wrote down and agreed:
- Our Marriage
- Our Children
- Our Relationships (family and friends)
- Our Work
Step 3: Define Expectations.
Make sure you’re both are on the same page by asking your wife the following question (and write down your responses as well and make copies):
“What are your expectations when it comes to…”
- God and Church?
- Communication and Conflict?
- Sex and Intimacy?
- Discipling and Disciplining the Children?
- Spending and Saving Money?
- Our Health?
- Home Responsibilities?
- Family Time?
- Social Life/Friendships?
That’s it. It really doesn’t have to be any more complicated than that. You can always choose to add more questions, priorities, and areas of discussion. It’s your call. Just make sure you re-visit these questions and answers with your wife at least twice a year (if not more often).
No, developing a game plan for your family doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to win the Super Bowl, but your family will at least end up with a winning record.
Sound off: What are some of your game plans for your family?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What are some things that are important to you when it comes to our family?”