In 1994, I had the privilege of getting my first book contract with Broadman & Holman. It was for a short devotional based in the book of Proverbs. The theme of the book was hope for those who were in a difficult job search. The book proposal I wrote was originally rejected and then the publisher contacted me and said that they had an idea to make it part of a series of books dealing with losses in life. Mine would be on the loss of a job. I was thrilled and the book had a modest success, about 4,000 copies sold.
About the time it was published, we had a family in the church who moved south 84 miles away and continued to commute to church every Sunday. (I know, crazy, but they loved our church.) They would drive up for worship, get a copy of the tape (1994 remember), and listen to it two more times on the way home!
The week the book came out, they changed their routine and read the book out loud on the way back home after worship. The next week, they came back and said, “You know, that book of yours is relevant to more than just job seekers.”
That is not a tribute to my writing skills; it is a comment on the relevance of biblical principles to all of life and specifically to the wisdom contained in the book of Proverbs.
Take for instance Proverbs 13:4.
4 The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing,
while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.
In the book, I applied this text to the diligence needed to pursue the next job after a layoff. But the principle applies to the diligence a man needs to win as a husband and father in the task of living for God and raising up a godly heritage.
Bobby Knight, former Indiana University basketball coach and sometime ‘bad-guy’, was right about one thing: It isn’t the will to win that makes winners. No one wakes up in the morning and says they can’t wait to ruin their marriage or sabotage their relationship with their kids. Everyone wants to win. It is the will to pay the price to win that makes winners. Proverbs 13:4 points to the “will to pray the price to win.” The sluggard won’t pay the price. But the soul of the diligent will.
Today you need to continue to pay the price to win.
Today, you have a wife and a family.
Today, will you pay the price to love them, and sacrifice for them, and care for them and model godly character for them, and fight temptation for them, and prefer them, and fight for them?
Today, will you pay the price to win as a husband and father?
Your answer to that question is the most important question you will probably face each day for the rest of your life.