“But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”
– 1 Timothy 5:8

This time of year, I am always amazed at the men in our family.  All year round they are constantly fixing, building, planning, and organizing.  And yet they are always willing to stop what they are doing to help out if someone comes to a stop in their own work.  Because as much as they know the physical work they do is important, they understand that taking care of those around them is more important (Romans 12:10; Matthew 22:36-39).

Then spring comes around . . . and they continue to show these principles despite the added stress.  Anyone that has ever had a garden, been on a farm, or seen either one knows that springtime just amps everything up by at least ten.  You are tested on every front as to what was taken care of over the winter as well as the demands of getting the land ready for crops.  Did we get the fence around the orchard deer-proof?  Is the garden fence keeping the hogs out?  Did the plastic get taken off of the chicken coops?  The list goes on and on, and the circumstances will remind us of what we didn’t get to or just didn’t think of.  Time doesn’t stand still, and the environment doesn’t lie.

If we ever did get all of the winter maintenance and projects done, our days would still be completely full with preparing land, planting seeds, weeding, etcetera for the garden.  Then once it starts producing, we’re gathering zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, blackberries, and so forth to either eat, process, or give away.  This alone would keep us busy, but the commercial crops still need to be taken care of as well.   You get the point.

The physical requirements to keep all the pieces moving is impressive enough, but what amazes me each year is the attitude that the men go about their jobs.  In my house, Jeremiah is out the door at least an hour before me and is usually back home after I’ve returned.  When he does get home, he’s usually covered in grease and dirt from head to toe wearing a smile.  Is he smiling, because he’s energized or excited about the day and ready for the next day?  No.  No, he’s not.

He’s usually smiling, because he knows that his attitude and perspective guide the direction of the family (Ephesians 5:23).  How he responds to his stress and exhaustion will either give us permission to complain or encourage us to keep going with positive attitudes.  He doesn’t have the freedom to complain or tell us how tired he is.  He could just tell us to go on, to push forward, to be stoic, but we’d never listen to his words alone.

Thanks Babe, and thank you to your brothers and dad for being an example for all of us in how to handle stress and responsibility with maturity and wisdom.  We know that y’all fall short, and we know that y’all struggle knowing if what you are doing is best for us, but we’ve got you.  We’re here for you ‘for better, for worse’ as long as you stay focused on Christ and His desire of each of us (Ephesians 5:24-25).

To all the men that lead their families through Christ’s support and guidance, we see you (Colossians 3:19).  We see those men that continue to provide for their families (1 Timothy 5:8) even when you’re not sure what the next day holds, even when you feel alone walking out in front of us, the men that don’t complain even when you hurt to your bones and you’re not sure how you’re going to encourage us, because you are full of doubt yourself.  We see you, and we love you.  We respect you.  We appreciate you, and we need you!  We need you to carry on, and we will continue to encourage you as long as you keep your eyes focused on Christ and the truth of His Word (2 Timothy 2:15).

– Written by Kati

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