Commitment: How Men have Misplaced It

Making a commitment is the easy part. Keeping the commitment is where you separate the men from the boys and the mature from the immature, the brave from the cowards
— Francis Kong

“That requires too much commitment”, my neighbor said, as he took another puff on his pipe.

I was changing the oil on my car when he walked over and asked me about the roof on my house. There was a storm last week, that came through and lifted some of the shingles off of his roof and he needed to get a new one put on his house. Insurance was going to cover the cost but he wanted to know what a good estimate on roofing prices were.

After we talked a while, he then asked me about being a triathlete. His question was about how many races I had done and how he thought that I worked weird hours because he always saw me leaving early in the morning or late at night. I told him that the reason he sees me leaving early in the morning is because I train in the morning, and at night because sometimes I go and swim at the pool.

After I told him all of that, he said: “That requires too much commitment”. What he said resonated with me. As he left, I began to think deeply about his response.

Do men have a lack of commitment? Have we lost all hope?

 

On December 7th 1941, Pearl Harbor Hawaii was bombed by Japanese Kamikaze aircraft. This sent out a stir among men in the United States, a call to action.

Men swarmed to the recruiters, they lied about medical history, they lied about age, they did anything they could to help defend their country. They felt a calling, a commitment to their families and their country. Warriors rise up when someone or something threatens the livelihood and wellbeing of their family, friends, and home.

They do not cower or run away. They own up to the commitment they made, they step-up, front and center.

Is your family under attack? Is your marriage under attack? Is your physical health depleting your energy, and destroying your motivation? Are you losing the battle of financial independence?

This is a call to action.

It is time to rise up men, time to execute and step out into the fray. We are on the front lines. There is an enemy out there (The Devil), with an army of minions (Demons).

They seek to kill and destroy the lives of men. They lay traps and wait to laugh at our demise.

How our enemy uses our Commitment against us:


  • He uses our time against us
    • It’s easy to spend 4 hours making sure our Fantasy Football team is a winner
    • We can become busy just having after work activities
    • We become so busy at work
  • Video Games/Hobbies/Social Media
    • Committing to these has power to destroy relationships and cause us to dive into isolation, and indulge in things that will harm our lives
  • He plays with our desires and tempts us with Affairs/Pornography
    • This is a man’s biggest struggle
    • Watch out. (Read Proverbs 7)
Commitment means staying Loyal to what you said you were going to do long after the mood you said it in has left you.
— Unknown

I was watching a show the other day where the Dad was going through a stressful time in his life, his 2 boys were feeling the effect of it. There was a scene where the boys had made a tent in their room out of blankets, and were using flashlights to read books and tell stories to each other. The Dad comes home from a late night at work and stands in the doorway quietly listening to the boys. He hears the oldest tell the youngest that their Dad cannot protect them anymore, that they need to do it themselves. They believe that their Dad has abandoned them because he is no longer active in their lives.

The Dad, gets upset, leaves, and takes his anger and frustration out on other people and turns to old habits to deal with his issues of insecurity and inadequacy.

What should the Father have done in this case?

 

There are 3 things that stand out:

Choose to be present. An opportunity presented itself for him to be a father to his young boys, to step into the commitment he made to his family. He should have crawled in the tent and hung out with them. He needed to let them know that he was still there and he loved them.

Unfortunately, such is the case with men. When things get tough, or difficult circumstances present themselves, men bug out.

Commit to be in it for the long haul: As an endurance athlete, my perspective has changed in how I approach life and racing. It is more about the race and pacing yourself, paying attention to how your body is responding, monitoring your heart rate, and taking time to enjoy the view around you.

If I went into a triathlon or a marathon, sprinting as fast as I could without paying attention to anything that my body was telling me or completely disregarding my training, I would burn out very quickly, and quite possibly not finish.

It is the same with commitment. Sometimes, you can't always be 100%, but you need to be in it to win it. It takes time, you have to be aware of your family, their situations, your money, your health. It's a lot to think about all at once. That is why I love the Bible and the examples that we are given. It is our roadmap to life.

Build a regular practice or morning routine I love the story of Job. He was the wealthiest man in the land, he had everything. His commitment to God and his family is what strikes me though, and I love the example he sets as a man and father.

Job 1:

He was blameless...a man of complete integrity....Job would purify his children. He would get up early in the morning and offer a burnt offering for each of them...This was Job's regular practice.

Do you make it a practice to get up early in the morning, and pray for your family? If not, why not?

Are you making it a priority to take care of yourself physically? Your commitment to fitness and health will give you energy and quite possibly extra years on your life. Neglecting this area will only have negative effects. Don't cheat on this one.

Are you managing your money well, do you have a budget and a plan for the future? Are you regularly keeping track of your investments and watching where your money is going and what it's doing?

If I asked you how much money you spent today, could you tell me accurately? If I asked you who your quarteback was in your Fantasy football league, could you tell me?...hmmmm

The enemy loves to mess with our heads. He loves to keep us busy and preoccupy us with stuff that will consume our time and energy. His biggest weapon is "distraction". As long as men are distracted and uninterested, then they are passive and non-threatening.

Calling all warriors.

... Stephen