I admit it: I live by a calendar and to-do list. I am a total time nerd.
Side note: If Google Calendar ever goes out of existence, I might just be going out of existence, too!
Admittedly, though, I have struggled through the years with a calendar that was filled by everyone else. A few years ago, however, I heard a fellow preacher teach a session at Polishing the Pulpit about time management. He suggested (very strongly) that we need to put everything on our calendars.
I started doing that as best as I could, and what a difference it has made!
The reason is simple: when you put everything on your calendar, your priorities truly set the agenda. This is not necessarily about being a time management ninja; it is about spending time doing what is most important.
With that in mind, I want to speak to men. Specifically, Christian husbands and fathers.
Too many men put “the game” on their calendar (which is fine), but not things that are of far more eternal value.
So, what does a real man have on his calendar? Here are some things to make sure you prioritize on your calendar.
I am a preacher, and yes, I have worship on my calendar. Well, sort of. You see, 9th Avenue has a public Google Calendar with all our events, and we make certain to include worship. I simply subscribe to that calendar (which you can see here), and am reminded of worship.
It may seem silly to have that on my calendar, but if nothing else, it shows my children the absolute priority of worship in our lives. But also, to be honest, there are some dads who need that reminder, and that is okay (at least for awhile).
2. Time with His Wife
Husbands and wives need to continue to date each other. And it must be a priority.
Husbands, let me put it this way: if you are not prioritizing time with your wife, then it is as if you are “dating” your job and hobbies before her.
You may not have the resources to go on a date every week, but surely you can find something romantic to do together once each month. Put it on the calendar and don’t move it for anything, save a major emergency.
3. Specific Time with His Children
Daddy/daughter dates. Specific outings with that strapping boy. It is so easy to let those things slide in all the hurry of life. It is also easy to take your kids to their ball games (or band rehearsals, whatever) and act as if that has been special time.
Real men spend time alone with each of their children. It does not have to be extravagant. It could just be taking her out for an ice cream cone, or taking your boy to shoot hoops in the park.
By the way, it may almost seem callous or cold to actually put these on the calendar, but I disagree. We set the times as a family for one “big” outing each month (we call them “daddy/daughter date” and “time with Turner”). Of course, we do other things together throughout the month, but the kids anticipate these special days or evenings so much.
4: Time Alone with God
I will confess: I do not add this to my calendar now, but I used to, until it became part of my daily routine. For many busy men, reading the Bible and/or prayer time falls by the wayside, simply because it is not given a priority on the calendar. There is no shame in having “time with God” or “read Bible” on your calendar, if it helps you grow closer to the Lord.
5. Birthdays and Anniversary
I know the dates of my wife’s birthday. I know the dates of when my two precious children were born. I know the date of my wedding anniversary.
But I also know I am way busy, so they are on my calendar. I want to see those dates upcoming, not just so I won’t forget to buy something, but so that, from first light in the morning until bedtime, I am celebrating those special days with my family through words of affirmation and praise!
Let me ask, how differently would your life look if these five things were prioritized on your calendar? Would you be closer to the Lord? Would you be more connected with your wife? Would you know the heart of your children better?
Then get out whatever you use for a calendar and start putting your priorities on that grid. That’s what real men do!
Need a little help with organizing your calendars? Especially if you use Google Calendar (or would like to try it), here are a few resources you might want to check out.
“Google Calendar Tutorial 2015: Quick Start” [VIDEO; YouTube; A very basic starter guide, but very well done]
“Why I’m Trying Google Keep for My To-Do Lists” [VIDEO; Katch.me; I made this video about 2 months ago on Periscope, and am still using Google Keep for my to-do lists.]
“5 Hidden Google Calendar Gems” [VIDEO; YouTube; A bit more advanced, but I love the ideas on this video, and have used almost all of them at one time or another.]
AUTHOR: Adam Faughn