When I was in College, I met weekly with an older man who did his best to mentor and disciple me. He was a patient, gracious and faithful man. I was confident, immature, clueless and gifted; a train wreck waiting to happen. I had answers for every question.
One day during our time together he asked me to write down, “the three most important things in my life.” I pulled out a piece of paper and quickly and easily jotted down some healthy sounding Core Values. It was a pretty simple exercise. I was ready for the next round of more advanced and challenging questions. He looked over my responses. I was confident that I had nailed it, and was ready to move on.
My Sage friend reviewed what I had written. He nodded his head up and down several times, paused for a few seconds and then asked me a question I was not prepared for; “Can I see your calendar and your checkbook?” I swallowed hard and choked out some surprised and defensive response. Here I thought we were talking about values, not what I do with my time and my money.
My faithful and wise friend was exposing the disconnect between my stated values and my daily practice. I loved and hated him for doing that. I was perfectly content to hold convictions in my head that did not constrain my actual time or real resources. My stated values were convenient and comfortable. The things that really matter to us will leave a paper trail through our calendars and checkbooks. If you don’t have a real paper trail, you may not have real priorities and values.
Words are important and they matter; but when it comes to caring for our daughters, what we demonstrate is much more important than what we articulate.
Most adolescent girls spell love; T.I.M.E. Our decision to spend time with our daughters is a demonstration of love and value. The truth we live, the love we do and the grace we exercise will be hard to miss, and hard to resist. Let’s serve up the Good Stuff to our girls.
So grab a piece of paper and write down the three most important things in your life. I hope your daughter made that list. Now, get out your calendar and your checkbook and make an investment. Loving your daughter is a sure bet, with great returns for both of you, don’t miss it!
Peace and Grace
Dr. Don Worcester