SIGNALS…are indicators such as a gesture, sign or token that serves as a means of communication. They’re also something that incites action. ‘I signaled the driver to proceed.’ Or, ‘they have signaled their willingness to negotiate.’ Prior to the electronic age, ships would use Morse code or flags to send messages to other ships. Indians communicated long distances by smoke signals.
A teenager might send signals to the opposite sex by gestures or body language. They might be rejected or favorably received. Quarterbacks get the signals from the sidelines by some means and he then calls that signal to his ten other teammates. If they don’t get the right signal, the running back takes off in the wrong direction or the receivers run the wrong routes.
Men, what signals are you sending to your wife and children? And from where are you getting your signals? Can they hear you over the crowd noise shouting out to them? When you are calling the plays, do they understand their meaning? Or are you always having to call audibles? Constantly changing the plays, confusing your family, causing lack of interest or lost confidence in you! Is there even a semblance of a game plan for your family?
Respect for you can be damaged by indecision, or not being engaged at all. Would they get the message if you actually sent one? Do you say one thing while your tone or body language sends another message? If so, maybe it is time to call a time out, regroup, get the ‘team’ on the same page, and then move forward. Dads, you are the ‘captain’ of your ship as ordained by God in Genesis and elsewhere in scripture.
In Ephesians 6:4 in The Message translation, the Spirit, through Paul, has a strong exhortation to dads. “Fathers, don’t exasperate your children by coming down hard on them. Take them by the hand and lead them in the way of the Master.” Our actions that exasperate our children mean that we’re sending mixed or confusing signals. This leads to resentment, anger, withdrawal or even worse. The verse tells us that instead of exasperating our children by our words and actions, we need to be taking them by the hand and leading them in the right way. Taking them by the hand implies intimacy, personal interest; diffusing confusion from bad signals from you. Listening to your wife and kids sends the signal that you are interested in them and their well-being.
Every good quarterback knows the strengths and weaknesses of each one of his teammates. Dads, this applies to your family. Know them, encourage them, listen to them! Abiding Fathers exists to assist you in whatever way possible to start sending correct signals. And guess what, it is the secret to victory. Everybody loves winning!