By Rob Futral
So, What’s Your Plan?
Being a husband and a dad is the greatest privilege of my life. I think it is the highest calling of every man’s life as he enters into a covenant marriage with his wife and as the gift of children is given through birth or adoption. This privilege is accompanied by the weight of responsibility but contains within it the continual encouragement that fills the soul and fuels the journey as we engage it each day. I have been married almost 25 years and my kids are ages 21, 18, and 16. I’m still learning every day about how to be the husband and dad I am called to be. In my life, one strategic question has shaped my continued quest to be a godly man, husband, and dad.
Fourteen years ago, a man that had mentored me through his writing graciously allowed me to spend a day with him. He allowed me to walk alongside him through the day and patiently answered my questions about ministry and life. I was a young dad with a wonderful wife and three kids that were ages 8, 5, and 3 at that time.
After a late lunch, we sat in the parking lot and I was about to get into my car to drive back home. My head was full of ideas and my heart was full of renewed passion, but the last ten minutes would be the most important. I asked his opinion of the most important thing that I could do for my kids as they were growing up. His answer came quickly, the kind of answer that reflects a clear conviction and a continued commitment. “Love their mom—your wife! Of course, live out your love for God in front of them, but the place that they will see it the most is in how you love your wife—you know, Ephesians 5:25–26.” That seed he dropped into the soil of my life was and is great advice, but he wasn’t finished.
“So, Rob, what’s your plan? Your oldest son is 8 years old. You have ten years to pour into his life. Well, actually, you only have eight because when he turns 16 and gets that drivers license, he is a moving target! You can reinforce and refine things after that, but you better get all that you can into the next ten years. What’s your plan?”
I searched for something that sounded reasonably intelligent and maybe even spiritually impressive, but before I could get a word out of my mouth he followed up with this question, “Think about it this way, when the day comes that he graduates and is going off to college or whatever his next step is, what is it that you want to know you have deposited into his life—you know like what you hope he knows he can believe, what you want him to know about life, what you want him to know about being a godly man. That’s what I mean when I say, ‘What’s your plan?’”
That has been about 14 years ago and I am still working on the answers to that question. Over the years I have loved being a dad and that question has helped me get my bearings and focus my energies as we navigated the adventure through the preschool, elementary, middle school (that ain’t easy!), high school, and beyond. And through this question, I continue to find answers about what is most important.
So, husbands and dads, I share with you that simple question that has helped me and continues to help me unlock God-given answers along the journey. Don’t fail to plan in the most important role of your life! The old adage is true—a failure to plan is a plan to fail. Plan to be a godly man, a godly husband, and a godly man. We should all feel the pressure to plan in this most important role of our life, as this pressure releases great possibilities.
Ephesians 5:15–16 says, “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” But, also remember that your planning is to seek the Father who knows a perfect plan for them, and for you. He promises to give us the plan if we will give him our attention. Proverbs 3:5–6 is that great promise! “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Enjoy the journey!
Rob Futral is the lead pastor at Broadmoor Baptist Church in Madison. He and his wife, Kimandria, have three children, Trea, Ridge, and Rivers.