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Intentional Manhood, Part IV: Planning

February 19, 2009

Mike Seaver continues his series of posts (I, II and III) on Intentional Manhood. They originally appeared last year on Mike's blog Role Calling. Mike serves on the pastoral staff of CrossWay Community Church of Charlotte, North Carolina. Mike and his wife Kristin have been married since 2000. They have two daughters and are expecting a third child.

Your heart sinks when you find out that you scheduled a meeting at the same time as your kid's soccer game…again. You can cancel the meeting, but it upsets you that you did it again. If you just looked over your calendar prior to the week, this sort of issues would happen less frequently.

One major hurdle for boys becoming men is in learning to plan. One of the hardest things to teach many college males is that they now need to keep a calendar and they are no longer going to be "spoon fed" life. If a guy is ever going to get approval from a dad in my church to pursue his daughter, he is going to learn how to plan (the dating/courtship model is a whole different conversation). This is pretty good incentive…and I think the Lord actually uses it to help our boys grow up (though the main motivation needs to be a heart that desires to glorify God).

While playing baseball my freshman year in college, I quickly realized that if I wanted to make good grades, do well in my sport, grow spiritually (I was a new believer), and have any kind of social life, I needed to learn to plan. I needed to study at certain times and rest at certain times. At first I thought a calendar/planner would restrict me, but I ended up learning that it freed me to really enjoy my play because I was not worried about "dropping the ball" in other areas of life.

Here are two ways that scheduling and planning can help men:

1. Evaluation: By planning, you will be able to evaluate how you are doing in your major life roles. This always begin with your spiritual life. Married men must then consider how they are doing in their marriage and parenting. These men will be able to step out of the normal routine of life and see what kind of time you are spending with your wife and kids. Single guys can evaluate their work, school, and leisure time. The leisure time often seems like big hurdle for many singles. We often need a reality check as we drift through life because we perceive that we are doing better in areas than we really are. Taking specific time out of the week for evaluation can help.

2. Application: We have all had good intentions about blessing a friend or helping our children and then have forgotten to carry it out. Many times we do not carry it out because we forget to plan for it. Planning leads to applying what we have planned. Evaluation without application will lead to frustration. So, seek to apply what you are learning from your evaluation.

In giving this advice, I stand on the shoulders of many others and I am thankful to learn from many older, wiser men. I have heard some say that taking 30 minutes at the beginning of the week to evaluate your week can help you tremendously. I now do this with my work calendar and my wife and I go over our home calendar each week. I was surprised at how much this helped us stay on the same page and benefited our communication. It takes intentionality and by God's grace, it can be done.

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