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The Philippians faced a dilemma, a dilemma that challenged them, as it will us, to pick either the rock or the hard place.

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Read Ephesians 6:4-8

I don't often recommend a volume without reservation, but I think every man should read Temptations Men Face by Tom Eisenman. I'm not saying I agree with everything in it, or that you will, but his observations, insights, and suggestions are both penetrating and provocative. In fact, that book got me thinking about the top temptations fathers face.

First, the temptation to give things instead of giving ourselves. Don't misunderstand. Providing for one's family is biblical. First Timothy 5:8 calls the man who fails to provide for his family's needs "worse than an unbeliever." But the temptation I'm referring to goes far beyond the basic level of need. It's the toys versus time battle: a dad's desire to make up for his long hours and absence by unloading material stuff on his family rather than being there when he is needed.

Second, the temptation to save our best for the workplace. How easy it is for dads to use up their energy, enthusiasm, humour, and zest for life at work, leaving virtually nothing for the end of the day.

Third, the temptation to deliver lectures rather than earning respect by listening and learning. When things get out of hand at home, it's our normal tendency to reverse the order James 1:19 suggests. First, we get mad. Then, we shout. Last, we listen. When that happens, we get tuned out.

Fourth, the temptation to demand perfection from those under our roof. We fathers can be extremely unrealistic, can't we? Fathers are commanded not to exasperate their children (Ephesians 6:4).

Fifth, the temptation to find intimate fulfilment outside the bonds of monogamy. Thanks to our ability to rationalize, we men can talk ourselves into the most ridiculous predicaments imaginable.

Sixth, the temptation to underestimate the importance of your cultivating your family's spiritual appetite. Fathers, listen up: Your wife and kids long for you to be their spiritual pacesetter.

Ready for a challenge? Begin to spend time with God, become a man of prayer, help your family know how deeply you love Christ and desire to honour Him.

How about facing the music and then changing the tune? Say a firm NO to any of these subtle, sneaky, slippery temptations that have slipped into your life.

Excerpted from Day by Day with Charles Swindoll, Copyright © 2000 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. (Thomas Nelson Publishers). All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.

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