Fathers: Key to Vacation Success, Part 2

CJ Mahaney has resumed his series of posts on 7 lessons he has learned in leading his family on vacations.

The first two of the seven were:

1. A Servant's Heart
2. A Tone-Setting Attitude

In this post he lists the next three. Here they are with a few excerpts from the post.

3. An Awareness of Indwelling Sin

Though you are going on vacation, you would be wise to remember that sin never does...A wise husband begins by anticipating how and where he will be tempted by sin on vacation. Ponder in advance your existing sin patterns and potential temptations on this vacation, and prepare in advance for those temptations.

And prepare your children for their unique temptations. Review with your children the temptation and tendency to be selfish or complain with specific instructions of how and when this could take place.

4. Studying Your Family

Though it has been a number of years, I vividly remember one particular vacation when my wife wisely approached me asking if it would be possible to rest at some point during the vacation. Though I was perplexed why anyone would want to rest on vacation, I listened, and by God’s grace learned how to more effectively serve my family on vacation. I realized that my planning for our vacation was largely informed by my preferences, not the preferences of my wife and children. That conversation with Carolyn has made a difference in my vacation planning.

How can you most effectively serve your family on vacation? Well, in order to answer this question you must study your family and interview your family. Find out what they would like to do and if possible make it happen, even if it involves just resting and relaxing.

5. Skillful Surprises

Personally, I love to surprise my family (I’m sure you do too). And I try to do this throughout the year. But I want this to be a part of each family vacation as well. Effective surprises begin with studying each member of your family to discover what a meaningful and memorable surprise would involve. But trust me, each member of your family loves to be surprised.

You see, effective surprising is a skill. It is a developed skill rooted in the discerning study of a family member. You must study them and discern their passions and gifts, their preferences and joys in order to effectively create and craft a surprise for them.

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