At this time of year, everyone will be telling you NOT to make any New Year's resolutions, telling you how it sets you up for failure and discouragement when you do not make your goal or stop early on.  They tell you to evaluate your life and set realistic goals for yourself, so you can achieve them and feel good about yourself.  While all and good, I want to go against the trend and encourage you TO make a New Year's resolution.  Why?  Stick with me here...

 Here is how the dictionary defines it:

res·o·lu·tion - a firm decision to do or not to do something.

Sounds good, but when I hear the word "resolution", I think of a little different definition:  

res·o·lu·tion - a rock-solid, unwavering determination to reach a difficult goal, to bring something to a desired conclusion.

That's right, a difficult goal.  I don't know about you, but I really struggle when I do not have a goal set ahead of me that requires concentrated and intentional effort.  I'm not talking about the kind of "goals" set when a boss gives you 10 extra projects "so you stay busy."  And I am not talking the setting of easily achieved goals, so I can get them completed and then feel good about myself.  I am talking about the kind of goal that changes something, that takes time and tenacity to achieve.  Something that changes the world.  I have always wanted to do something great, like a Steve Jobs or a Theodore Roosevelt, but this kind of greatness would never be covered by CNN.  

This is why I am so excited about the emphasis that Focus is putting on creating families worth repeating for three generations.  Think of it as a New Year's resolution for parents, especially men.  Society minimizes our importance as parents and makes marriage all too disposable.  But I am determined to improve my parenting in order to better my family and raise my children to REALLY know The Lord and walk with Him.  I am resolved to stop divorce from happening in my family line and to prevent it for three generations or more.  Talk about an awesome goal!  THREE generations changed forever in large part because of the conviction and courage of one man!  Now THAT'S a New Year's resolution!

For me, this year's resolution is for my son, Zach.  My oldest son is one of the things that I am most proud of in my life and I love him more than words….but he is struggling.  He is struggling with the transition from being mommy's little boy into daddy's little man.  While this transition may mean little changes in his day-to-day life, it represents a massive shift in his life with big implications for his future.  It will impact the kind of man he will be, the kind of woman he marries and the kind of father he will be someday….and that will affect who his children develop into.  Talk about affecting future generations!  So I am determined, no, I am RESOLVED to step up and be a better dad to my son (and my other children as well) this year.

How about you?  Do you have a life-changing, life-altering New Year's resolution that you need to make?  Consider your parenting.  Your children's children may thank you for it.


Brian Kuiper is a contributing writer for Dad Matters and the Assistant Manager of Audio Visual Services at Focus on the Family.

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