It has taken me many years to understand that a great leader sets the climate in their home. They are a thermostat that sets the temperature, not a thermometer that just reflects the temperature in the home. All too often, I’ve been a thermometer. At times when Susan has gotten sick and is not feeling well, instead of empathizing, I’ve gotten cranky. When one of our children has disobeyed, instead of calmly disciplining, I’ve gotten angry.
Too many parents, and especially fathers, are thermometers; they reflect their wife or child’s mood. If she is a sweet and attentive wife, all is good; but if she’s not, his anger starts to swell. If their child is behaving, then he is fine; but if the child is rebellious…well, you get the picture.
Effective fathers should be thermostats, however, setting the climate of the household by how they react, or don’t react, to others’ behaviors. They choose to be joyful when their spouse is hurtful. They choose to be calm when their child is out of control. And they choose to love, when their spouse is unlovable. I’ll keep working on being a thermostat that sets just the right temperature in our home.
What about you? How do you set the right temperature in your home?