Most people know what is required of them to maintain their good standing as a man, a husband, and a father.  They must be faithful to their wives.  They must be successful enough to provide food, shelter, and clothing for their families. They must be men of exemplary character.  Why do men do these things?  What motivates them?  What motivates you?

Psalm 112 opens with a simple but profound challenge to your heart and motivation as a man, and as your family’s leader.  “Happy are those who respect the Lord, who want what he commands.”  This challenge begins with respect for the Lord, which should be the foundation of your motivations in all things.  It goes further than most challenges which ask only for obedience to the commands of the Lord.  If you are the father of a teenager, you are very familiar with the difference between obedience of the rules, and a desire to be obedient to the rules.  It goes beyond doing what your told, to the place where you not only accept but agree with the commands.  You desire to obey, because you agree with the principles, not because you fear the punishment.

What follows is a wonderful list of promises to your family: your children will be powerful, each generation will be truly happy, and in God’s economy, they will be wealthy.  There are even some assurances for you: light in the dankness as a reward for being honest, kind, compassionate and righteous, victory in return for generosity, a steadfast heart, security, and honor.  These are things that every man wants.

What happens in your family is a direct result of the things you stand for.  The challenge cannot be forgotten.  Honor and obey God and delight in his ways.  Want what he wants.  Tell your family that this is what motivates you.  Then watch how it impacts everything in your house.  Don’t take my word for it, read Psalm 112 below and judge for yourself if the blessings seem worth the effort it will take to master the challenge.  As for me and my house?  We will respect the Lord, and will strive to want what he commands.

Psalm 112

1 Praise the Lord! Happy are those who respect the Lord,     who want what he commands.
2 Their descendants will be powerful in the land;     the children of honest people will be blessed.
3 Their houses will be full of wealth and riches, and their goodness will continue forever.
4 A light shines in the dark for honest people, for those who are merciful and kind and good.
5 It is good to be merciful and generous.     Those who are fair in their business
6 will never be defeated. Good people will always be remembered.
7 They won’t be afraid of bad news; their hearts are steady because they trust the Lord.
8 They are confident and will not be afraid; they will look down on their enemies.
9 They give freely to the poor. The things they do are right and will continue forever. They will be given great honor.
10 The wicked will see this and become angry; they will grind their teeth in anger and then disappear. The wishes of the wicked will come to nothing.