I know I need to do SOMETHING…but what do I do?

I think one of the most challenging things to do, as a husband, is to lead by example.  I have a good job, a great family, good friends, and a nice house.  Life is great, but you know what I find to be difficult?…stretching myself.  When my needs are met, I find it tough to be motivated to get out of my comfort zone.  There are so many things I could do more of, that I’m not doing now.  But, I often make the excuse that I can’t possibly do it all, so instead I don’t do anything!  Or, if I feel convicted about an issue I know that if I ignore it for enough time it will fade from having to consider it.

The other day, Eli and Julia were having a conversation about why everything seems to be made in China.  This led to discussions about child labor, poor working conditions, and fair trade opportunities…with something about Charles Dickens thrown in there somewhere.  Eli seemed really into it and I realized this was a great opportunity to do something.  I realize I’m probably not going to reform our global economy, but at least I can do SOMETHING.  So, I brought it up at the dinner table for us to think about what are some ways we can make a difference in our family.  We decided to brainstorm things we could buy that could be “fair trade” that we don’t normally.  Eli emailed his uncle Brian and aunt Becky (who have a lot of great insight into this) to get some ideas.  So far, I’ve found a good coffee source where I can buy “fair trade” coffee that is grown using environmentally IMG_3320friendly techniques and emphasizes on getting the profits back to the 3rd world farmers rather than large distribution companies.  Yes, the coffee was more expensive than what I normally buy, and chances are it won’t be dramatically better either.  But, I’m happy to know that I’m making a small difference in someone else’s life, and that makes the extra couple dollars a bag worth it.  I’m going to continue to look for other things I buy where I could do the same.  And I’m excited to teach Eli that sometimes you need to take a stand for something.

So, what does this have to do with being a good husband?  Generally, I don’t do things like this.  But, in this instance, I’m proud to say that I didn’t just sit on my butt and say, “yeah it stinks for those sweatshop workers that get paid next to nothing” before moving on and forgetting about them.  I decided this was something I could do something about.  No more getting whatever coffee bag is on sale at the grocery store while ignoring the social injustice it represented.  I hope that the example I set showed my wife and son something and encouraged them to consider similar things when faced with the opportunity.

My challenge to you:

Be an example for your wife and kids.  Don’t wait for your wife to take the initiative on doing good things.  Look for opportunities to help other people, even if it cost you something…scratch that…ESPECIALLY if it cost you something.  Don’t try to take on the world.  All you need to do is start small.  Pray for God to show you opportunities and act on them when you see them.  And build from there.