Your Family Dashboard

Your car dashboard is always a good place to look to check your speed, your rpm’s and your gas level. This will give you good info on the present condition of your car. The same can be true of your family as you look at your family’s dashboard.

This is an excellent post from the Resurgence that I saw over at Sojourn Kids. Use it as an assessment tool as you consider your family life and pace. I will quote some of it here, but you can read the whole post at the Resurgence.


1. The speedometer. This is the “pacing” question: are we moving at a healthy pace that we can sustain, or are we running in the red? We can’t just monitor the things from ministry that directly include us, but we must also factor in the other things that make life what it is: soccer, gymnastics, the kids’ school, health, marriage, money, and home repairs. Never make this pace assessment alone. Men are not typically emotionally intuitive and can be blind to the relational redlining occurring. If you don’t believe me, just ask your wife. She will tell you the real truth.

2. The RPMs. This is the stress question. How hard are we pushing to make this thing go? Are we shifting gears smoothly in our relationships or are we “grinding the gears” like a 16-year-old driving a stick shift for the first time with a critical Dad in the passenger seat? Do Mom and Dad need more time together—alone? Is more time or energy needed with a particular child? You can usually “listen to the engine” through the tone of the conversations taking place at home to monitor the stress level.

3. The gas gauge. This is the margin question. Every ministry family I know is strapped for time and often other resources. The families that go the distance are the ones that have enough gas in their tank for the long haul. They are consciously and consistently refueling through weekly days off: “Date Nights,” “Daddy Dates,” vacations, and daily spiritual tune-ups to keep the engine running more efficiently. Again, if you want to know exactly how much gas is really in the family or marriage tank, ask your wife. She knows.

If we will keep our eye on the “Family Dashboard,” we will spend more time on the road for the gospel and less time in the ditch looking helplessly at a burned-out engine.


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