TODD WILSON, author of Help! I’m Married to a Homeschooling Mom and The Official Book of Homeschooling Cartoons, is a dad, writer, conference speaker, and former pastor. Todd’s humor and gut-honest realness have made him a favorite speaker at homeschool conventions across the country and a guest on Focus on the Family.
His articles have appeared in various magazines. Christianity Today also posts his weekly column (The Familyman Weekly) on their website.
Todd and his wife Debbie, along with their eight children spend several months of the year traveling the country encouraging moms and dads. His humor, realness, and straight talk to men (& women) have become his trademark.
The following is a letter about Todd from Joey Watkins, a homeschooling dad from Atlanta!
Several years ago, I served as Sales and Operations Manager at a fast-paced growing ministry in Atlanta, Georgia. My boss was a “type A” personality with exciting new ideas every week for our staff to implement. My work was fun, rewarding, and also quite challenging.Like many other dads with demanding jobs, I came home exhausted at nights, to a wife who was ready for her husband to “take over” with our 5 year old son, 3 year old daughter, 6 month old son, and a very weary mommy!At night, I worked on my computer to supplement our income through various online endeavors or else I brought my work home from the office.On Saturdays, I did yard work and rested from a very busy week. Sundays we visited different churches trying to find one that “fit” our family, our values, and our theology.I also took on the role of president of our neighborhood HOA — a whole new set of responsibilities clamoring for my attention!This went on for several years, and all the while, I still maintained long work hours and computer time at home. Family time didn’t exist. I would come home and crash on the couch, then wake up for dinner. I tried to do some sort of family time every once in awhile – but was not consistent.I was often on the computer. My wife put the kids to bed and cleaned up the dinner dishes. Sometimes I would help, but then I usually had more to do on the computer. Personal time with my wife was often with her head on my shoulder while I responded to my never-ending email inbox!In time, my wife began to see herself as a “computer widow” who felt betrayed by me. She tucked away her feelings of hurt, caused by my long hours of work day after day, week in and week out.Sometime during all this, we headed to a weekend conference for homeschoolers where I heard a man named Todd Wilson speak on fatherhood. His message challenged me in a way I had never experienced before, delivered in his humorous, straightforward style.My heart started to change toward my family, but it was short lived. About six weeks later, the daily grind and pressures at work began to reclaim my time and focus. My wife was crushed, but amazingly she hung in there.The following year, we attended the same conference, and I went to every one of Todd’s sessions. I bought his book “Father Power” and read it cover-to-cover, along with another outstanding book called “Choosing To Cheat: Who Wins When Work And Family Collide” by Andy Stanley.The messages in these books greatly convicted me. I saw that, as a dad, my most important calling was to my family — not my work, not my church, or anything else. I was cheating my family. And I had unrivaled massive influence in each of my children’s lives that would even ripple to future generations beyond them.I can honestly tell you that this discovery of my massive father power was pivotal in my life. And in our family. I repented, and my actions immediately began to reflect my new desire to put my family at the top of my priorities. My wife would be the first to tell you how radically different our family is today.In her words… “Father Power ROCKS! God is a God who rescues! He has turned my husband’s heart toward us and our family is forever changed! Hearts are healing!”My eyes are swelling even now as I type this, thinking about how grateful I am to Todd Wilson for taking on this enormous calling of waking up us dads to our father power.I share my personal story with you for three reasons. First, I just want to encourage you to not elevate your work above your family. If work got more of you than your family did this year, take a long, hard, introspective, prayerful look at your life as we bring 2011 to a close and evaluate what changes you need to make. And then make those changes!Second, if you have not done so yet, read Todd’s book Father Power. I promise you the message it contains will change you to the core and greatly bless you and your family. If you’ve already read it, read it again this week before the year ends and let it speak to your heart. Again.Todd’s ministry is having a major impact in the lives of men and their families across this country. I am just one example. And reaching men is the foundation of seeing lasting positive change in our culture.Blessings to you and your family,Joey WatkinsA Fellow Familyman