I think it is in our DNA. As dudes, we want to protect. We want to protect and take care of our wives. We want to do the same for our kids. And, if anyone messes with any of them…well…let’s just say whoever messed with them better have their affairs in order.
Our families stir our passion. They empower our joy. They fuel our love. They create in us purpose and meaning. And…sometimes…that is the problem.
As men…humans rather…we are always in search of our meaning or purpose. We want to know that the life we lead is creating a positive impact on those around us. We want to know that our wife is living a better life…a protected and safe life full of joy and happiness. We want to know that our kids will grow up to live a life that was better than our own. As husbands and fathers…we believe we can influence that…and we can. The problem is, in order to do that, we tend to put our wife and kids in front of everything else. We focus on them and our role in their lives. This, guys, is wrong.
I’ll be honest with you. I think this is one of my greatest temptations. I want to be a perfect dad. I want to be a perfect husband. And I try really hard at being those two things. I commit time and energy to them. I think about it and try new things. But, at the end of the day I am not a perfect anything.
Yesterday, I happened across this little nugget of Truth from Psalm 128:
Everyone who honors the Lord,
who walks in God’s ways, is truly happy!
You will definitely enjoy what you’ve worked hard for—
you’ll be happy; and things will go well for you.
In your house, your wife will be like a vine full of fruit.
All around your table, your children will be like olive trees, freshly planted.
That’s how it goes for anyone who honors theLord:
they will be blessed!
May the Lord bless you from Zion.
May you experience Jerusalem’s goodness your whole life long.
And may you see your grandchildren.
Peace be on Israel!
Don’t get me wrong. In my heart…I knew this already. If I focus on God and strengthen my relationship with Him…my family will be blessed. My marriage will be filled with passion, joy, and peace. My father-child relationship will be built upon respect, honor, love, and grace. But, in my life (and I would venture to say your life is similar) what I know and how I act are not always in agreement.
Way too many times I try to parent and husband (can “husband” be a verb?) all on my own. Can I be a good father and husband on my own? Absolutely! Can I be the best father and husband that I can be? The father and husband that my family deserves? No.
The truth of the matter is that being the husband and father that my family needs transcends normal human behavior. They deserve something greater. They deserve something holy. They deserve something the reflects the love that God has for us. I can’t do that on my own and neither can you. The only way we can love like that is if we experience love like that…and there is only one place that you can find that kind of love: In the arms of Christ.
I don’t want to be a good father……I want to be a great father. I don’t want to be a husband that makes his wife smile…..I want to be a husband that makes his wife overflow with joy. I don’t always accomplish this because I am often too focused on it. Maybe when I stop focusing on it, and start focusing on honoring God…then I will be a great husband and father.
Scripture does not tell us to be a great husband and father and then be a great follower of Christ. It tells us the exact opposite. Honor God and be a great follower of Christ. Then…as a result…you will be a great husband and father.
Where has your focus been? What needs to change today?