Today, I wasn't excited about Father's day. This is sad because my baby boy was born a week and one day ago and my daughter is awesome. I have two wonderful children, and a wife that most other men would quite frankly fall over themselves to have and hold until death we part. What I'm trying to say is that I am blessed beyond what I deserve, and it is on Father's Day that I get to celebrate that.
As I looked at friends posting pictures of their fathers on Facebook, I realized that even if I did change my picture, my dad wouldn't see it because he can't access my page as I cannot access his. And why would I change it? You see, like so many middle aged men (I am learning) he has decided to walk away from the life he built (family, career, friends) and begin "fresh." I know others who are currently struggling with the consequences from similar decisions by their fathers. I cannot even begin to explain to you the tricks these actions play on the minds of the children, whether they are adults or not yet adults. The truth is that most children can live with imperfect daddies, what I refuse to live with is a dad who quits, who gives up on what he built.
Of course there are other persons who don't have a father and have never met their father, and I know some of these precious hearts. I saw some of my Facebook friends thanking their mother for being both mom and dad to them. I get it...but a part of me knows that it isn't the same as having both. And the tragedy of our time is that more and more children are not experiencing both mom and dad.
I could go on to talk about what it is like to have a daughter and realize that she has so many awesome role models in our family, and then to have a son and realize that the role models are not as quick to come by. When I hear a young man or colleague talk about the awesome example their father was for them, I am thankful that they had that experience and then for a quick second I think "What happened to me?"
So to the point.
I think Evil wants children to wake up on Father's day and treat it like a regular day because their mother hasn't told them about Father's day to save her the hassle of answering their questions about someone they have never met.
I think Evil wants children to wake up on Father's day and for one day feel abandoned and hurt because he left, quit, and walked away.
I think Evil wants children to wake up on Father's day and go spend it with dad and leave by saying, "See you at Christmas time!"
I think Evil wants dads to wake up on Father's day and know they are insufficient for families, undesired by their families, and not empowered to fully love their families.
Evil is winning Father's day, but it doesn't have to be that way. If you are are dad and know a group of dads then get together, talk about your families and your kids, invest in them, and let's have a generation of men that are deeply committed to making Father's Day mean something GOOD!
For all of you who have great dads - kiss them and tell them how grateful you are (even if you're a guy) because I believe that when a father shows his kids these traits - faithfulness, love, peace, hope, and joy - Do you know what they feel? Secure in who they are and your response allows your dad to also be reassured in his continued growth.
I will never be a perfect Father, in fact messed up today a few times. But if I ever get the desire to quit or walk away from this awesome family that I have built with my wife, then I want one of my friends to beat me within an inch of my life, because leaving my family would be the moment the real me dies anyway. (notice I said friends and not enemies!)
I am preparing a sermon and the premise is basically... when Jesus calls us to the life of faith; he asks us to take up the cross, to follow, and to give up things that are part of our old way of life. These might be things that remind us of the sin we once were powerless to struggle against. These might be people whose influences were not in the direction of Christ. these might be our identities, our egos, our stuff, and even the very things we used to point toward as evidence of God's blessing in our lives. But, I was wondering if those of you who read this blog could comment (either publicly on this page or by personal email firstname.lastname@example.org) and let me know some of the things you have given up to follow Christ. I would like to create a list and will not use your name. I believe, like Paul did a long time ago, that when those who experience us on a daily basis hear what we have given up for Jesus, when they realize that the person they experience was not the same 5, 10, 20 years ago - we have just, in that moment, provided a powerful lens through which they can view God. Where God is working, his people are giving some things up and trusting that God will provide, renew, and save in the end!
I want to share thoughts, insights, and scriptures that lead us in the direction of Christ.