I love being a Dad. It is one of the things that I am most proud of in my life, even if I am not always the best dad I can be. I also love being a Christian dad, even though I know I am not the best Christian or the best dad most of the time. Now, before you step back and think that this is just a post on me self-deprecating my own abilities, it is not. Also, if you are looking at being a better dad through Christ, sorry but I don’t have your answers. (But check this out if you are a list format type of person 10 Principles for Christian Husbands and Fathers) No, this is more about the struggles that I have faced with becoming a good, honest, and respectful Christian Father.
Sometimes, your kids suck
Yeah that one is a little audacious. Is this a Dad problem only? No. Is it a Dad problem though? Why yes, yes it is. I know we have all heard the old axiom that parents love their children and that is most definitely true, but if you think about it, you probably at times also have the capacity to hate your children. Now I’m not saying that we all hate our children and should just scrap the idea that we should love them unconditionally. On the contrary, knowing why you feel that hatred sometimes helps us act in a way that is not so detrimental to the kids. I think Matthew 21:15-16 sums this up quite nicely.
“But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant. “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him. “Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read, “ ‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise’?”
This talks about how kids can be wise beyond their years, mostly because they don’t know yet not to be. We all have fears, failures, and problems that stay with us throughout the years. No one knows this better than our children. At times, it seems as though they know the exact thing to say to cut you deep in your heart. Sometimes, those words come out at the perfect time to make you feel destroyed. The reason we can hate our kids is mostly because we love them so much, they are so close to us, and they can hurt us like no one else.
Sometimes, Dads suck
This one is obvious. Yeah dads, sometimes we suck. We have problems, we sin, we ignore our kids, we fail to protect or teach our kids, and all in all we do a lot of dumb stuff. Now the range of our stupidity varies and I think it is important to remember that if you are still in the picture and trying to do better, you’re probably at least in the periphery of being Good. That does not mean that you are off the hook.
For me, the biggest problem I run into is my anger. I have a very short fuse and, as you can guess with 4 crazy little kids in the house, it gets lit at least once a week. This problem gets amplified when the kids, who are still figuring out the basics of life, make mistakes. The perfect example of this is the new Chore Chart that wife put together. We have said, probably about 62,000 times at this point, that they cannot ask for any technology without finishing their chores but that finishing their chores does not guarantee technology. Everyday, after finishing their chore chart, they ask for technology then throw a fit when we say no. They have expectations, I have expectations, and they don’t seem to be meeting. As the dad, I should lead them and help them find the why, but my anger get’s in the way and I tend to yell or send them away because they are being to difficult. The worst part about it is I KNOW I am handling it wrong and yet I still fail. Much like the kids…
Sometimes, Society Sucks
Oh wow. This one is bad, but really, really true. We have a society, at least in major common Western Civilization, that is seeming to have a crisis of identity/faith/morals and so much more. We have taken for granted that we aren’t fighting for our lives everyday, hiding in caves, running from bears and the like. This has done a couple of things: It has made life better for a lot of people and it has made finding the meaning of life a much deeper question. When we had predators at our doorstep everyday, the meaning of life was not to die. Now that a lot of people can sleep indoors, away from a lot of natural predators, with a warm bed a food, we seem to have an issue of purpose arising that so many people are trying to fill. As a Christian, I know who gave me my purpose and generally what it is. This isn’t about proselytizing or evangelism but if you’re interested, reach out and I’d be more than happy to talk to you.
So how does society suck? Well, now that everyone is an expert and has the ability to look up a series of facts to tie their expertise to, there are a lot of opinions out their on what Good means. When Good becomes so subjective, why can’t you be a good man who beats his wife and abuses his children? Why can’t you ignore your responsibilities and leave a family to fend for themselves? Why can’t you run from your problems and push them onto another person? Well the answer, from my perspective, is that you can’t. This is why society sucks. Somethings are just good and somethings are just bad. Do you feel good when you scream at your kids and belittle them in front of their friends? Of course not. Do you feel good when you help your daughter practice for her ballet recital? Of course you do. There are objectively good things and bad things, and we need to know not only what they are, but that they exist in the first place.
The message of the day from me to you is this: Do better, Always. That doesn’t mean that everyday will be better than the last, but if you try to do better, you will at least be oriented in the right direction. That is my goal for myself. No matter how many times I fail, I will always try to do better.
One liner of the Day:
What do they call Pastors in Germany?