Candice and I saw the movie Courageous last night. The movie was powerful and very timely for me. For several years I have wanted to start a ministry for dads at Sky -Sky Dads- and recently we have begun to step in that direction. As with anything like this, if you prayerfully plan an offensive move like helping dads reach their full potential as Kingdom parents, you can expect to encounter some opposition from the other side. Recognizing this is a great catalyst to take stock in how I am doing as a dad. Between the movie and some discussion with my wife afterwards I am reminded again of just how far I have to go to be the kind of dad I need to be for my kids and my wife. You know sometimes I think my biggest problem is thinking I am a “pretty good dad”. I show up, I talk to them, tell them I love them, I am faithful… but I fall sooo incredibly short as a dad. My praise is qualified, my wisdom sounds condescending, my encouragement lacks patience, my prayers lack consistency, my help has a hook… While I may be trying to do the right thing as a dad or as a husband, I find the very things I thought were helping are actually sometimes hindering my family. Luke 6:45 says “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” While I may be trying to bring forth good, I keep seeing bad results (i.e. I answer a question but I do it in a way that makes someone feel dumb, I correct but I do it in front of someone else so it embarrasses, or I praise them but qualify the praise with a “but”…). So the old excuse of good intentions is no longer valid. I want to be a great dad - not so that I will be known as a great dad but so my kids can have a less distorted view of the Father. I want to be a “good” man, but this verse makes it pretty plain that if I am still bringing forth hurt, discouragement, and sorrow then that must be what is in abundance in my heart.
Father, please forgive my pride and foolishness. Pride for thinking I was a good dad and foolishness for thinking “I” could accomplish that goal. I pray that You would renew my heart within me and let the books I read and the times I study fill my heart with love and compassion instead of filling my mind with facts. Make me into the kind of man my family needs -one that not only desires to raise them well, but one that actually get it done. Amen