Things just sometimes have a way of hitting your right in the face right out of the blue. It was a few weeks ago for me. My wife and I were watching the movie, Courageous, and it really challenged me. I knew what the overall movie was about, to be certain, but it still hit me. It was really a nagging question: Am I a good father?
It was an inescapable thought. To doubt something like that was, for me at least, horrible. I lose patience sometimes yes but I think I’m loving. However the words from the end of the movie keep repeating in my head, over and over, like a gong. I’ll lay them out for you here (side note: the following words are not mine and in no way, shape or form. They are the property of the company and writers of the movie).
There are some men who, regardless of the mistakes we’ve made in the past, regardless of what our fathers did not do for us, will give the strength of our arms and the rest of our days to loving God with all that we are and to teach our children to do the same—and whenever possible, to love and mentor others who have no father in their lives but who desperately need help and direction. And we are inviting any man whose heart is willing and courageous to join us in this resolution. God’s Word shows us that God desires for every father to courageous step up and do whatever it takes to be involved in the lives of his children. More than just being there for them or providing for them, he is to walk with them through their young lives and be a visual representation of the character of God, their Father in heaven. The father should love his children and seek to win their hearts. He should protect them, discipline them, and teach them about God. He should model how to walk with integrity and treat others with respect and humility. Who will accept the responsibility of providing and protecting my family? Who will ask God to break the chain of destructive patterns in my family? Who will pray for, and bless my children to boldly pursue whatever God calls them to do?
Those are some powerful words and we would all be wise as men to listen.
If that wasn’t enough the hits just keep on coming. I have been listening to many podcasts from various churches across the nation and there was a sermon that hit me a few messages ago from a church that I won’t name. It spoke of being a leader and of homes and churches desolate because men wouldn’t lead. They wouldn’t lead in the church or the home and by doing so were horrible witnesses to God and a horrible testament of a husband loving his wife as Christ loves the church. The example used was back in Genesis 3. Eve sins first, yes…yes she does. Who does God hold accountable? Let’s see.
And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God call to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”
Wow…just wow. So no matter who screws up I’m accountable. My son smashes through some kids face in ten years..I’m accountable. My wife has some issue here or there..I’m accountable. My family past present and future…I’m accountable. Talk about a yoke of weight. It presses down upon me so hard. But there is hope for the burden. Christ’s yoke is light and he will help me as well as the Holy Spirit will guide; provided I let them and just be led.
We are accountable to God for the responsiblity given to us, and it is a large responsiblity indeed. Stand up with me men…stand up.