Disclaimer 1: Offence is taken not given, so if after reading you feel a great desire to start a long life altering journey up the miff tree, remember, I pose topics to think about not absolute truths to believe in.
Disclaimer 2: Generally speaking, men don’t step up to the plate in many families, leaving mom’s to handle the fast balls life catapults at them with the greatest poise they can muster. If you identify with one/many/all it doesn’t mean your parenting skills are more Charles Manson than Nanny Mcphee.
OK, so here it goes!
Yup, I said it, and no it’s not a typo. My wife is imperfect!
Granted her list of imperfections is dwarfed by my own impressive expose of not so lovable traits, and yes I did get her ok to throw this list into the cybersphere, but she is imperfect nonetheless and I love her!
This week marks a decade of marriage for the two of us, and on Christmas eve we will have been together for 16 years. Not a small feat considering we have only been alive for twice that time. In hollywood years I believe we are looking at the equivalent of a cool century. So at this mile stone and in celebration of our love, our family and our future adventures, I felt it important to share with the world, or at least the few hundred people who read my blog, that she is imperfect and we still have a cracker of a marriage.
There seems to be a belief rolling through the fields of singleness that to be truly happy, to build a marriage that shouts to the hilltops that perfection has been achieved, to have a relationship that can withstand the storms of life, two perfect people need to find each other, fall in love, get married and without any touch ups, repair work, renovations or upgrades, they will live happily ever after. No doubt will ever enter these people’s minds or hearts, they will never fight and at no time will anger, annoyance or frustration enter the equation. Doubt and uncertainty have no place in the marriage of these two!
We’ve all heard how no one sits on their death-bed wishing they’d spent more time at the office, landed a bigger deal, spent more time on their own, watching sports, being upset, being angry, just being. Everyone will agree regardless of their faith, that they would expect someone to wish they had spent more time with the ones they loved and loved them.
What a year, some epic down points but also some magnificent highlights. We lost a baby, but we have been blessed with watching our son grow and grow. From new words, to personality developments, to potty training and big boy beds. My beautiful wife is still my best friend and importantly my favourite person. Jesus is still my Lord and Saviour and continues to blow us away with His grace and favour. What a God!
I’ve had the privilege recently of sitting with some amazing young people and hearing their hearts, hearing where they are at, where they’d like to be at and just generally being allowed to listen to them sharing.
So much of what I hear seems to connect with their confusion of who God is, what He wants and how we should connect the two. I must say that for most of my life I struggled with this, to be honest, I still have days now, where I struggle with understanding Him and what He wants for my life. But for certain, one thing that God has solidified in my heart, chiselled into my very soul, is that He wants me to be a father, a husband and a man, and those are things He holds close to His heart. After all, He is a Father, he lives as a husband to his bride and he was a man!
What must it have been like, to exist as God no less, and watch as your son was being beaten, mocked, abused, jeered at, hated, spat on, thrown away, tortured and then murdered? Yes murdered.
The definition: The unlawful, intentional killing of another human being with the intent to kill.
Unlawful, because, He broke no laws, he was and is sinless, he had to be, otherwise He would not have measured up to being a perfect sacrifice.
Human being? Well he had to be, you can’t kill God, and He needed to die to be offered as a sacrifice and regain the authority for us as a man that Adam lost as a man when he disobeyed in the Garden.
I look at my son, when he sleeps, when he’s playing, crying, laughing, sitting, standing and every moment in between, and I am filled with love, it overpowers me, it permeates my being and drips from my pores. How did God watch as His Son was put to death, for a group of people that for the most part, would never truly appreciate the sacrifice? I shudder when my son bumps his head, what was God’s expression when Jesus was whipped, spat on and brutally tortured?
I’ve been formulating my own little list of the tasks or missions that are attached with the mantle “Father”. I’ve been tweeting them for the past week and so I thought I’d elaborate on my weeks’ tweets and then add them to a page on the site which I will call The purpose of a Father, so here we go.
Fathering is hard, for us anyway, and the job description exhaustive. I only need to look at my week and I come up with the following job titles that I held:
- Guidance counsellor
- Personal trainer etc
The list seems to never end, but then again neither does the joy I feel when my son looks at me and asks for a hug, a few minutes of my time to read him a book or to play cars with him. This past week I looked at 7 purposes which for me are real necessities in my life as a Dad. The 7 purposes from this week were:
- To validate masculinity and manhood.
- To instill a sense of value.
- To build up.
- To create boundaries within which his children have enough freedom to explore, but also enough safety so that the consequences are learning experiences and not death sentences.
- To provide emotionally, educationally and financially.
- To be the first to praise and the last to criticise.
- To be a gate-keeper.
Lets look at some of these that I find need more focus today.