What happens when passions fade, when the things you attach your purpose to stop being the reasons you keep moving forward or keep dreaming. When the pieces seem too shattered to gather off the floor, when simply choosing to take another step has become an effort and the noise of your life seems to engulf and overshadow you.
I’m a husband, a father, a soft place, someone who’s heart cries out for the little ones who don’t know they belong. At least that is the me I remember and the me I’m desperately trying to claw my way back to becoming. I write about fathering, sonship, manhood, adoption and all things related. But if you were to take a quick stock of my online footprint, you’d be forgiven for thinking I’ve suffered from little connectivity for most of 2014. What’s happened, where have I gone?
This last week, a couple of us went to see the new Superman film. Apart from having my brain turned into mush from the crazy amount of special effects it was a really great night out. It’s important to note that the lack of fathering has as big an impact on Krypton as it does on earth. In line with my last post on the speaking of blessing and curses over our kids, is another way to bless and curse, this second way is the presence of a strong man!
In Mark 3:27 we read “In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house without first tying him up. Then he can plunder the strong man’s house.” This verse comes on the back of the teachers of the law and Jesus’s family accusing him of being able to drive out evil spirits because He is the captain of the evil spirit team, so to speak. Jesus nicely throws this back into their court by pointing out that this would be a dumb plan as a house divided cannot stand. Basically, you can’t win the match by kicking your own teammates in the shins, or worse. At this point he speaks about the strongman and how he must be tied up first. Typically, the strongman represents Satan, but in the context of blessing and cursing, this strong man can also mean fathers!
So, back to Clark Kent’s life story. It’s an old story, but it really stood out to me how the absence of his father lead to uncertainty, it leads to a sense of being lost with a lack of purpose. It was only when Clark came across the funky space ship trapped in the ice with the holographic version of his dad, that he fully understood his value, his purpose and his identity. Only when his dad appeared, did he begin to understand his uniqueness, only when he saw his Father explaining the gaps in his life did his character change from a shadow that roamed from town to town, to a man who was anchored in his identity and therefore ready to take hold of his destiny. This is what the presence of a Father can do.
I’ve decided to do a few pieces on how we as parents can either Curse or bless our children. The kicker is that most parents would cringe at the thought of cursing their beloved little ones, but if we actually take a step back and think about how we speak to them, even over this last week for example, I bet we would all be able to highlight a few sterling examples of where we did anything but heap praises and blessing on our kids.
Every morning as the sun dares to dip its toes in the pool of a new day, Mom and dad wake with the greatest of intentions. Today, I will succeed, today I will be victorious, I will conqour the business world, my family with ascend to greater heights, my children will yet again wonder what they did to deserve such amazing parents, I will walk through this day causing such ripples in the Devils desires for my life that he will wish for me not to get up tomorrow for fear that we will again punch gaping holes in his plans for me, my marriage and my children. Lookout, here comes Mommy and Daddy!
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” -Marianne Williamson
And then we grow up!
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!
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.