A good father represents strength personified. He is a pillar of living and breathing heroism, for the family. Whenever there is a breakdown of any magnitude, Dad is right there to put the pieces back together again.
But, what happens when there is a catastrophic collapse that not even Dad can handle? How is he supposed to instill strength and courage in the family, when he is shaken to the core himself? What face should Dad put on, when the lights are about to be shut off; the family car needs a new radiator-core, breaks and tires; the first summer semester tuition is due; and there are no groceries in the pantry? And that’s all in the same week! How does the General boost company morale, when the battle appears hopelessly lost?
Hold that thought for a moment. We’ll be back. I promise.
I’ve been reading an awesome book, written by Pastor Kyle Idleman, entitled, “Not a Fan.” In the text, Pastor Idleman describes the differences between a fan of Jesus and a follower. Fan’s look the part, and appear to follow the religious rules but have a tendency to falter when trouble arises. Followers truly embrace a relationship with the Lord and count on the Holy Spirit to guide them through the fiery darts of life’s ongoing spiritual warfare.
In truth, I’d like to be able to say that I’m a completely sold-out follower of the Lord. But the fact is, I have some areas in my life that God is still working on. The fan in me is not yet completely converted. As the General of the Smith Battalion, my armor has some visible cracks and is hanging loosely in some areas. Sometimes, it gets hard to completely trust in what I can’t see with my own eyes. When everything is falling apart around me, and my family looks to me for answers, I hit the floor.
And there’s the answer, fellow Generals. You see, we have to realize that we can’t fix anything in our own power. When everything starts falling apart at the hinges, show your sons, daughters and wives what a real man of God does, not only in times of turmoil, but in times of peace. One of my favorite scriptures reads:
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:15).
Another favorite of mine says:
Faith is the assurance of things hoped for; the conviction of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1).
When my armor wavers, I look to these two scriptures (and many others just as inspiring) to focus in on the Lord.
God works everything out for good, for those who genuinely love Him. So no matter how bleak the situation may appear, I try to show my family how a Christian father should behave in the good and bad times. I pray in front of them and I pray with them. Despite my shortcomings, God hasn’t failed me yet.