The Perfect Dad
When I was a young man thinking about marriage and kids, I had this notion of what it was to be a “good” dad or maybe even the PERFECT father. I had great examples. My grandfather was a good man, married for more than 50 years and raising 3 kids in the post-wwII era. My father is a great example to me, a person who never wavered in his faith and in his love for my mother and for my sister and I. I was and still am blessed to have had such great influences in my life.
The reality is that as good as my examples were, my best shot at being a great father is to be like Jesus.
25 years in ministry and 23 years of marriage has taught me, among other things, that there is NO SUCH THING as the perfect father here on earth; only a perfect father in heaven. The reality is that as good as my examples were, my best shot at being a great father is to be like Jesus. That is really what those men taught me; they taught me to follow Christ.
One of the things I have realized very recently is the value of embracing fallibility. Were not perfect and we will never achieve that. And, not even being RIGHT is the best way to parent!
Nothing has humbled me in my parenthood like what happened to a few months ago with one of my daughters. Being RIGHT took over and I lost the awareness that I can be truthful and kind in the same moment. I brought the hammer down WAY TOO HARD on one of my kids. It didn’t take me too long to realize that I had, and I had the choice to stay “RIGHT” or be humbled. I went to my daughter and apologized to her and asked for her forgiveness. She knew I was right, but in that it didn’t really matter. We both knew the truth and we reconciled in those moments.
Don’t get lost in the quest to be right; be lost in the desire to be like Christ. Being right isn’t a license to be wreckless; it’s an opportunity to be gracious. Jesus was righteous. He was holy, he was perfect in all his ways yet He extended grace and mercy down to us even when we didn’t deserve it.
Two challenges today.
- Be correct, but be KIND. It’s ok to parent and be strong in our sense of right and wrong. Don’t be ruled by being right. Be diligent in guiding their heart to follow Christ.
- When you blow it, own it. Embrace the fact that God didn’t not create us to be perfect, He created us to look to Him as our strength. When you make mistakes, be quick to repent and watch forgiveness and strength become a major part of these tender relationships.