I’m blogging today while I’m watching lots of dads raise their kids. Actually the blog isn’t just for dads… it’s for moms and dads alike, but toward the end of the blog I’ll be doing one of those clever analogies where we look at Me being the dad and you being the kid, and since most of you picture Me as a father figure more than as a mom, hey… we’ll keep it to you, dads.
There are lots of you doing a good job and trying really hard. On your best days when you’re not exhausted and pulled in a hundred directions… and when your head is clear and no one has pushed your buttons all day… here is what you really want:
- You want your kids to learn to live wisely.
- You want them to be obedient.
- You want them to know how to treat other people.
- You want them to respect life and discover their gifts and use them to the best of their abilities.
- You want them to feel loved, and you want to hold them when they feel rejected and alone and like a failure.
- You want them to learn to overcome obstacles and get up and dust themselves off and try again.
- You want them to know all about kindness and initiative, and discipline and selflessness.
- You want them to understand that success isn’t necessarily what they have been taught by society.
- You want them to help those who are in need.
- You want them to walk through life honestly and with integrity so as to be respected by those around them.
Of course, if you’re like most loving fathers, a lot of things really AREN’T SUCH A BIG DEAL. It really doesn’t matter how far your kids can hit the ball or if they can hit it at all.
It doesn’t matter whether your kids are more interested in science or sports history or cooking or law or preaching.
It doesn’t matter if your kids’ grade point average isn’t perfect as long as they’re studying and using their time wisely. It doesn’t matter whether your kids go to Harvard or even attend college—as long as they’re celebrating and making the most of their unique gifts.
It doesn’t matter if they stay in your hometown or move around the world, or get a job making millions or live in a hut in Tanzania.
What most dads want for their kids (whether they realize it or not) is simply for them to be all that I have created them to be. Of course, we all know that My definition of success and worth is usually different from the norm. (BTW, all dads love to hear their kids talk great about their dad to others, and they love it when they hear “I love you, Dad,” and when they get to look their kids in the eyes and talk and hug and laugh.)
So… here is that analogy I promised. You already are guessing part of it. But I’ve got a parallel for you to consider.
Catholics, Episcopals, Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Nazarenes, non–church goers, Jews—ALL OF YOU.
There are a bunch of things that really aren’t that big of a deal to Me. It doesn’t matter much to Me whether you immerse or sprinkle. I’M not concerned if you eat wafers or bread crumbs, or drink wine or grape juice. You can wear jeans or shorts or a tux to church. Not a big deal. You can sing hymns or choruses or chant. You can use King James or The Message or read from the original Hebrew if you want. You can meet on Sundays or any other day. You don’t impress Me any more by being a preacher than you do by being a plumber or a nurse or a cook or a guy who goes from house to house every day spraying for bugs. I don’t love you any less if you are divorced than I would if you had been married for fifty years. If you have made a million mistakes and done things you think I would never forgive… Not that big of a deal.
I’M your Dad! I can’t not love you.
Here is what I want and desire most for you and from you. That you discover Me and My love. That you discover your gifts so you can be all I want you to be. That you are kind and obedient and humble and selfless. That you know that I want to hold you when you feel like a failure or you feel alone or rejected. That you see there are way too many things you think are a big deal, and in reality they are petty little things that separate you all way too much.
Oh, yeah…and…being the Dad I AM…
I love it when I hear you tell others about Me. And when you say “Daddy, I love you.”
If you’re a dad, you know how that makes your heart feel. Imagine what it does to a God-sized heart.