Blessed are fathers and other imperfect people who are doing the best they can do to fulfill their role. Of course, the male species isn’t always clear about what is expected. We don’t always know whether to be macho or mild, passive or aggressive, dominate or servile. John Eldredge, in his book Wild at Heart, says we are so tame that we are somewhat unchallenged, too domesticated. He said men need three things: a battle to fight, an adventure to live and a beauty to rescue. Sounds like men from a tribe to me.
Blessed are those who can balance their work and their relationships. I know a young man who was having a “wild” time holding a night job, attending day classes, supporting a wife and two children. I asked him how he could balance all of it, and he said being a father was by far the most challenging job of all, but he was determined to get his degree. His wife said she was challenged with “patience”. It’s all about relationships. You can have all the academic degrees in the world, but fail to nurture good relationships.
Blessed are those who are patient. The world might be changing, but patience will never go out of style. It is said that women are more patient than men, generally speaking. They are probably correct. I know I pray for patience as much as anything else.
Blessed are those who can control their tongue; who are more complimentary and less critical. Paul wrote in Ephesians 6:4, “Fathers, don’t provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” Blessed are those who make peace with spilled milk, muddy shoes and loud noises.
Blessed are those who can restrain their temper when Junior’s bedroom looks like a tornado hit it. “Because I said so,” is not a wise response to anything. I know a couple who said they try to honor the Biblical advice to not let the sun go down when they are angry. She said there are many “late sunsets”.
Blessed are those who are careful to be “on time”. I had an outdoor wedding one time. It was supposed to start at 7:00pm. Seven came and went with no groom. Seven-thirty…no groom. Eight o’clock…no groom. About 8:15pm, a groom showed up. By this time, the bride was livid, her mascara had run, and her patience had run out. We proceeded with the tense ceremony and at the close, the groom leaned over and whispered to me, “Pray for me tonight.” Strange request.
Blessed are the fathers who take a leadership role in the home, especially in matters of faith. They honor the ten commandments as well as other Biblical teachings. The Apostle Paul had some good advice for couples when he said, “Be subject to each other out of reverence for Christ. Husbands, love your wives as your own body.” (Ephesians 6:21) For an old bachelor in a male dominated society, Paul did okay.
Blessed are couples who can nurture each other long after their honeymoons. If I should ask you to name the 2006 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, or name the winner of the 2005 Super Bowl or who was crowned Miss America in 2008, you may have a few blank moments. But if I should ask you who encourages you most in life, and who has loved you unconditionally, and who has graced your life with forgiving love, you could name them without blinking an eye, because they are written in your heart.
Blessed are those who teach their kids social graces and people skills, such as looking into the eyes of a person when talking, or offering a firm handshake, or saying “Please” and “Thank you”. Also, praise be to fathers who teach their teenagers “highway manners”, the safety of driving without a cell phone glued to their ear. This may well save their life.
Blessed are you for reading this and saying, “I’ll do it!”
Happy Father’s Day!