Being a husband, being a dad, being a professional, being a dreamer, being a visionary, being a homeowner, being, being, and more being.
The pressure of being a father brings with it many challenges. How many of the challenges are legitimate? How many of them are illegitimate? How many of them come along with the territory of being a dad? How many of them are self-inflicted?
The images of fatherhood today range from buffoonery, workaholics, absenteeism, distant, or overbearing. Few images portray the real challenges that fathers face and the decisions they have to make each and everyday about their families. Fathers everyday have to make decisions about the direction they will lead their families and how best to lead them with the resources they have.
Some fathers are faced with challenges of where will the family sleep and what will the family eat due to lack of financial resources. Some fathers are faced with challenging work situations that are devaluing them or “killing” them but they have to stay because they need the money and the insurance. Other fathers are faced with how do they navigate the challenges of personal goals while ensuring that their wife, sons, and daughters are nurtured and cultivated to become the men and women they ought to become.
Jesus, in John chapter 17, is praying a series of prayers. In His prayer He says that He was given a group to serve, protect, love, and tend to. He says: “…all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them” (1). This is a challenge. This is a challenge to ensure that, in addition to our own lives, we give our relationships with our wives and our children back to the Lord.
Too often we see ourselves as the provider and we want to make sure we best position ourselves so our wives, sons, and daughters can be positioned. This is a great goal. However, to what expense? Is it the right time? Who will be lost?
The greatest goal is for our lives and our families’ lives to be in position with God. They should be in His hands. If we are not careful we will spend more time making it about our hands and what we can or cannot do verses making it about Him, the Creator (2) , the Shepherd (3), the Provider (4).
He goes on to say that “While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost…” (5). The greatest fear that any father should have is the loss of their children and wives because of their selfishness, pride, greed, or ambition. Many men have made sacrifices for their families’ welfare and well-being. It was what they had to do. However, many men have sacrificed their families for their personal desires and goals. It was what they wanted to do.
What challenges do you face as a father? How have you navigated your personal goals with your responsibilities?
1. John 17:10
2. Genesis 1:1
3. Psalms 23:1
4. Matthew 6:31-33
5. John 17:12