“And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.”
Nowadays, provoking their children to wrath is only part of the problem with fathers. A lot of times they have no involvement with their children at all. Sometimes they don’t even know who their kids are. They are preoccupied with drugs, sex, alcohol, video games, and the list rolls on. Not an original thought here, but there’s no other way to describe many men than to say they are stuck in adolescence.
I think I’ve said this before, but after seeing my sisters marry idiots and pervs, after talking to other young women nowadays who have given up on dating, I can safely and empirically say that in large part guys are pigs.
The horror stories I and my wife hear through work, the blogosphere…the grocery checkout; there’s no denying the lack of decent men left in the world. I’ve seen blogs from young women in the US and commiserating comments from around the globe about how unqualified male humans generally are to be husbands and fathers.
I was at a sales conference a couple years ago and tagged along for dinner with a bunch of guys around 30, give or take. They didn’t seem capable of talking about much of anything except video games. I left early, because it was so dull!
My relationship with my dad was never really that good. I won’t go into all of the issues here, but I will say that our relationship was pretty well over by 6th grade. I would hide from him. When I heard his car roll into the driveway, I ran for my room and shut the door. At breakfast I’d grab a couple/three cereal boxes and make a wall around me I could duck behind just to avoid eye contact.
My mom was a spoiled, only child whose own dad died when she was about 12-13. My dad was an orphan. Neither ever really had a dad themselves. They weren’t evil or actively abusive. They were just uninformed and largely uninvolved.
My grandmother lived directly across the street from us, and that’s where my sisters and I spent most of our time. Her basement was a playground, filled with the coolest junk! She helped us with our homework during the school year; not my mom. My sister and I would fight over who got to do homework before dinner so we could watch TV after dinner.
Like a chained dog, you don’t always realize what the situation is until you get older. Maybe you see another dog running around free. I started recognizing my own behavior. Home was where I laid my head. My friends’ houses were where I went to have fun. I never invited anyone over.
I realized at some point during high school that I didn’t think this was the right way to have a family. I had examples to see at my friends’ homes. I decided I would do it differently. Better.
The one thing my mom did well was send us to a Lutheran school, K-8. I learned about God. I learned the Bible.
When Julie accepted my proposal, I resolved to raise a good, Christian family. Instead of looking to my parents as role models for my own parenting, I looked at them as the antithesis of what a parent should be. I wanted to have my kids still talking to me when they were in high school, not shut down a few years before like I was.
How did that plan work out? I’m not going to blow smoke here; I have regrets. Some things I’m ashamed of. I’m also proud of other things that I got right. At the end, my girls are 29 and 30, and they still talk to me.
I figure I got a minimum of 51% of my Dad Job right.
We don’t need tougher prison sentences. We don’t need to moll-coddle other religions and “special” groups. We don’t need drug programs or government incentives.
We need Jesus. We need to learn what REAL love looks like. We need to stop thinking that there are all of these gray areas in making decisions. There are right and wrong, and that’s it. Cling to the moral code God gave us. And, by the way, he is the one, true GOD. Everything else is a poser, a trickster whose only job is to trick us into hell.
Do you think you see gray areas all over? I promise you that the only thing that’s gray at that point is your understanding, your lack of clarity. It means you haven’t really spent enough time defining the questions at hand. Once you use God’s perfect ruler and you play fair by using correct, specific language, the right answer will become clear.
Euthanasia, how sweet the sound! Try “killing old, sick and infirm people, because they’re too much of a drain on insurance companies and society.”
“Health care” and “procedure” are a couple more weasel words to provide wiggle room. Those are, of course, kinder, gentler ways of saying “Quick! Kill the baby before the third trimester!” I forget – when someone calls abortion health care, just whose care do they have in mind? The mom or the living human inside her? If the moms, let’s talk about their mental health years after as they deal with regret and guilt.
Procedure? Well, gosh…that can cover a whole host of sins now can’t it?
I have a procedure which employs high-precision tools to carefully insert a very small amount of lead into violence prone people, which I guarantee will stop their anti-social behavior. It works equally well here in the States or in any population worldwide.
Anyone ever hear of Chris Kyle? Not that I have huge problem with this procedure in a situation that someone else creates, but you see how weasel words and wiggle room can be used deceptively.
Last time – the Bible contains the moral code God Himself gave us to run our lives. We may not always understand it or like it, but then neither do toddlers like all of their parents’ rules. That moral code makes people better.
It also makes fathers better. Do you want to be a better father? Scooch a little closer to God. He’s right there with you. All He asks is that you pay attention and follow the rules; it’s for our own good. After all, this is His creation. You have heard of “my house, my rules, right?”
This is like that. Just bigger.