Hitting Your Thumb With A Hammer: Being Christ-like In Our Homes Even When It Hurts

Posted: January 7, 2015 in Uncategorized

Luke 8:16-18 — Many years ago before I became a Christ follower, when my daughter, Meghan, was little, she was my shadow. Everywhere daddy went she had to go. Anything I did, she had to be right there with me. She wanted to go to work with me everyday and there was no greater joy than seeing her drop what she was doing and run to me when I got home from work. So, when I was home, whatever I was doing, she was there with me. One particular day, I was putting something together and it required the use of a hammer. She was maybe 2 at the time. On one stroke of the hammer, I missed the nail and hit my thumb. I started jumping around and letting the four letter word that begins a “f” start flying. At the time, Meghan was just concerned that daddy was hurt. However, later that evening, when my parents paid us visit (my wife, now my ex, and I were hosting them for dinner), Meghan was bringing her dessert to the table after her mother had given it to her in the kitchen and the small plastic plate she was carrying it on slipped out of her hand and ended up upside down on the floor. Dessert ruined. At that moment, she at two years old, let the “f” word that she had heard from me earlier in the day fly in the cutest two year old voice ever. I was like those people in the old Southwest Airlines commercial, “wanna get away?” Of course, I had to explain the situation to my parents and to Meghan about that I should have never used that word to begin with. I use this “off color” remark illustration because it just goes to show you, our children are always watching. They are like little video cameras, recording, always recording. Every move you make, every breath you take (Sorry, Sting, I stole you line), they’ll be watching you.

I use this illustration to bring up a valid point that can be made about one major part of the other half of our lives. The other half of our lives is anything time that we are not working or trying to get to it or home from it. The most major part of the other half of our lives is our home life, a major part of “being missionaries where we live, work, and play” (my church’s slogan). It brings up the question for us all, are we representing Jesus Christ well, if at all, in our homes and with our wives and children.

As fathers, we should be aware of the fact that we have a great responsibility in our families – to our wives, and to our children (whether they are young and living at home or they are older and living their own lives now).

With our wives, we should be setting the example of a Christ-like leader in our homes. God has granted us in the natural order that He created that we be the spiritual leaders of our homes. As Christ died for his church, so are we to love our wives in this way. When we love our wives this much, God ordains that they should submit to our leadership. How are you loving your wife? Are you willing to die for her? Do you place her needs above all other human relationships. Are you setting the example for her in the home? Do you have integrity in front of your wife? Or do you cut ethical corners in your dealings with the world around you in front of your wife? We should be setting the bar high in front of our spouse. If something is morally or ethically wrong, we should be the leader and say this is wrong and we will not do it because for me and my house we will serve the Lord. With our wives, we should set the example of Bible study and Bible journaling. We should set the example of prayer. We should set the example of sacrificial love. We should create an environment in our homes where our wives feel protected, safe and secure (one of the greatest desires of women). We should set the example of valuing them and their opinions. We should set the example of doing the sweet little nothings that women love not because we are expecting sex from it but because we love them and love to just see them smile. Women have the advantage in society of keeping their inner little girl in them and letting it be expressed. Don’t you love that about your wife. Don’t you love to see her get so excited about things? We should being creating an environment in our homes where our wife’s inner little girl can bubble to the surface often. Our wife should have no question that we would die for them. They should have no question that we put their needs above all others. When we act in this way, we are being Christ to them. When they see us act with integrity. When they see us seek God. When they see us pray. When they see us study the Bible and not just read it. When we act in this way, they have absolutely no trouble with us leading our homes.

With our children, it is similar. The most important thing that we can do with our children is the same kinds of things. We must have integrity with our children. Our no must mean no. Actions must have consequences. We must set boundaries and if they are crossed there will be reactions. Our children whether they admit it or not want us to be parents. We do not need to be our children’s friend. We must set the standards for behavior in the home. We must define what is acceptable and what is not. Most of all, we cannot condemn them for behavior that we find acceptable for ourselves. We must be consistent in all things with our children. Remember they are little video recorders. Like with me when Meghan was little, don’t cuss in front of them if you don’t want them to cuss. If you want your child to be a good citizen of the world – one who obeys the law, one who works hard, one who saves, one who does not waste money, one who does not use drugs, one who does not beat his wife, one who does not bend ethical rules to their own advantage, one who is the same person at home as he/she is outside, etc., etc. – where do you think they learn it from? It is you, the father. We teach our children about the person we want them to be in the smallest details of life. Everything counts. We never get time off from being a father. It is a 24/7/365 lifetime job. For those fathers out there with small children who are wishing for the day when the kids are grown and you can get some rest, I have news for you. My girls (both my 2 by birth and my 1 by marriage) are 29, 29, and 24. The daddy job does not quit when they leave home. They still watch you. They still learn from you. When they are older, yes, they understand things better. However, I think it raises the bar for us as dads when they are older. It is then that they can directly put into action what they see in us. It is no longer an investment for the future in how they see us act. In front of our adult children, we have just as much influence over how they do things as when they were little. We are their reference point in their adult years, particularly early on. Well, dad always did it this way…What will your “dad always did it this way” say to our adult children. Have you “did it this ways” spoke of integrity, ethics? Have your “did it this ways” spoke of a God-fearing man? Have your “did it this ways” spoke of man who represents Christ in the best way possible as much as any flawed man can?

Just as Meghan repeated what she saw in me when I hit my thumb with a hammer, our families use us as fathers as their examples. We have a God-ordained role to play in the lives of our wives and children that has a profound impact. When we are submitted to Christ. When we chase after Jesus. When we study the Bible. When we earnestly pray to God in front of our families. When we let Jesus permeate everything we do in our homes, our wives and children use us as their example. They want us to lead them. They want us to set the bar for behavior, for ethics, for integrity, for hard work, for caring, for loving, for sacrifice. They want us to lead. Let us do it in submission to Jesus Christ and not in pursuit of satisfying our egos. Let us be Christ to our families. Let us shine His light within our homes.

Father, please help me to lead my family in total submission to you. Help me love my family with the same love that Jesus had for His church such that He was willing to die for it. Help me to love my family sacrificially like that. Help me to be a Christ light in my own home. Amen.

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