This picture was taken a year ago in Orlando. This is my youngest brother Jeremy, his wife Crystal, and their 3 little munchins. Jeremy is an inspiration to me because I believe with my whole heart that he embodies all the things I write about in this post. Is he perfect? You know the answer to that. Satan loves it when we are defeated by fear, shame and guilt. He uses all those things in my battle with depression, but people like Jeremy and Crystal give me hope that Revelation is right on track when it teaches us that God wins.
This morning I came here only I couldn’t because I didn’t have an internet connection. Obviously I do now. That was about 6am. It’s now almost noon. I say that because I’m always proud of sticking to something even if there is a waiting period to accomplish it.
I take for granted the small victories that are really not small at all because small victories lead to big ones.
That was a side note. Here’s what I was really coming to post at 6am.
Fatherhood and Marriage is a mantle. If you choose to shoulder it and do the work, it will bring you to places of joy and satisfaction and love…
But if you falter… if you double guess your choice… if you decide half-way in to shirk the mantle, or grumble at its weight… you are lost. It will punish you without mercy, brutally and endlessly. (LIT: How To Get Your Soul Back; Bryan Ward, ©2016, http://thirdwayman.com. All Rights Reserved.
I’m living this reality. I’m coming out of the unmerciful and brutal side of this equation, so obviously I disagree with with the endless part. It’s similar to my theology. God is never ending, but to say He’s unmerciful is ignorant. Pain is very much a part of life, but it does not last forever. All things pass except the eternal bond we share with God. I place too much emphasis on the things that do not last to the exclusion of focusing on the things that do.
Mr. Ward places fatherhood ahead of marriage, and I don’t assume anything about that between his two ears, but I lived for 6 years being married to Carey before fatherhood came to my experience. Marriage will be with me long after my daughter has left home too. There are too many people who place all their eggs in the fatherhood basket, and they wonder why their marriage ends when the kids leave. Neglected relationships die. There is no more single important relationship than the one with your wife.
Mr. Ward from Third Way Man convinces me of this. My responsibility as a father is a very serious matter, and one I do not, nor have I ever taken lightly, but I am changing my thinking as it pertains to the woman who I share life with till death do we part. This is not because my parents have been married for almost 50 years, nor is it because I’ve been given some special knowledge that I should. It’s not even because the Bible tells me so. It’s because God created from the beginning marriage to be a lifelong commitment between a man and woman. We’ve polluted, perverted and removed all mystery from this holy union because we have failed to acknowledge the supreme power God has over making it pure.
When we take a high view of relationship we know that we must die daily to our selfishness in order to make any relationship work, but too few of us know what that looks like, much less how it looks in our relationship with our wives. We weren’t shown what it looks like, and in fact 50% of us saw it end in a blaze of glory, so how the hell are we to know what to do when a boy learns what he experiences?
It’s high time we get serious about relationship, not because we have a corner on the market, no one does, but because we’ve been given a power and connection with the one true God who never sleeps, eats or wrings His hands in frustration at our refusal to rise to the occasion.
I have failed with epic proportions. That’s not a secret. I am just once voice out of many crying to a Father who is closer than the blood in my veins, and His breath breathes life into my lungs when I can’t take another step. The futility of my plans, my selfish ambition, and my anger at my enemies together can be squelched with His pinky finger, yet somehow time and again I demand fairness from those who reject God. Don’t expect the world to give you what it cannot. Our consumeristic culture can’t even pause on Memorial Day to remember that our fallen men and women made Memorial Day possible. The culture is inundated with ad after ad of new cars and furniture. No wonder we self-implode against our families who we seek “satisfaction” from.
Demanding another person make you happy is not only ludicrous, but it places a demand they cannot fulfill. We have to stop.
Do we empower another human being in their weakness, ignorance and narcissism? No, but when another human being is not able to bring what they cannot bring we need to not only accept it, but we need to embrace it because there is a God who is filling that void.
Marriage exacerbates this because you are now connected to a person 24/7. It’s the way God created it. When we seek to destroy things God created we only destroy ourselves, and I don’t have to tell you we’re doing a good job of destroying each other.
Adam and Eve had the same problem. They blamed another for their sin. It’s time to stop blaming others and other things, and own up to our own sin.
God created us and the planet we’re on. Don’t you think He can sustain and make all 7 billion of us strong upon it?