An Open Letter to Fathers
- 2004 15 Apr
A friend of mine recently shared with me a letter she wrote about men and their responsibilities at home. It is a reflection of her family's thoughts about their dad.
Our youngest daughter was beautiful, with ocean-blue eyes and a tumble of tawny curls. At age three, she liked to climb onto her dad's lap after a meal, snuggle up to his chest with a wide, satisfied smile, and purr, "Daddy you're my safe place." And so he was, for all the members of his family.
Dads... husbands... in the eyes of your family, YOU are to be the "safe place" to go. You are out protector and provider. When you gather us together for a time with God, we need a "safe place." We need a "safe place", not a lecture about our shortcomings. A "safe place", not a sermon. We need a dad, a husband, who simply cares a lot about God and us. We don't need, or even want, a "spiritual giant". We just want you, as you are.
Your family needs a "safe place" to cry, laugh, sing, rejoice, challenge, share, confess, and sometimes just to keep quiet and have it okay. Your family needs time with you and God that's relaxed - unstiff, where we can pray honestly, in simple sentences, from our hearts. Unfixed. Unrigid. Unroutine. Unshackled. Real.
We, your family, need a "safe place" where irregular opinions are respected, and where God has the last word.
We need a gentleman leader, not a general. Gracious. Relaxed. Human. A family shepherd who exhibits not infallible authority, but authentic thirst for God.
Sit-down devotions every day? Not necessarily. Often? Yes. Long? Please, no! Formal? No. Where? Different places (be creative). How? Keep reading.
Dads, husbands, just try to sense where we're at, and zero in. We may need heavy-duty confessing to each other and God... or just silent prayer... or exuberant praise... or Bible study. But we don't need it all, every time.
Thanks for listening, fathers. We love you! Your family.
This is a good reminder for fathers. Keep focused on your responsibilities in life. If this letter brings to your attention some changes that need to be made in your life, then take the necessary steps that will set those changes in motion.
Christ loves us and desires us to grow. Many times He teaches us through those who love us most. Listen and learn.
Dads, lets take a moment today - this week - and allow our family to talk to us about an area they appreciate and an area they'd love to see us change. If we will set that kind of example for our family and have that of openness and honest, we'll make a tremendous difference in our homes.