“Fatherhood is a vocation in God’s service, to be not held lightly or frivolously, but with the serious determination of serious men.” –Father Lawrence Lovasik
The first time I held my oldest child, I was absolutely overwhelmed. I suddenly realized that another human being would be directly affected by anything that I did. This precious little girl was completely dependent upon others to provide her with food, protection and love. I was determined to do just that. I was convinced that my love for her would guarantee that I would succeed as a father. I felt confident that there was no entity in this world that I could not keep from hurting her in any way. I dare say many fathers have felt this way—many still do.
As the great king of Israel, David also felt like it was his duty to protect and provide for the people that he loved. He was already known as a great warrior and a great general. However, when it came to taking care of his people, David loved them too much to allow his pride, or emotion, to direct his steps. The truth is that there is no person, or even group of people, on this entire planet that have the absolute ability to guarantee provision and protection for the ones they love. It is foolish pride—or ignorance of reality—that says otherwise.
During a time when some of the closest people to him betrayed him and threatened his family and his people, David looked not to himself, but to God. He recorded his thoughts in the 3rd Psalm:
O LORD, how my adversaries have increased! Many are rising up against me. Many are saying of my soul, “There is no deliverance for him in God.” Selah.
But You, O LORD, are a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head. I was crying to the LORD with my voice, and He answered me from His holy mountain. Selah. (Ps. 3:1-4 NASB)
Because David loved his people more than his own pride, he chose to look to the only place from where real provision and protection could come—he looked to God.
As a man, I often need to feel as if I am physically and mentally able to handle any situation that life throws at my family. I want to stand in front and take the brunt of any blow that comes so that my family does not have to feel it. However, if I truly love them and want what is best, then I need to realize that I am not invincible. I need to protect and provide for my family through means that are greater than my own. And so I must look to God. I must look to God to transform me into a better husband, a better father and simply a better human being.
David writes that God answers him from His holy mountain. How many men, even Christian men, actually go to God’s holy mountain for the sake of their family? How many fathers claim to be Christian, but do not lead their families into the church to actually look to God and listen for God’s directions? When we fail to obey God and regularly go to church (Heb. 10:25), then we put ourselves and our families at great risk in this world. Why would any father do that? Why would we risk our families by neglecting something as important as looking to God and obeying Him? The truth is, a man who neglects regular church attendance robs his family of an important gift—a father who really makes a difference.
Our families need us, all of us—fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters—to look to and obey God. It is the only act that will make a lasting difference in the world. No man, no army, no nation on earth has the capability of this by their own means. It is pride and naivety that says otherwise. The real people in our families don’t need more pride and naivety. They need real leaders who engage the real God in order to make a real difference in their real lives.
The strongest, most courageous, and wisest of people will always lead their families from their knees.
Please come join us as we fix our eyes on Jesus. We meet Sundays at 9AM for Sunday school and 10AM for worship. Everyone is welcome!