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No Perfect Men Allowed

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All glory and honor to our reigning King, Jesus Christ!

Good day to our RC family members, both near and far. We are thanking God for you and your family every single day.

In this week’s Connect Point, I want to take a moment to remind everyone that this coming Sunday (June 20th) is Father’s Day, and it’s a wonderful time to honor your heavenly Father by honoring your earthly father.

My earthly father passed away about 5 years ago. Growing up as a young child, I always thought that my father was a perfect man and father. He was strong, a great provider, a very hard worker, a good leader, and very well respected by most. Only after becoming an adult and a father did I realize that there is no such thing as a perfect man or father except God the Father.

Have you ever asked yourself what a perfect man/father looks like? Have you ever wonder what the characteristics of a model father are? One wife told her husband that he was a model husband, and he begins to be filled with pride until someone told him to look up the word in the dictionary. He did. It said, “A small replica of the real thing!”

Someone said a perfect man is a strong, good-looking, aggressive, successful, dependable, well-dressed, and responsible businessman. He is interested in all things and excels in most. He loves only one woman but charms them all. He is a super spiritual leader in the home and loves to serve in the church. The only problem with this man is, he does not exist.

But what is a perfect man/father?  When I think of my father, I now know that he was not a perfect man and father, but I still believe he was a complete man.

A complete man/father is the one who understands and accepts the responsibility for the development of his mental, emotional, and spiritual capacity and demonstrates this by his maturing attitude and actions in his personal life, his home life, his vocational life, his social life, and his spiritual life.

Being a complete man/father does not depend on background, talent, education, skills, or achievement. It has little to do with looks, size, shape, or age. If these qualities were the criteria, most of us would be eliminated.  So men, if you have been on a guilt trip because you fail in some of these areas, get over it and realize you are on a journey, in a process, and forging an experience.

Ladies, if you have such high expectations of an ideal man, lower them. Look for jewels in the rough. Remember the story of the prodigal son that Jesus used to illustrate the love of God for sinners?

The elder brother represented the Pharisees. The prodigal was a rebellious sinner, but the elder brother was a self-righteous sinner. The fact was that both of them were sinners. Both of them needed to accept and respond to the love of the father. He was the key to help them love and accept each other.

When we study the prodigal son story, let’s re-read the story focusing on the father rather than the sons. However, don’t view the father as God the father but as an earthly father who struggled to develop a relationship with two radically different sons.

The key ingredient in the prodigal son’s story is forgiveness. Notice that this “FATHER” was a father who was willing for his wayward son to come home again. The attitude of the prodigal is clear from the narrative. He was a rebellious spirit, and that defiant spirit motivated him to a life of luxury and extravagance.

Psychologically the son told the father to drop dead. The father had the prestige to lose in his reputation. But notice his attitude. He had a forgiving spirit that motivated him to welcome his son back home.

The prodigal’s attitude shifted after he’s wasted his life. He felt he had forfeited his right to be a son. He decided to memorize a little verse and quote it to his father when he got back home. He would be satisfied by simply being a servant in the household of his father.

However, the father called for the robe and the rings, which were symbols of sonship, declaring that the past with all its failures and misunderstandings were behind them. He restored the prodigal to his position as a son. He loved his son and was willing to give him a second chance.

Do you know that what this boy did was universal? Every child will fail at some point. The father was willing to give his son the freedom to try his wings. He knew that he would make mistakes. He knew that he had the wrong attitude.

Every member of the family has a desire or drive for some measure of autonomy or freedom. For a child to make decisions, to feel responsible for himself, and to feel that he has some personal power contributes to a sense of well-being. Part of the tension of family living is finding the balance between dependence and independence.

Here was a father who was not authoritarian yet not overly permissive. He struck a balance between the two. Every child will disappoint his parents in some way. We are all sinners and come short of the glory of God.

A woman approached a shoe clerk and said, “I want to exchange these snakeskin shoes. The clerk noticed the tiny scratches on the toes. He exchanged them. Later she came back again, wanting to exchange her snakeskin shoes because of their imperfections. The shoe clerk said, “Lady, I am not perfect. You are not perfect. How can you expect a snake to be perfect!”

Remember that truth. It will save a lot of unnecessary heartaches. No child is perfect. Somewhere between authoritarian and permissiveness is a place where parents can model for children the ability to make decisions independently with the understanding that they are responsible for the choices they make.

What is to be the response of a family to the imperfections of its members? How are parents going to respond to the shortcomings of their children? The answer is found in the example of the father in our text. The father accepted his son’s imperfections but did not condemn him for them. Instead, he was willing to forgive his son and allow him to begin again.

Dads, more than anything else, you need Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. You need to know that your sins are forgiven. Then you can accept that you are on a journey and that you are in a process. You can take responsibility for development in all phases of your life.

There are many men today who are living in the land of make-believe. Some have stopped their journey. They have quit the process. Others are perfectionists. They want what they want, and they want it now.

It is the Christian family that can say, “You are not always OK, and I am not always OK, and that is OK. Parenthood is like trying to start a fire in the rain. It is not an easy task. But DADS, your family is counting on you to be on the journey. Stay in the process, and then you can become a model father.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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