I’m a husband and a father. But, because of societal norms, I have to be the strong one in the family. Twenty-four bags of mulch (me), economic hardships (gotta be tough), and the one that bugs me the most are when your daughter finds a spider in her closet; you have to be the one that goes in and kills it.
It doesn’t matter that you might be even more afraid of spiders than your daughter. Killing spiders comes with the territory. Being a Christian husband and dad is no different. You have to be the strong one to start tough conversations with your kids about sex, drugs, LGBTQ, racism, and so on.
You have to step up to take your family to church and lead them in prayer. You have to be the leader of the household. You have to be strong.
Where does that strength come from? I am still waiting for my invitation to the “How to be the best dad” and my “kids are in High School” symposium. There is an old parable that goes: Nobody dared go near the tower. A fearsome dragon sat on its top. Until one day a knight rode up, “Do you need help to get down?” “Yes, please,” replied the dragon.
So at one point in our lives, we will be the brave knight riding into certain danger, and at one point, we will be the “on the surface” fearsome dragon who is falling apart on the inside and just needs some help to get down.
For years we had tough guy movie characters who, without thought, jumped into the fray. We have to be superheroes who jump in to save the day with no regard for our own safety. We now know that is not possible to do this all the time. Sometimes we get paralyzed with fear and stay right where we are and don’t do anything.
2 Corinthians 12:9 says, my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. We can take solace in knowing that God’s got our back. We don’t have to be tough, strong guys all the time. And when we need to be tough, strong guys, God will back us up and help us. That is what’s strong with me.
We have to normalize asking, “What is wrong with me?” I am not doing something right. Do I need therapy? Do my wife, and I need help? Is this too much for me to handle on my own? We see our best friend or brother handling a wife and three kids, having a successful business, and wondering how they are doing it? Only to realize that they aren’t doing it all on their own.
The things that God wants you to be strong in aren’t glamorized in the world today. He wants you to be strong in leading your wife and family in prayer, taking the lead in worshiping God, and taking them to church. When your coworkers are in a circle talking about the new front desk lady and what they would like to say and do to her, God wants you to be strong and speak up and walk away.
Finding the strength to not engage in that political bullying session on Facebook. That is the kind of strength that God is after. On your deathbed, it won’t matter that you can bench 350 pounds. It won’t matter that you worked 80 hours a week for five years to become a multimillionaire.
What’s strong with me? Take some time to do a self-assessment and see what your strengths and weaknesses are. One of my weaknesses is that I tend to avoid conflict. I will say “whatever” or “that’s fine” when I really should say something else because I do not like rocking the boat or upsetting the apple cart. I am working on making that one of my strengths.
Ask God, and he will tell you. Ask your wife (I am 1000% sure she will tell you). Ask your best friend or the guys in your small group. You don’t have to suffer or be weak in any area by yourself. Speak over yourself, and God will give you the strength you ask for. Pretty soon, those days of asking, “what is wrong with me will go away, and you will be asking, “what is strong with me?”
Prescott Williamson is a Bible-believing Christian. He is a husband, a father, and someone who believes that there is a little humor to be found in whatever situation God sends your way. He was born in the small islands of the Bahamas but now lives in the Suburbs of Fort Worth Texas, which is basically the same thing. He enjoys TV, reading, blogging and serving in his church (especially on the days they serve donuts). You can see what I have been thinking about lately on my blog www.prescottascoolbreeze.com.