Ok, I am going to do something a bit different than I typically do on this blog (like I do a good job of keeping up with this blog anyway...).
Here is an overview of what I am going to do over the next few weeks, and why: I was reading in Proverbs 20 this morning and I found myself thinking about v.7:
"The righteous man walks in his integrity; how blessed are his children after him."
So, I began to think about what that means for me as a husband and a dad while I took some time to meditate on this verse. Sometimes, though, "meditating" on a verse goes south for me. It's kind of like when you are praying sometimes, and while you start well talking to Jesus about your life and your neighbors and praying for missionaries around the world, you realize after about a 15 minute coma that where you ended this "prayer time" was thinking about the time you put Ex-Lax in Jimmy's milkshake for calling you a "doofus." Not exactly the height of spirituality.
That's sort of what happened to me. I started well this morning, but ended up thinking about football - more specifically, thinking about my kids playing football. Even more specifically, I was thinking about how big they are going to be when they grow up ("Dude, if this is what it looks like for a pastor to have some "time with the LORD", then I'm not sure I'm interested..."). Why would I be worried about how big my kids are when they grow up?
Good question. Unfortunately, God gave me an answer.
You see, I was a small one growing up. I'm fully grown into my six foot, 1 inch, 185 lb (if I didn't eat a fifth piece of pizza) frame now, but life wasn't always so...well,....tall. I went to high school at less than 5 feet tall (you read that right). I weighed double digits. I was what my mom used to call "a late bloomer." Compound the late bloomer joy with the fact that most kids in my grade were nearly a year older than me (due to some early move up in kindergarten or something), and it was a perfect cocktail for a kid to feel insecure. Sure, I compensated (but I won't go into how until I get on Oprah), but it was still a "little" (no pun intended...seriously, why would I mock my own pain...I'm leaving that to you..) challenging to deal with.
Back to my kids. I was wondering if they were going to go through the same stuff. I was thinking that I didn't want them to be late bloomers (even though my wife was also a late bloomer.....CURSES - our genetic predisposition foils us again), and be the smallest guys on the team and get smacked around for a while. Then it hit me. God was pointing out my own brokenness to me, while I thought I was contemplating their good. Then God reminded me of something, and I wrote it down (don't get weirded out - I'm not saying God dictated this to me or anything....kind of like those people who tell you "God gave me this song" and after they sing it you are thinking to yourself "Dude, DO NOT blame that awful song on God..."). Here it is:
We bless our kids when we don't let our brokenness become their burden.
Here is what I am saying: I don't want to project on my kids anything that comes from broken places or wounded places inside of me. I don't want to sound dramatic (not a fan of drama) - I'm not paralyzed by the scars it caused or anything; in fact, it seems that it is very rare that it even rears it's head because of the overwhelming way in which grace has saturated my life. But, it shows up occasionally (like when you are supposed to be meditating on God's Word and you are obsessing about how athletically built your kids will one day be...). But even though I seemed to be slipping away in a weird train of thought instead of focusing on God's Word, God showed Himself Sovereign even over my thoughts. He is teaching me about my brokenness so that he can teach me about what I am teaching them.
Ok, take a breath (but don't pause too long or you may drift off in thought about that time when....). Snap out of it.
Why all of this? Well, because I am thinking now about what I am teaching my boys about what it means to be a man. What is Biblical masculinity? What is Biblical femininity? They need to understand this. I need to understand this.
Why? Because I want them to be blessed.
So, this is installment #1 (an orientation of sorts) of what looks to be a 5 part series of blogs about some ideas around Biblical masculinity and femininity. Stay tuned.