Thursday, November 5, 2009


My daughter loves the movie "The Game Plan" (mostly for the big ballet scene in it) where a famous pro football player suddenly becomes responsible for an 8 year old daughter he didn't know existed. In this one scene, the father is talking to his daughter's ballet teacher who has come to rescue him from a girly-girl party at the mall. He comments that "moms" seem to make it all look so easy and doesn't know if he has what it takes to be a good parent. Then the ballet teacher tells him not to underestimate the power of the father. She says that fathers are there to catch you when you fall, pick you up, dust you off and encourage you to try again. While it's not the only thing fathers are good for, it is an important role.

I have a friend who is a young adult seeking desperatly to find his way in the world. He had a difficult childhood due to circumstances beyond his control and later due to his own choices. The big hang up he has today is his own father's image of who he would become 7 years ago. What we tell our children with our words, and just as loudly, with our actions has an impact on who they become. For the child, who needs acceptance, guidance and encouragement and not be able to get it, can leave a child feeling worthless, defeated, hurt and angry.

We are all born with the desire to love and be loved because we are made in God's image. He wants to be loved too! More importantly, God wants to love us! So how do you move on when your parent relationship, mother or father, doesn't work out the way "it's supposed to"? When parents don't nurture their children and love them the way God intended them to, then over time, hearts become broken, bitter, hurt and indifferent. All my friend wants from his dad is for him to tell him how proud he is of his accomplishments and help him up when he's down. The power of the father, good or bad has a lasting impact on his children.

During the ballet scene of the movie (the part my daughter likes to watch over and over) the football father is one of the dancers. He is very nervous when he discovers that his entire football team is there to watch him dance. It is his dedication to be a good role model for his daughter that gives him strength to go through with the dance. He says to himself "the power of the father, the power of the father". He had just given his daughter a pep talk about not quiting because she was nervous and there he was feeling just as vulnerable as she did.

Parents don't always have their act together and sometimes they find strength to accomplish difficult tasks from their relationship with their children. A "good" parent isn't one that always has the right answers. A good parent is one that walks ALONG SIDE their child during the good and bad times. A good parent teaches their child to recognize what causes the pain and suffering but gives their child the freedom to make choices. A good parent isn't afraid to seek help and let their child see them fall and pick themselves back up. There are many good lessons to be learned from failing than succeeding. It is way harder to keep trying when you keep loosing or falling down. Real failure doesn't come from not succeeding, it comes from never trying again.

What about you? How has your father (or mother) influenced you? How does that influence affect your relationship with God?

"I have loved you with an everlasting love;
I have drawn you with loving-kindness." Jeremiah 31:3

"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him."
1 John 3:1

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