It seems that the culture places men on a pedal stool to a degree when it comes to fatherhood. Men are expected to be perfect or they are only considered effective if they’re more on the perfect side. Case and point, recently with the TI conversation about his daughter’s pap-smear appointments. Many were ready to throw TI under the bus because he has a level of fear that he’s been operating in by seeking to control his daughter and his daughter’s sexuality. Yes, I agree that it is a bit overboard, but at least TI is there.
At least, he did not leave. At least, he realizes a need for his daughter to be protected even though that isn’t the best way to go about. At least, he is trying. I’ve never experienced anything like what TI and his daughter are going through, but I did grow up with a controlling father who did things out of fear, and he was a good dad. I turned out amazing not because he was perfect, but because he was there.
Too often in culture, we act as if kids can only turn out well if they’ve grown up in a home similar to Joel Osteen or others that we assume had perfect childhoods, but God can use the imperfections of our fathers to demonstrate his grace, power of redemption and sustainability, and his great love.
I am so extremely thankful for the fact that the Lord allowed me to grow up with my father and all of his imperfections as well as strong suits. When we look at our parents through the eyes of honor being thankful for the fact that they are there, they’ve stepped up to the challenge, and they are willing to learn and grow to some degree; we without realizing it encourage them to be better.
The opposite is beating them down about their imperfections and throwing them away because they do not meet our pedal stool expectations. The reality is none of us can be a pedal stool. We all need the grace to be ourselves as we grow. If TI is at a point of control to attempt to protect his daughter right now; then that’s where he is at. He should not be condemned for not fathering in a way that we expect him to. He is only human and has to grow and develop himself.
When God deals with us, he doesn’t throw us away until we get over our weaknesses. He used Joshua when Joshua was afraid. How did God do that? He encouraged Joshua to be strong and to have good courage despite the frightful circumstance of having to lead the children of Israel to the land of Canaan. Joshua took on the opportunity. He stepped up to the challenge. He may have made some mistakes along the way, but he ultimately did it. He did it through Christ.
This is how we all overcome through leaning on Christ and not ourselves, nor our record of perfectionism and self-righteousness. Finally, when we only focus on the bad of a person and the fact they did not meet our standard for them; we can make them feel like a failure in our eyes and that may make a person want to distance themselves from us. I know I would not want to be around someone who only pointed out my weaknesses.
Something my dad shared with me a few years before he passed was that he could always see the respect that I had for him. That meant a lot to me because I’d always tried to carry myself in that way. It’s important to make sure we are appreciating and honoring our fathers right where they are and this will encourage them to do better.
This content is published by Russelyn Williams of Intercession for A Generation on https://intercession4ageneration.org/.For more encouraging content & books on “Life & Relationship Lessons from a Biblical & Practical Perspective” please visit https://russelynwilliams.com/.