‘I don’t give a flip’
AMBIVALENCE…has many meanings. What one came to mind when you started reading this? When I was drawn to write this, mine was ‘I don’t give a flip’. Dictionary.com records it this way. ‘Uncertainty or fluctuation, especially when caused by inability to make a choice or by a simultaneous desire to say or do to opposite or conflicting things.’ Related words are: ‘doubt, hesitancy, uncertainty, hesitation, indecision, fluctuation, quandary, muddle, haze, tentativeness and unsureness’. Not a great way to live a victorious life.
A couple of weeks ago I went through a hip replacement surgery. During the first few days of a month long recovery, I was filled with a heavy amount of pain drugs among other things. I truly experienced ambivalence of the highest order. I didn’t much care about anything but sleeping and eating. I knew there were other more important issues in my life, but I have to admit they were put on the shelf of my mind. To reiterate, I simply could not bring myself to care.
Too many men are caught in this trap. So much indecision, so little firm planning and execution! This creates much distress and uncertainty within the rest of the family. The head directs the body. The father is the family’s ‘head’, and the wife and children are the ‘body’. Just as Christ is head of the church so should the father be to his flock. Can you even imagine if Jesus had come to earth on his pre-planned mission and after arriving he began to waver, wondering if he had misunderstood his Father? What he did do was to daily seek his Father’s counsel and direction. He walked by faith, just exactly the way we are called to walk. He never wavered!
Proverbs tells us that; “the heart of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps” (vs. 16.9 ESV). Jesus led his earthly life this way, and so should us dads. Imagine the confidence this would instill in your wife and children. Not counting the remarkable sense of achievement for you, Dad. All because you stayed in communion and communication with your Lord! He can overcome the worst case of ambivalence ever produced in the mind of man.
Simply, he replaces it with decisiveness. Jesus is the most decisive man who has ever walked on terra firma. Take your lead from him. Even your mistakes will be overcome by God and forgiven by your family. Remember, God does not waste anything in our lives, even our failures. Listen to President Theodore Roosevelt. I sense he was not a man of ambivalence.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Teddy just described a decisive dad. Don’t waver; go and be one!