Cleaning the mess
MOMS…are the ones who always used to get the “Hi Mom” on TV from the guys on the bench at college football games. The only signs about dads I used to see were: “Dad, send money”. Irma Bombeck, a hilarious comedian, said she didn’t know her name wasn’t “But Mom” until all her kids left home for college. I think maybe that was even her personalized license plate.
As I was pondering the roles of moms and dads recently, this thought hit me.
“Moms mop up when dads mess up.”
At least at my house, in my family, it is a much experienced and proven fact. Well documented! She’s worn out a whole lot of mops over 60 years.
So, guys, why is that? Well, for starters, I/we seem to always be ‘messing up’ so someone has to clean up. Do you agree or at least can you relate? Men/dads have the propensity to operate out of pride and ego, sorta caveman mentality. Many of us are like the ‘bull in the china closet’. ‘My way or no way!’ We also are most likely not as well informed about the issues of our children like our wives. They listen, observe; we talk and usually out of ignorance. Okay dads, are you feeling ‘put upon’ about right now? Me too, and I’m writing this thing.
Well, how do we remedy this situation? We can try harder, but that usually fails. We can ask forgiveness, but that gets very tiring and embarrassing. And honestly, asking forgiveness is a difficult thing for most men. So, how? May I suggest a prayerful lifestyle, turning over your family to the One who created them, knows all about them, loves them more than you, wants the very best for them, plans to use them, and has the power to make them into His image. That way, you can’t ‘mess’ it up. That is, unless you try to take it back over.
But there is one thing you must be willing to do. Be patient and wait on God. You are probably asking; Bill, do you have that mastered? A resounding NO! But it is so key to leading your family well without ‘messing up’ continually. By doing this, you are shifting the responsibility to the One who can handle everything without ‘messing up’. Pray, believing, trusting his divine and sovereign nature to accomplish his will for your wife and children.
You still have responsibilities, but you can fulfill them in and through his omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence. We are limited, he is not! And is he ever pleased when he finds a man/dad who really wants to trust him, maybe not perfectly, but one who pursues it. Here’s a truth that really has helped me in my walk. “I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” (Psa. 27.13-14 ESV).
Work while you wait
You work while you wait, trusting him for the desired results. Then the process and the results don’t get ‘messed up’. For a number of years I start the day covering every member of my family with a specific prayer. I also petition and intercede for them about specific issues, but only after I have placed them safely in his care. You prayerfully develop your own. Here’s the outline of mine. Remember, dads/granddads, you are the earthly high priest of your family. A privilege and responsibility!
Today Lord, I thank you for covering my family with your banner of love; thank you for surrounding them with your holy angels; thank you for anointing my family with the atoning blood of Jesus, your Son, our Savior; thank you for sealing and filling my family with your Holy Spirit and doing in my family what you want to do through us; thank you for clothing my family in your full armor; thank you for prayer that my family might be prayerful, watchful and alert; thank you for allowing my family to be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord; thank you for leading my family in paths of righteousness for your namesake; thank you for preserving my family from all evil, preserving their soul, preserving their going out and their coming in from this time forth and even forevermore.
While the moms may still have to ‘mop up’ behind you occasionally, it will most likely be less often and less messy. That’s a gift to your wife. She will be blessed and have more time to be the wife/mom she was ordained to be. If we dads did a lot more praying, there’d be a lot less need for mopping! Right, moms? Just sayin’!