SECURITY…conjures up a sense of safety, a place of protection, like a refuge. It might also deliver the idea of financial well-being. We put our trust in many things, people, institutions, and as a nation, our military. Our retirement plans can provide us true or maybe false security. Things happen for which we don’t plan. But I would say most of us spend most of our years seeking that which will assure our security.
Toward the end of my business career eleven years ago, on paper you would have said our future as an aging couple was quite secure. But 2009 came along and changed all that. Some of you know this well. It revealed that markets can give one a false sense of security. That is when you start searching deeply for what is real, tangible, reliable. In my case, it was the Lord. He did not disappoint, nor will he ever.
Evelyn, our daughter in Great Barrington, has a variety of visitors to her nice yard, usually daily. Birds of many kinds, chipmunks, squirrels, badgers, bears and deer frequent her place. Well, she does supply seeds and they are attracted. Last week she sent two photos of a doe and her three fawns. The one shown here is after she took one of her clan into the neighboring woods, leaving these two behind. The photo shows that they went to sleep inside Renzo’s soccer net. Why there? My thoughts drifted to the answer being—it felt secure, even though it really wasn’t.
Dads, what is your security net for your family? Jobs and careers get derailed; health has to be put into the equation, along with financial market volatility. Recessions, depressions, wars, natural disasters, you name it. Can you fully control any of these? We all know the answer. Our family went through three major economic reversals. The first one led me to fully trust Christ, not only as Savior, but Lord and Master. Joanne and the girls saw God deliver in miraculous ways. As the sole bread winner at that time, they naturally were looking straight at me. So I started looking straight at Jesus, very seriously.
Secure in Jesus
Hebrews 12.2 ESV describes my focus (not perfectly), and has been ever since. “Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” When our kids are looking at us, they need the security of seeing us looking to Jesus. What confidence! See, he endured all and more of what we face and will face; he persevered and now he is seated at his Father’s right hand. Who could have a better view as it relates to our circumstances? If you could see the future with certainty, would that build confidence and provide trustworthy security? Since we can’t, why not rely solely on the one who can?
Your wife and children will grow to trust you as the family servant leader when they know you are seeking and trusting Christ with your life decisions. Even, or especially, in those circumstances where things are not going well. What a strong modeling process that is. You are saying to and showing them what the Psalmist declared. “Blessed is the man that makes the Lord his trust” (40.4a ESV). And he later says: ‘I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust”’ (91.2 ESV).
An abiding father must first be abiding in the heavenly Father; through his word, prayer and fellowship, all empowered by the Holy Spirit. The most secure place for a believer is in the center of God’s will. Fathers, his will for you is—to be the dad…that he wants you to be. He made no mistake in granting you a certain wife and children. That should give you security, which will, in turn, give your family the same assurance.