Monday, December 15, 2014

The Heart of a Father

I guess there's not much more heartbreaking than seeing a father break down over the condition of their child's heart.

Oh, I'm reaching...I know. There are tons of heartbreaking things: a child born with a "disability" (I hate that word) or challenge...or when something happens later in life as the result of illness or accident or a side-effect from medication; a child (family member, friend) diagnosed with cancer; the end of a marriage; the death of a loved one; when someone is lost...and there are many meanings of the word "lost,"

On this day, there were two dads...both very different, but both with similar circumstances. Both Christians, both involved in the lives of their children.

The children in this case are both girls...sweet, precious, godly girls.

And speaking as the mom of a girl, I will tell you that it is such a huuuuuge responsibility to raise up godly daughters who are compassionate, kind and pure...because the world is pursuing them...constantly snapping at their heels, trying to get them to fall.

Trying to get them to fail.

The world entices them with the promise of pleasure without consequences. It tells them "you'll never be pretty enough," or "you won't be able to keep that boyfriend unless you go farther...and farther." Getting them to question their parents, their pastors, what they've been taught all of their lives.

Getting them to question God. 

And the world is not only OUT THERE. It's sometimes even in our churches.

Sometimes it travels in our same circles. It dresses like us and talks like us and makes us think that we are the same.

But we are not the same.

"For you were bought with a price. Therefore glorify God with your body." 1 Corinthians 6:20

As hard as it is for grown adults to discern who is genuine and who is deceiving, it's even harder for a child. Even an older child. Even a young-adult-type child. And when our children are growing up and taking those baby steps of independence, which is what we want, they sometimes go a little too far in thinking they know more than every other human-being in the history of forever.

I've been there...haven't you?

You know, when you thought your parents just didn't understand...that they just weren't caught up on what life is like now...when you thought they were just trying to control you...when you thought that they surely must not want you to be happy.

It's when you think you're stronger than you are.

It's when you think you can change a person or a situation...when it's not okay right now, but we are SURE that, with time, it will be.

News flash: it will not.

"Beware of false prophets who come to you like gentle sheep, but really are ravenous, devouring wolves." Matthew 7:15

As heartbreaking as it is when you feel like you just can't reach your child...there is also not much of anything stronger than a love that will move heaven and earth to do everything in your power to protect your child.

On this day, this stoic and strong dad, sat quietly and tears rolled down his face as he listened to the gentle and encouraging words of another. Oh, how he loves his daughter. 

And on this day, there were no answers. No earth-shattering "magic" words to change the situation or the hearts involved.

But a burden was lifted.

Because there is power in prayer and in Christian community.

"Bear one another's burdens..." Galatians 6:2

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