Updated: Dec 15, 2021
Everything hits different when you become a parent. Since having my daughter, any commercial, movie, or story about children (especially little girls) can bring me to tears. Nothing has helped me understand Father God more than the moment I became a dad.
Likewise, there are a myriad of scriptures which impact me deeper than before. For instance, today I was reading Lamentations and I came across this heartbreaking verse:
"Our fathers sinned, and are no more; and we bear their iniquities." - Lamentations 5:7
I'm sure I would have skipped right over this verse earlier in life, but today it hurt. Time and time again we convince ourselves that sin is personal and that certain sins don't affect those around us.
Sin is, and always has been, communal. Its shrapnel is not solely internal. We need fathers who will carry the burden of Father God and become His representation to their family, friends, and community. We need men who refuse to allow society's scalpel of judgement to emasculate their godliness, strength, authority, and manliness.
We are not perfect. We make our share of mistakes. But God did not abandon the fathers of Israel and Judah because of a single misstep. No, it was a pattern of disregard, apathy, and pride. Sin is communal, it is repetitive, and apparently, it's generational. The father's were no more and the children were left to bear their iniquities.
To pass on my sin, indiscretions, poor judgments, and shortcomings to my daughter would break my heart. How would a good father ever commit to doing such a thing?
Being a man is hard enough as we often shoulder struggles we refuse to share, and while our manliness may be frustrating to some, it is still necessary. While my wife's womanliness may be frustrating to a man, it's still necessary. I often drop this line from Rocky on my wife, "I never asked you to stop being a woman, so please don't ask me to stop being a man." Ah, the never-ending wisdom of Rocky Balboa.
Be a man, but more importantly, be a Godly man. Be a man who invokes God's favor, not His wrath. God's going to never ask you to stop being a man, He made you that way, and perhaps in doing so you'll pass on blessings to your children, not iniquity.