All children - that's you and me - long for the approval of their parents ... especially their fathers. It's a longing that never goes away. It gets buried or transferred to other relationships, but it's there. And we underestimate its power. Every parent wants to be approved by his or her child - to be a hero, to hear, "when I grow up I want to be just like you." As that desire grows, so does a parent's insecurity. Buried beneath the hurt, disappointment, distance, or silence is a desire to be connected to our children and our fathers. It lasts a lifetime.
When it comes to family, the only thing we all have in common is conflict. Family conflict is like no other because when you win an argument in your family, you don't really win anything. The conflict is never fully resolved. What if there was a way to resolve family conflict by dealing with it at its source?
When we begin our parenting journey - often times we have lofty goals for ourselves and our kids while we never lose sight of the ideal - reality can bring us to a frightening realization - nobody in our family is perfect - including me - now what do I do?
In his letter to the Ephesians, the apostle Paul drew from Jesus' use of power what is perhaps the most powerful relational teaching of all - an instruction that changes everything in family dynamics. It all comes down to asking a simple question: What can I do to help?
When the ideal is hard to attain, it's tempting to just lower the bar and redefine the ideal. This can be especially true when it comes to Jesus' teachings about family, which many of us have already fallen short of. Today we want to look at, why aiming for God's ideal is still worth it, even when our reality makes reaching it impossible.