I am not a perfect father. I don’t proclaim to be a perfect father and my kids know I am not perfect. I have lost my temper. I have yelled at them. I have spanked them when they didn’t do anything wrong (I reacted instead of getting all the facts). I have lost my job. At one point in time I was incapable of putting food on the table. I have been prideful, hurtful, ignorant, and even selfish from time to time. I am not proud of those occasions. In fact, even as I write this list of things, memories of my failures come flashing back into my mind. It breaks my heart. I can’t stand the fact that I have let them down. They deserve better. And despite my best efforts, I will fail them again. Hopefully not today. Hopefully not tomorrow. But someday, when I am weak, when I fall prey unto temptation I will fail them.
I am not a perfect husband. (I don’t think one exists). I have fought with my wife about stupid things, like spending on extra $20 on a Christmas gift. I have fought about how to discipline our kids. I have fought over my parents, her parents, someone else’s parents. I fought for years to defend my right to overeat and indulge in unhealthy foods that were slowly killing me. I got mad it her for trying to help me. I hurt my family by being overweight. I hurt my wife by putting her in the position of having to worry about her future if I had a heart attack at a young age. I have lied to her. More than once. No. I am not perfect. I am not a perfect father and I am not a perfect husband. I am a failure in so many ways.
I say all of this not to get you down, or to make you think less of me. There are a lot of things my kids love about me. They love the fact I play games with them. They love the fact that they are provided for. They love that they are homeschooled. They love the fact that I am always there for them. My wife, I know she loves me too. Despite my failures, I have changed. I am not overweight. I am preparing for a future not just in the life to come, but in this life as well.
But, the most important thing I had to do was tell my kids and to tell my wife that I was sorry. My kids aren’t stupid. They know what I have done. And I can’t expect them to tell each other sorry if I refuse to provide them the proper example. Too often rebuke our children for trying to explain why they stole the cookie or why they hit their brother or why they were talking back to us. We do this and then when we get caught in a lie or we lose our temper we quickly justify it. “I wouldn’t have lost my temper if you wouldn’t have been running in the house.” Isn’t this the same mistake Adam made when he got caught in his sin? “The woman who you gave to me, she gave to me and I ate.” He was essentially saying, “God, had you left me alone, and not given me the woman in the 1st place I would be in this situation.” He tried to pass the buck of responsibility on to someone else. He was wrong. And when we do it, we are wrong. If you wrong your kids, don’t blame them. Apologize to them. If you wrong your spouse, don’t blame her/him. Apologize. Own up to your mistake. And then… be better. Stop making the same mistakes over and over again.