As I sit to write this post Father’s Day is a week away. Because of our situation our Mother’s Day celebration was children made breakfast—eggs, pancakes and fruit—and cards. It was a happy time. I supervised the kitchen detail while my wife dutifully stayed in the bedroom. There were some things I wanted to get my wife that I had not been able to get her in a couple of years; but alas they had to stay on the wish-list for another time. Reflecting back on the day, it was a happy family time even if it was brief. The children worked together to prepare mom’s special meal. Each one had taken time earlier in the week to draw out a card that was meaningful to them. They made her a pre-breakfast treat that was presented to her in bed along with the cards. Each child beamed with pride as out-loud she read their cards. Sitting around the breakfast table we told “mom” stories that related to each child earlier in their life. I am sharing this because of feelings that I have regarding the upcoming Father’s Day. My newfound position requires that I wear business attire. I have no problem with that since I have a closet full of suits and sport-coats. However I am in need of dress shirts and belts. I have talked with my wife about the children getting me some of these things for Father’s Day rather than just going out to buy them. It makes sense to do that, but I can’t help but feel some guilt in not being able to get my wife something store-bought. The issue isn’t that she feels resentment for not getting something. The issue is my own feelings of inadequacy concerning the family provisions. This presents three issues—as I see it—that must be discussed; feelings of inadequacy, lack of provisions and spousal relationships. For me this is what being the church is about; having open honest dialogue in a meaningful way that helps people grow. This is what the website that I am working on is dedicated to. I trust to have it live in a few weeks.
The first issue is that of righteous thinking verses carnal thinking. My feelings of inadequacy stem from judgments I made based on our situation. Even though there is factual evidence that I can point to that contribute to our current challenge, there is also a “God” component that cannot be overlooked. Let me explain. It is a fact that I took the family from a comfortable surrounding to an unknown one. It is a fact that the business venture did not pan out. It is a fact that the only income source that presented itself was that of commissioned only work. All of these things—and more—could easily explain why we are where we are. Each of these things had weighed on my mind, at times bringing me emotionally to the bottom of existence. However once you consider the “God-factor,” the picture changes. The decision to uproot was bathed in much prayer, counsel and family agreement. The family was deeply involved with the closing of the business venture. We gathered often praying much for direction. Even the commissioned only sales position had the family rallying around prayers of dad making sales. In short, the decisions that were made were made because it was truly believed that they were the right decisions to make. Am I suggesting that our situation is God’s fault? One could say that but you would be thinking from a carnal mindset. A righteous mindset is one that realizes that the outcome is what matters; not the current situation. The Bible is packed with godly men and women in horrible situations. The difference for each of them is the outcome—their God showed up and delivered them into much better places. King David is one example of this. In all of his dealings David stayed close to his God. Even when his carnal thinking got the best of him, he cried out to God to take care of him. In one place a distraught king asks God to create in him a clean heart. He asked God to renew his spirit. This is how I will be successful in thinking righteous thoughts over carnal ones. When I allow the Holy Spirit to work in me by creating—that is to make something new where it did not exist before—in my mental and emotional being a clean outlook on life, my life will change. Granted performing the task is more challenging than asking him to do it, but he is faithful to honor your request.