Treat #18

Nehemiah 4:13-16 (New International Version)

"13. Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows. 14. After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, "Don't be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes."

I'll be damned if I let my family go down in flames in the wake of "so-called" success. There is no metaphor that explains life any better than that of battle. As John Eldredge says, "Life is a love story set within a great battle." Bullseye! I just makes sense of so much I experience. From the tactical preparation, to the reconnaissance, to the need for little platoons, to the life and death nature of decisions, to the missing in action feeling, to the overcrowded infirmary, to the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat...it all just makes sense.

I love how in this story, families were posted at the walls together each armed with swords, spears and bows. In so many homes, the mom is the one holding down the fort. She is the watchman on the wall. The men are off doing their "thing" and the home is at best a hotel. The scariest part of acknowledging these cultural traits is that I find myself at times sucked into the vacuum. I can give the best of me to work and the rest of me to family. But verses like this wake me up.

"Fight for your sons and daughters..." That is a battle cry that makes me wanna cry. I don't want to become a household name for everyone else but my kids. I don't want to save the world and lose my girls. I don't them to be put on "standby" while I crank out product in the real world. I want to fight tooth and nail for their hearts. I want to say timely words, but that takes time. I want to give that tender touch, but I have to be in touch with their world. I want to be the bastion of security and serenity that calms them. I want them to see the fire in my eyes as I fight for holiness in the home. I remember well the night I was talking to my firstborn, Kami, and she asked me if I would fight for her if someone was trying to hurt her. I assured her that I would cripple or kill anyone who even so much as breathed a threat against her. She turned to me and said, "You're my big daddy warrior!" I don't want her to grow out of that expression. I hope that she always sees me fighting for her and her sisters with every ounce of my being. I want there to be some fight left in me when I get home from work...my kids futures depend on it.

It then talks about fighting for your wife and your home. Not fighting with your wife, but for her. I've come to learn that fighting for my wife has little to do with earning a living. She doesn't feel fought for just because I'm the provider of her home, she wants me to the the protector of her heart. She needs me to seek her out, to call her out of hiding. She needs me to see things in her that she doesn't see in herself. She needs me to value her contributions at home. She needs me to shield her from Satan's attack on her insecurities. She needs me to breath validation into her doubting heart. She needs me to listen when I would rather list the solutions. She needs me to draw out her dreams and desires over a romantic meal. She needs me to set aside important things for the most important thing, her. She needs to know she is above the children in priority. She needs to know that I think she is beautiful beyond compare. She needs me to stay away from pornography, masturbation, and inappropriate situations with other women. She needs me to clean the house and do the dishes. She needs me to hug her from behind in the kitchen and whisper sweet nothings into her ear. She needs to see my rage against sin and my resolve to remove it from our home. She needs to see me cry when I'm hurt and apologize when I'm wrong. She needs to see me give up on my rights without giving up on my dreams. To this end I will strive, so help me, God.

The home is where you hang your heart or your heart gets hanged. I want people to accuse me of spending too much time with my family or to scoff the idea of a weekly date night with my wife or to wonder at the absurdity of regular "daddy dates" with my daughters. I don't want to be known for my ecclesiastical exploits nearly as much as my affinity to family. Homeland security is urgent to this "Home"boy.

Comments

MrTrick said…
What a timely post. I stuggle with these things every day. I want to strive harder to make home my priority instead of school or work. Sometimes I feel that it is a loosing battle.
pianoman said…
praise God that there are more Godly men out there who have the same heart as me. your words are such an encouragement, and they fill my soul with something deep. if you've ever read Wild at Heart, what you get out of that book is what i now get out of your writings here online.

God be with you.

-J
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