Who were your role models when you were growing up?
Were you into superheros who flew off to rescue someone at the first sign of trouble? Or maybe your hero was a teacher or coach who encouraged you, even if they were a little rough on you. Was your role model your mother or your father? If you are like me, you didn’t have the best childhood and therefore laugh when I suggest that your parents could have been your role model. In actuality, they probably made more of an impact on you than you realize.
I was recently listening as a woman spoke to a large group about her parents. She said that her mother was very discouraging and disrespectful to everyone in the family, especially her father. She told of her father’s patience, and how she could never remember him raising his voice or retaliating. Her father always spoke encouraging words to everyone he knew, especially his family. She said her father was so gentle when her mother was rough that she often wondered how he could have remained married to someone who treated him like that. Knowing a little about the speaker, I mused at how much her husband resembled the description of her father. In many ways, she married a man exactly like her dad.
The truth is that most girls subconsciously choose a husband who is similar to her father. She will compare all other men to her daddy, even if she doesn’t realize that she is doing it. In the best cases, a woman will see her father as a strong, loving, honest, loyal, and hardworking man. Ultimately, she will see those same qualities in her husband.
How a father treats his wife, gives daughters an example of how men should treat women. Daughters are watching how he conducts his business throughout life, and how he treats everyone around him. These are the things a daughter will remember. A father who speaks life and words of encouragement to his daughter will give her a sense of self-worth that she will carry throughout life.
The relationship between a father and daughter will also be a driving force in her ability to understand how God, her heavenly father, loves her. If she had a father who was critical, blaming, or absent, she will have a difficult time trusting her life to Jesus. She may feel unworthy of His love, or doubt that she can ever live up to His impossible standards. She may even reject Jesus completely, assuming that He will one day abandon her just like her own earthly father did.
I want to encourage both the men and women who read this post. For the men; be a husband who speaks life into everyone around him. Give grace and mercy. Speak gently. Protect your family without walking all over them. Be a strong leader who always listens to what others have to say before taking a stand. Love your wife, encourage and prioritize her. For the women; instead of projecting negative feelings about your father onto your husband, be his cheerleader and his biggest fan. Encourage and respect him. Think before you speak. Give yourself freely to him, submitting to his authority (even if you doubt the outcome). Be a safe place for him when he makes a mistake, or lets you down.
Above all else remember that we are all sinners and we are all selfish at times. But Jesus is the one we can turn to. He will never leave us, nor forsake us. He will rescue you from every evil.
Scriptures for Meditation
The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen. – 2 Timothy 4:18
The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. – Deuteronomy 31:8
A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones. – Proverbs 12:4