Several weeks ago, my children and I were given the most beautiful visual of family. It was a divine glimpse that I easily would have missed. Thankfully my kids, because they are still overtaken with such wonder, did not let me miss it and sparked some sweet conversation about what God’s intentions of family are to look like. I know God gave me this moment to capture in my mind so I snapped at picture of it as well.
It was a family of Canadian geese who stayed right around us for the longest time. We watched and talked until we exhausted all possible analogies and comparisons of what they had to teach us. This is how they pretty much conducted life- Daddy out front protecting and on full alert. Mama followed, staying very close to him (slightly to the side and just a little behind) and nurturing and guarding the babies. 3 little ducklings following, mimicked and never worried.
They weren’t doing anything out of the ordinary. They were just doing their deal. Daddy wasn’t mad that he had to always lead. He just led in visible confidence. Mama wasn’t nagging or trying to be the boss. She just let him lead and trusted him. Kids weren’t whining, complaining, bucking the system, no; they just followed and knew they were cared for. These geese were living marriage and family in simple purity.
Now, hang with me and don’t get bent out of shape. The complications of sin in this world happen, and I know that the analogy can break down quickly!! But people. It was so interesting and so humbling to me. It was so convicting to me. They are geese….and yet had greater perspective and instincts than me on any given day. I know that families all look different. Some moms work, some stay at home. Some dads have flexible jobs, some dads practically kill themselves to protect and provide. Some moms are the breadwinner and dad has more domestic responsibilities. I know, I know. You cannot put families in a box. They all operate differently and what works for mine may not work for yours and vice versa. But this is what I know from God’s word; no matter what the designated roles look like down to the specifics, Fathers provide, protect and lead. Mamas, submissively we LET them lead and yield under the comfort of that provision and protection. And children, follow and obey. Those are biblical standards. And they work! They work in people and they worked in these geese.
I have thought about these geese for weeks now. My man, the father of my children is soooooo much like this Daddy goose. He is a protector and provider down to his very core. He would do anything for me or my children even if his life was on the line. ANYTHING. I know this about him. He’s far from perfect, as is his wife, but He protects and provides each day as if his family’s life depended on it…because we do. So now that I’ve established that, let me confess what I’m still prone to do….I complain. I complain that I need his help, that he’s not tender enough, he’s not communicating with me enough, he’s too immersed in his livelihood (which is his life calling), etc, etc, etc… You name it and I’ve complained about it. And I am learning every day that this is one of Satan’s attacks on not just my family, but yours as well! To convince us that our men would be much improved if they were more like, well….more like women. Ladies, (and I point the finger at myself) we have got to let our men be MEN. They work long hours to provide for you and your kids?? Praise them and make them feel worth it. They come home late and exhausted from protecting and providing?? Praise them and make home a sweet place to come home to. They need breaks and time to re-group?? GIVE it to them with no strings attached. They don’t always deal with kids the way you would?? They are the dad- do not intervene.
Good grief- I know its hard. But our men deserve it. They are made to be men and God MADE them very specifically and intentionally this way. He never asked for our help or input on how to “improve” them. It’s because HE made them the way He wants them to be! We need to not just let them be but encourage them to be these things. Sometimes, we as wives can quickly become their greatest liability rather than their greatest asset. As Proverbs 21:9 says, “Better to live on the corner of the roof than to share a house with a nagging wife.” Geez…hard to hear.
I need to celebrate my guy just because he’s a guy and he protects and provides for me. If he goes the extra mile and goes beyond?? Awesome. That’s great. But if he doesn’t and he comes home worn out and spent then I need to celebrate it all the more because he’s doing what he was created to do. My children need to know the value of this, and I need to know the value of this. It’s hard being a Daddy. And I am so thankful that he thinks we are worth the hard work and sacrifice. It makes my life and the lives of my children rich and blessed.
The godly walk with integrity and hard work; blessed are their children who follow them. -Proverbs 20:7