It is amazing what you can accomplish in life when your heart is in something. To the contrary, when your heart isn’t in it, even the smallest and most simple tasks become challenges and a test of the will and emotions.
Most of us have worked with someone or been involved in a relationship with someone who was only in it trying to either pass the time, make some sort of economic benefit, or it was an in between perspective on their part. When a person is involved on a job in which their heart isn’t in it, it shows up in their work ethic, the fruit of their labor, and in their interpersonal relationships. Asking them to show up on time for work is unthinkable and anything beyond their written job description is almost an insult.
It’s even worse when you’re in a relationship with a person whose heart isn’t into either you or the relationship. A little quality time is unrealistic, an easy, quick phone call is unmanageable, and God forbid, but a night on the town is a call for mediation.
But the worst endeavor of all is when a man produces a seed and his heart isn’t into the biblical mandate to nurture that seed – his child (ren). Clearly the Bible see children as blessings, benefits, and benefactors, and expects us to view them the same way. They are (and should be) benefactors of love, grace, patience, compassion, understanding, love, insight, wisdom, interaction, and love (I said it three times on purpose!). Being a father ought to be a journey that moves you towards becoming a daddy. This journey is a path that requires lifelong commitment, considerable sacrifice, and an undeniable discipline to allow your child to see God through you, envelope your child in prayer, and deposit an eternal wisdom that lives beyond your breath and presence. It is, indeed, not for the faint of heart. You’ve got to put your heart into it.
Ephesians 6: 4 invites us to understand our role as fathers. It simply says, “Fathers, don’t exasperate your children by coming down hard on them. Take them by the hand and lead them in the way of the Master” (Message). In its most basic forms this is the challenge of fatherhood. It is leadership and servanthood. It is being a counselor, teacher, psychologists, athlete, technology expert, Bible scholar, cultural disciple, education advocate, and most honorably, a growing daddy. Do you have the heart for it?
If not, the best way to get the heart for it is to take a few days to visualize what happens when you don’t develop the heart for it, which shouldn’t be too hard. Take a walk into any classroom today, into the halls of Congress, your local barbershop, your churches, community centers, or even take a look the next time you’re at the stop light. You’ll see the evidence of lives in which the fathers didn’t have the heart. It’s not too late though. There are a lot of folks who have submitted applications looking to select individuals who’ll have the heart. Can you handle it? Do you have the heart for it?