“My dad was my hero, he could do no wrong.” This was a line in the story of a 29 year old man. He was recounting to me about learning at the age of 16 that his pastor father had to resign from the ministry because of moral sin.
The shattered image of his hero brought about a host of questions and personal struggles that greatly effected his own journey. He went on to tell me that he wished that his father had been a little more forthright with him in his own struggles.
The conversation brought back a flood of memories as I remember being confronted by my then 20 year old son. “Twenty years of respect is gone.” He went on to tell me that even as a college baseball player, he would ask himself, “What would my dad think?” when he made choices both on and off of the baseball diamond.
The mistake that this man’s father and I both made was to leave out a key component of the gospel when it came to raising our children. We did not teach them how desperately we needed the good news of Jesus because we were sinfully flawed.
Sons in particular need to know that when they face temptation or when they live out according to a sinful heart, that they are not in uncharted waters. Growing up in a pastor’s home does not make them any less inclined to sin. They, like their fathers, are sinful men who can cling only to the good news of the gospel to truly live.
I’m not suggesting that fathers should not be heroes to their children. What I am suggesting is that fathers should communicate that the ultimate hero is Jesus. He has accomplished the heroic feats. How can living a sinless life, giving yourself over to a sacrificial death and being brought back to life to reign forever and ever be any more heroic?
Fathers can and should be lesser heroes. By modeling and teaching a life of repentance and faith, their children will have a clearer picture of human heroism. It is a heroism that takes no glory but reflects the glory to the true hero.
(Originally posted at Gospel Husbands)