As a dad it’s sometimes hard to cut myself some slack. I always feel this pressure to be the best person I can be at all times. People are depending on me to do that. If I am to lead this family, I have to be as perfect as I can be at all times. At least, that’s what I feel like sometimes. That’s what I tell myself at night.
Why is it that I feel that way? I think part of it comes from simply being a guy. Guys are told to just simply man-up and do what needs to get done. Make the tough call. Do the right thing always. Be a man and lead with courage. Never show weakness.
But I wonder, which is weaker: trying to constantly stand up straight under the burden of perfection? Or living a life of humble obedience to someone uniquely qualified to handle the burden of perfection?
As much as I don’t want to admit it, I can’t be perfect every moment of every day. For example, I am violating one of John Acuff’s rules for pursuing your dream (as an aside, if you haven’t read Quitter by Jon Acuff, you REALLY need to): but I’m writing this while sitting at my desk at work while I’m supposed to be working.
It’s All About Motivation
I think it all comes down to pride: I don’t want to admit that I can’t take care of myself or my family. I’m supposed to be able to protect them and what good does it do if I admit that I can’t do it? How does that help TJ feel secure at night? How does that help me rest easily knowing that my family is safe while I sleep?
The answer, surprisingly, is that admitting it eases some of the burden. I no longer feel as much pressure for perfection. Simply admitting that I can’t do it means that I have to rely on someone or something else to fill in the gaps. And this is where Jesus comes in. By leaning on Him and His power, I can accomplish what needs to get accomplished and still be a good father and husband (Philippians 4:13).
Making Room for Grace
In the end, I can’t live up to the standards I want to. And that is where grace of Christ comes in. I don’t have a choice but to live under grace or I will be spending the rest of my life condemning myself and my actions. I’ve spent most of my life up to this point living like that actually. The idea of living under grace is a very new concept for me but it’s incredibly freeing. Knowing Jesus is there to forgive me even though I’ve screwed up doing the same thing I was forgiven for last week, and the day before that, and three days before that.
Grace makes me confident, not in my abilities, but in His. I know that I will not always get it right but by His grace, it won’t matter. And that’s the best place that I can think of to be.