The pillars for his life and home were a successful career, financial provision for the family, educational opportunities for the kids and a solid marriage and home. The job was demanding and he stepped into the challenge accepting new assignments, moves and promotions at every opportunity. He did not realize how much energy was being spent on the first two pillars while he was taking the second two for granted. He was building a lean-to instead of a stable structure for the family.
One evening after returning home late again, his young son had stuff spread out all over the table. When asked what he was doing, the young boy said, “I am busy working hard like you Dad.” While he wanted his son to have a good work ethic, he was busted that the boy was catching his passion for work instead of his passion for faith and family.
Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. – 1Peter 3:8-9a. The pillars of faith that Peter lays out are sympathy, love, compassion and humility. Sympathy is ‘comfort, support and encouragement’ – As Oswald Chambers has said, “God does not save us from our circumstances but forms us in the midst of them.” Comfort and support are important but encouragement to move on is key as well; Love is ‘a feeling of deep affection’ – we are to love as Christ loved, that is understanding love as a noun and as a verb. Christ loved unconditionally but not without expectations of obedience under His word; Compassion includes ‘understanding, care and mercy’ – this is support through the valleys of life with caution not to enable one to stay in a valley; and, Humility is ‘a modest view of one’s own importance’ – as a Christian, it is being under the influence of the Holy Spirit and pointing to the Father in all circumstances. Peter was the rock on which Jesus said He would build His Church (Matthew 16:18), and Peter indeed built a stable structure on his pillars of faith.
The pillars for his life and home were modified: Love would be lived out as a verb starting with visibly loving his wife as Christ loved the Church; Sympathy would be given to the needs of the family and beyond, to provide comfort, support and encouragement at every opportunity; Compassion would be granted for the valleys family members and others might be going through, to be understanding while providing care and mercy; and Humility would be practiced as he learned to reflect the triune nature of the Heavenly Father in the home by prioritizing physical presence, being engaged emotionally and leading spiritually by example.
Prayer guide: Lord, I thank You for the words spoken through a boy. My lean-to was not providing the structure the kids needed in the home. Forgive me. The foundation of marriage with supporting pillars of faith provide the best opportunity to PASS the BATON of faith and family well to the next generation. Lord, grant me strength in Your word to love as You loved; sympathize as You sympathized, show compassion as You showed compassion and live humbly as You lived humbly. Help me be more like You today than yesterday, more tomorrow than today. Amen.
A faithful father builds a stable structure for marriage and family under the pillars of faith.