“When I was young, I set out to change the world. When I grew a little older, I perceived that this was too ambitious, so I set out to change my state. This too, I realized as I grew older, was too ambitious, so I set out to change my town. When I realized I could not even do this, I tried to change my family. Now as an old man, I know that I should have started by changing myself. If I had started with myself, maybe then I would have succeeded in changing my family, the town, or even the state – and who knows, maybe even the world!” - Anonymous Hasidic rabbi on his deathbed.
The big picture is the home – marriage and family. Marriage provides the day to day education for a child’s understanding of what healthy relationship looks like between a man and a woman as husband and wife, and as dad and mom. A dad’s involvement with his kids will determine whether his little boy will have traits reflecting healthy masculinity, and his little girl traits reflecting healthy femininity. The big picture is a healthy marriage relationship between man & woman on display every day in the home and a dad’s physical presence in the life of his kids.
But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. – 1Timothy 5:8. Those are pretty strong words from Paul emphasizing provision. One of the devil’s schemes is to get a man focused in on a single dimension of provision, financial, to the point of it dominating a dad’s thinking. It is a primary dimension of provision, but not the only one. Being a provider for family includes – Loving as Christ loved the Church (Ephesians 5:25); Bearer of divine blessing (Gen.27 & 49); Head of the family (Joshua 24:15); Authority to be respected (Exodus 20:12); Family priest (Exodus 3:12); and, Family teacher (Deuteronomy 6:6-7). “It is ingrained in us that we have to do exceptional things for God but we do not. We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things of life.” – Oswald Chambers, 10/21.
As a man focuses on his personal relationship with Jesus the Christ and learns to love his wife as Christ loved the Church, he will be an exceptional provider for the family under God’s design. This is the big picture because healthy families will strengthen the Church which in turn will impact the city or even the state – and who knows, maybe even our nation and the world!
Prayer guide: Lord, thank You for Your word and for the opportunity to be Your representative in my home and family. I confess I have allowed financial provision to dominate my thinking as a dad. Forgive me. Your word has opened my eyes to the multiple dimensions of provision in family. Grant me wisdom to be an exceptional provider for the family You have blessed me with under Your design. Help me keep the big picture in focus and become the man, husband and father You call me to be, that the next generation needs to see. Amen.
A faithful father is an exceptional provider and keeps the big picture in focus.