Billy Currington sings, “Walk a little straighter, Daddy. You’re swaying side to side. … Walk a little straighter, Daddy, you’re leading me.” At the close of the song, the lyrics go, “And if I’ve learned one thing from him, it’s that my kids will never have to say, ‘Walk a little straighter Daddy.’” The suggestion is that the young man will overcome a bad home situation.
Men typically emulate their father or commit to doing the opposite. Neither may be healthy. Roger was committed to breaking the cycle of alcoholism in his family, to set a better standard for his kids. He saw firsthand the damage caused by an alcoholic father and indeed stayed clear of alcohol. Twenty years later he was convicted of damage caused in his own family by workaholism. In his own strength he had replaced one “ism” with another “ism”, and the consequences were similar.
Be the Standard: “Be very careful then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.” – Ephesians 5:15-18. Be careful, not care-free. Be wise in the face of evil. Be sensitive to the Lord’s will versus your will. Be under the influence of the Spirit, not something else. This is the standard to which men should strive. “The Lord does not give me rules, He makes His standard very clear, and if my relationship to Him is that of love, I will do what He says without any hesitation.” – Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest.
Roger looked to strength beyond himself - He turned to the Father through his relationship with the Son. The word of God and the Holy Spirit convinced him that being the standard is one of the roles a father has. The role is not one of perfection but rather one of vulnerability. In humility he could point to the perfect Father when he stumbled and encourage his kids in their relationship with the Father. Roger was equipped to turn from his workaholic nature and reconcile with his family.
Prayer guide: Lord, thank You for my earthly father and his example. Forgive me for judging him when he stumbled. He was a man as I am and we both have stumbled on this journey as a father and fallen well short of Your expectations. Thank You for being the perfect Father. Equip me in Your Word and Your love to be the standard my kids need to see, a standard that always points to You through my relationship with You. Amen.
A faithful father strives to be the standard in family that honors the Father.