His dad had passed during his early teen years. He processed the grief as best he could and pressed on to complete his education, begin a career, marry and have kids of his own. Now as a dad himself, he realized yet another void in his life without a dad around – He did not have a sounding board, that fatherly wisdom to draw on for this new chapter of life as a dad.
One of the big differences between men and women is that while women will typically reach out to other women for help or guidance, men will put their head down and press on. Of course, that is part of the warrior face a man wears that sees him through some tough battles faced in life. However, on the battlefront of relationships, that mentality can lead to isolation which can lead to destruction of a marriage and family.
Finding a fresh jawbone of an ass, he grabbed it and struck down a thousand men. – Judges 15:15. Samson recognized his predicament, used what he had and did what he could. Physical threats are easy to recognize and men will step forward to meet the enemy head on. But when the threat takes on an emotional or relational dimension, men do not recognize the predicament before them and often get drawn in to isolation. Isolation is one of the enemy’s favorite schemes because it can lead men down the path of self-medication be it through alcohol, drugs or pornography. Paul warned that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but … against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Eph.6:12). The call is to be alert to the forces of evil - recognize the predicament before you, use what you have and do what you can to defeat the enemy before he can get a foothold.
The young dad recognized his predicament. He used what he had - a network of men at the church. They connected him with a man about the age his dad would have been that was willing to meet with him. And he did what he could – followed through and began meeting with the gentleman. The older gentleman recognized the opportunity. He used what he had – time and experience. And did what he could – invested in a relationship as a spiritual father. The devil shutters when men rebuke isolation.
Prayer guide: Father, thank You for Your word and my relationship with You through Jesus the Christ. And thank You for the brothers, battle buddies in my life that I can lean on when the devil’s schemes work to discourage and distract me on this journey to become the man, husband and father You call me to be. Equip me stay alert where You have me, to use what I have in my relationship with You, and do what I can in Your strength to rebuke the devil’s scheme of isolation. Blast Your light through any shadows that exist in my mind, marriage and home, that I may PASS the BATON of faith and family well to the next generation. Amen.
A faithful father rebukes isolation by investing in relationships.