Hypocrite Dad

Scott AtteberyChristian Living, ParentingLeave a Comment

I knew something was wrong when we were getting in the car Sunday morning and Bryce said, “I know, I know, we’re in a hurry –we’re always in a hurry.”

His comment caused me to pause. Is that the message I’m always sending him? Is that how he sees me –as a frantic, impatient timekeeper? Is that the extent of our relationship?

Recently, during a small-group Bible study, someone brought up our tendency to be hypocrites. He pointed out that we could be full of compassion and gentleness on Sundays, but act the opposite on Mondays.

My heart sank. What he said resonated strongly within me. But what convicted me the most wasn’t the difference between how I acted on Sundays versus Mondays.

I spoke up and explained that my worst hypocrisy is how I treat my son publicly versus privately. This was very difficult to admit.

I explained that I struggle with patience with my son. It’s difficult for me to be Christ-like toward him when he doesn’t realize we are in a hurry to get in the car to go to school.  I often skip over story time at night when I’m tired and many times I rush my nighttime prayer with him just so I can enjoy solitude.

Turns out I’m not the only one struggling with this. One of the ladies in my small group agreed explaining that if a teacher spoke to her daughter the same way she sometimes speaks to her daughter, she would be outraged.

Néhány olyan egyéb, ritka mellékhatást jelentettek tadalafil teva A Cialis és az alkohol, illetve egyéb anyagok – t szedő férfiaknál, melyeket nem észleltek a klinikai vizsgálatok során. A kamagra gold pirula a fogyasztó kívánalma alapján elfelezhető. Vajon miért merték ezt mondani istennek a munkájára. Olyan va­gyok, mint egy túlfújt gu­mi­matrac, csak nem ott, ahol kell.

I can totally relate.

Why is it that we often feel comfortable neglecting the ones we love the most? Is it because we think, “they’ll understand because they are family”? Or is it because we get so comfortable around them that we assume they already know our faults, so there is no use in trying to hide them?

My opinion? It’s pure selfishness.

  • I am selfish when I steal story-time from my son and spend it on reading the sports-page.
  • I am selfish when I tell my son I’m too tired to go to the park, yet I find time to workout.
  • I am selfish when I hurry him to get ready for school because I wanted to sleep a few extra minutes.
  • I am selfish when I treat him the way I wouldn’t want anyone else to treat him.

Indecently, selfishness is the same reason for my hypocrisy.

There is no doubt that I treat everyone else better than I treat my son. I pay extra attention to my friends’ children and afford them more patience than I do Bryce.

Why? Because I selfishly want everyone else to think I am patient, gentle, and kind all the time.

I was thankful when another member of my small group shared a similar thought. He explained how he acts patient and gentle with people at work, yet on the inside he isn’t always displaying the fruit of the Spirit.

Today, I am praying and focusing on that simple command of Christ: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another” (John 13:34).

Simply put, I want to love my son the way Christ loves me. If Christ was able to patiently take the time to love me in my rebellion –even when the weight of the world rested on His shoulders- certainly I can be genuinely patient with my son when I’m running 5 minutes late!

So, when time seems to get away from me today, I’m not going to compensate by “stealing time” from Bryce. Thankfully, Christ never “stole time” away from His love and attention toward me.

Further, when I get to the end of the day, I’m not going to allow my fatigue to infringe on Bryce’s story time. After all, Christ did not allow His pain and suffering to infringe upon His self-sacrifice on my behalf.

And, in the times where I find myself distracted with the worries of life and the stresses of work, I’m not going to “brush off” Bryce’s sweet, innocent questions with petty replies. Instead, I’m going to turn my full attention to him and patiently answer –no matter how many follow-up questions he requires –just as Christ is patient in lending His full attention to my prayers.

I imagine that what I’ll find is unspeakable joy in imitating Christ to my son! After all, that’s the kind of dad I want him to have –nothing less.

The most humbling thing about all of this is that the way I treat Bryce shapes the way He views God’s love for Him. I must fulfill my responsibility to be a godly dad!

This won’t happen in my strength, but instead, it will require Christ working in me to transform me into His image. Praise God He is perfectly patient in the process –the way that I want to be with Bryce.

So am I in a hurry? Yes, just a different kind of hurry. Today, I’m in a hurry to be a Christ-like dad!

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