Monday, April 03, 2006


Burn the Ships: why pile on the load?

A friend pointed out "Burn the Ships" and at first I thought it was a good article for fathers but the more I thought about it, the more I think that the problem is misplaced. Men don't need more guilt dump on us to become better fathers.

Yes, we men are selfish and it is easy for us men to be self consumed but I don't think the problem of men today is the lack of commitment or enough sense of duty.

I think the problem of American fatherhood is that we are thrown into a rut from school on and everywhere we turn, we just get piled on more duties. That is, we are:
  1. trained to follow willingingly (the purpose of school and college)
  2. become an employee and continue to follow willingingly
  3. get in debt for cars and homes and other junk and turn into slaves (Prov 22:7)
  4. to stay at the job, one has to spend extra hours at work
  5. after being spent by the job, it's hard to have room for children and wife, especially if she's nagging about this or that
  6. civic responsibilities everything from national to local politics and even HOA for some folks.
  7. church is more of the same: follow the leaders (pastors and teachers), and do more for the church.
Duties at work, duties at home, duties at church, duties at the polls, duties to the bank (credit cards, loans, mortgages). With so much duties on the man's shoulder, it's no wonder he wants to escape. All work and no play? Something is wrong with this picture and it's not hard to see why so many men become self absorbed with their hobbies or watching sports or go drinking with his buddies.

Jesus Christ had a different approach. He said:
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matt 11:28-30
Note that in His time, the religious leaders were piling on the rules, the Romans had their taxation and their political thumb screws and I'm sure at home the wives weren't a happy lot either. Jesus in contrast offers us renewal, freedom and a life of empowerment:
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10
And what is this life that Jesus promised? Life of empowerment is what I believe He had in mind rather than life of more duties. What exactly is this life is what I hope to explore in my blog over time. Stay tuned!


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