Worlds Apart

 If you’ve ever watched the epic “Star-Wars” movies, you then know that there is a very intense father & son relationship that evolves between Darth Vader and Luke Sky-Walker. The immense friction and tension arises because as a family they are worlds-apart. Darth Vader is a villain from the “dark-evil-side” and “Luke Sky-Walker is a hero who is part of the “good-light-force”. Interestingly enough in today’s families, the war between parents and children are very similar if not exactly the same as these two fictitious characters.

As a father I have struggled within myself to “do right” by my son in every way. I desire to be a protector and provider. I have done all I think I have to do to be a hero to my son. I have not been a “bad-Dad” per-se, but I can surely do and be much better. Despite all my efforts I must admit that I have failed in one basic elementary way: I have tried to force him into my world without ever stepping into his world first. This today I can say as a father is my greatest regret and one that I am fervently and intentionally striving to correct.

What I mean is this, I believe in raising the child in the ways of the Lord so that even when he’s old he’ll never depart. I’ve taught him to the best of my ability on truth and morality, right and wrong, respect and honor. I have placed value on God, Jesus Christ, faith, the Bible, Church, family values, etc.; but I have massively failed to communicate it from within his world in his own understandable language. You see I have been “talking at him”, instead of “talking to him”. I have held him hostage in my world for as long as a “lecture” would take, then coldly release him back into his world. Other times I have invaded his world like a tyrant starving for power barking commands.

My point is simply this, as fathers, we must step into our children’s exciting world where they daily experience life. We must discover what they like, what’s “cool”, “hot” and what they’re “into”; then passionately get involved and become part of it with them regardless of any inconveniences.  Not that we become childish and negate our responsibilities as a father who corrects and teaches when necessary,  but now we can do it on their “turf” on safe-grounds sharing the same world and speaking the same language instead of as sworn enemies, foreigners or strangers. If we do not step into our children’s world, see life through their eyes and accept all their “weird-quirkiness” as temporal, then they will very quickly and permanently step-out of our boring-square-world and reject everything that we cherish and hold as valuable.

I am learning that every time I disdain what my son likes, down-talk or dismiss it as unimportant, childish, foolishness or uninteresting (while for me it may be so); I am digging a painfully deep abysmal chasm between him and myself that I do not desire. If I ignore what he’s passionate about or neglect what he likes and those things which get him all excited, then how can I ever in a million years expect him to care for what I’m passionate about or for what ever it is that really excites me?

Before I was gifted by God with a son, I vowed not to do or make him feel what and how I did when I was young, but I painfully see it’s precisely what I have been doing. So what is a true man of faith, strength and courage to do? There is but only one choice to make and one way to respond when God’s Spirit has convicted your heart of wrongdoing and greatly missing the mark — CHANGE! You can believe that from this day forth I will be consciously “stowing-away” into my son’s world as often as I can until I am no longer a visitor, but am permanently living there. I desire him to share in and be a part of my world but before he willfully chooses to do so, he must know that his world is now our world and it’s big enough for the two of us. Through love, patience, understanding and wisdom I know we’ll soon be not only speaking the same language but also sharing the same “stomping-grounds” where we all as humans desperately yearn to play-in, it’s a beautiful place in a world called: “My Family’s Home”.

Has any of this sounded familiar to you? If so, can I then invite you to join me on this exciting journey of bridging the gap between our children’s world and our world as parents? This will not undermine your authority but strengthen it. This will not show weakness, but increase it. If we as parents and children can unite and learn to speak and communicate in the one same language, then there’s absolutely nothing that together we won’t be able to handle or accomplish nor will anything ever be able to tear us apart. F.A.M.I.L.Y is when a Father And Mother Is Loving You.

2 Responses to “Worlds Apart”
  1. Sean Durity says:

    A very poignant reminder. Whether it is Ninjago or flag football or angry birds, I have seen the truth of what you say.

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