Even though I am not worthy, God still loves me. These words continually bring me great comfort. I am not perfect and won’t be. It is not in my nature to be perfect. Now knowing this does not give me an excuse to be unloving to people. It is still my responsibility to always try to do what is good and loving.
For several years, I had a young man work for me that was often disappointed in himself because he wasn’t doing everything perfectly. I appreciated his efforts and stressed to him over a long period of time that what I wanted was his best. I believe that when he was extremely overwhelmed, he finally figured it out. He could not always be perfect at everything he did. I am not sure where he learned this insecurity because I never explored that with him.
We tend to beat ourselves up when things don’t go as well as planned. Maybe we made mistakes or didn’t try hard enough. But it is up to us to examine the events and learn from them. Then again, it could be that we just might not be capable or talented for that particular task. I will never be a Russian ballerina. I am not Russian nor am I female and I am not particularly graceful. So I don’t beat myself up for not being a Russian ballerina. I know that is extreme, but the point is, there are just some things that others are better at.
I am not worthy but I try my best. I know that God is patient. I look at the men and women that God used throughout the Bible. These were not the top of the class, spotlight of the world people. They were everyday people. They often balked at the mission God gave them, giving God reasons why they were not worthy of such an assignment.
It didn’t seem to matter to God. He basically communicated that He knew they were not worthy but He would give them the strength and tools to get it done. I am not worthy but God has shown over and over again that He works through people. People, just like you and me.
I am glad that I do not have to be perfect to be loved by God or anyone else. If we had to be perfect, none of us would be loved. So, it comforts me to know that even though I am not worthy, God still loves me. He expects me to be human, which is a good thing, because that is what and where I am.
So don’t expect perfection from yourself or others. Try to be the best you can be knowing that you can never be perfect. Know that even though you can never be perfect, that God’s grace and mercy are already waiting for you.
If you are a Dad and you are involved, or at least try to be involved with your children, then Happy Father’s Day. But many children don’t have a Dad in their lives. About a third of American children are being raised without a father. There are many articles and pages on the internet concerning fatherless children and the effects that it has on the children. Kirsten Andersen wrote an article outlining some of the latest statistics concerning children in single parent homes. It can be found here: The number of US children living in single parent homes has nearly doubled in 50 years.
In this article and others, Vincent DiCaro, the vice president of the National Fatherhood Initiative blames this growing tend on many of the problems that we have in society. I agree. If fathers are in the picture, responsible and supportive, many of the problems will be lessened.
On the National Fatherhood Initiative website, some of the consequences of a fatherless household are astounding. Here is just a few of the findings:
- Children in father absent homes are almost four times more likely to be poor.
- Children born to single mothers show higher levels of aggressive behavior than children born to married mothers.
- High quality interaction by any type of father predicts better infant health.
- Even after controlling for community context, there is significantly more drug use among children who do not live with their mother and father.
At first glance, this does not speak well of single mother homes. I know that single mothers struggle to provide the best homes for their children. It takes incredible strength to work, care for a home and care for children. I respect that effort. But, I do think that the love of a father and the love of a mother differ greatly. Of course, it depends on the background and personality of each parent, a mother is more nurturing, protective and safety aware whereas a father is more adventurous, measured risk taking and independence. Neither love is wrong, it is just different. Men and women are different. Children need that balance from both parents to feel secure in the challenges that life has for them.
As I have said before, any man can be a father, but a child needs a Dad. A child needs a Mom too. There are homes without mothers as well, about 5 million children live in homes without Moms. Unfortunately, my children experienced the divorce of their parents. In my situation, I had custody of my children as my ex-wife left the country. I certainly would have preferred that we stayed together. My relationships with other women did not replace a “mother” figure in their lives as I would have hoped. They have grown up well despite the divorce, but I know that they are and will always be affected by the divorce. I love them dearly. Their mother loves them too. She says she misses them and I am sure she does.
I believe that America would greatly benefit from whole families, loving families, and strong families to provide the core and stability that our children need.
Many are familiar with the Proverbs 31 woman. Proverbs 31 is a mother’s advice to her son as to the qualities of a virtuous woman. Often thought as oppressive by many persons, it really shows how strong and capable women are and can be. I have heard it asked what kind of woman would submit herself to a man like that? How about a Proverbs 31 man? A woman would gladly follow a man who loves her, respects her. When she is confident that he is always looking out for her best interest. When she knows that he will do what is best for her even when she fights him.
There is no Proverbs 32 in the Bible, but Dr. Bob Wenz wrote a Proverbs 32 passage assembled from verses found elsewhere in the Bible. I do not have permission to copy his work here. But a copy of it can be found here: Proverbs 32
Another version is taken from the first 30 books of Proverbs. This version was written by Jerry Woodfill and can be found here: Proverbs 32 Man
Both of these writings follow the spirit of the Proverbs 31 outline. This man walks with integrity and humbly with his God. He makes it his ambition to lead his household with love and understanding. He loves his wife as he loves his own body, treating her always with respect and compassion. He strives to be worthy of respect and honor. He works diligently to provide for the daily necessities of his family. He does not lead an unproductive life. He is generous and giving. He is temperate, self-controlled, gentle, and not quarrelsome. He takes care of himself so that he can take care of others. His wife appreciates him and he makes her very proud.
I truly believe that both of these principles are within the reach of everyone. They sound too good to be true but it doesn’t mean that we still cannot strive to attain these kinds of respectful relationships between couples.
Proverbs 31 shows a woman who is not only capable in her home, but in business as well. She fully utilizes her talents and her husband not only supports her but encourages her, just as she encourages him to be all that he can be. So is there a Proverbs 32? No, but if you read between the lines of Proverbs 31, you will find the kind of man that makes a Proverbs 31 woman fully appreciate everything God means her to be, just as she makes a man fully appreciate everything God means him to be. Proverbs 31 isn’t just about a virtuous woman, it is about a woman who not only is everything she can be, but has a man who loves and supports her. It is also about the love, care and support that she gives her man, her family, and her community.
I am very proud of my wife and I want her always to be proud of me. Proverbs 31 has been the foundation of our marriage. It is more than a simple set of verses, it is a set of goals to be sought each and every day.