As a father, I’ve always thought my personality was a little Tony Dungy integrity meets Bill Belichick stoicism (Yes, two of the most prolific coaches in NFL history. This is my blog here, roll with it). But last night I embodied a bit of Mike Ditka hothead.
I yelled at my son.
Not the kind of normal, everyday, sometimes audibly-elevated verbal correction that comes with the fatherhood territory. The kind that erupts from frustration. That serves no real purpose other than a momentary release of endorphins (like I just watched the New Orleans Saints recover another onside kick to start the second half of the Super Bowl).
It was an un-proud parental moment, and one I’m intentionally sharing in public to try and make a vulnerable point.
The nature of my son’s lamentable behavior is inconsequential. He was wrong.
I was wrong-er.
As the tears were drying, I had to ask him for forgiveness. And in that moment, I was reminded that my little boy doesn’t know me as pastor. He doesn’t know me as writer. He doesn’t know me as leader, or teacher, or musician.
He knows me as daddy.
A daddy that often reflects the love and life of Jesus Christ, but who sometimes shows his broken humanity.
A daddy grateful for his Father’s unending grace, the same grace he sometimes forgets to show to his own children.
A daddy who’s far from perfect, but is thankful He knows One who is.
Last night reminded of some lyrics Nathan LaGrange and I penned as a prayer for our children way back in 2002 (three years before Austin was even born). They’re still some of my favorites:
Father forgive me, even on the best of days
I am a poor reflection of Who You really are
So give me the strength to lead them through another day
And when I stumble and I fail
Keep their eyes on You
You’re not perfect. Neither am I. That’s what makes this Jesus thing such unbelievable news.