This is a piece I wrote a few years back. It is longer then normal. However, I hope is that you will find some helpful wisdom for your situation today.
Men who have the desire to apply for the position of Dad need tenacity and dedication. The most qualified and successful are those capable of developing a wise teachable heart. When interviewed, a prospective candidate must be willing to discuss what their vision and long range plans. Some of the regular responsibilities will include teaching and being an example at every given moment as well as providing protection and financial security for whatever circumstance may be presented. In return, the family, wife included, will graciously consent to do any on the job training without the prospective reviewing of our company’s official instruction manual. This pert, for most applicants, seems to be the final incentive to finish the application process. When the fully qualified Dad is placed, it will be advantageous for his to begin by soliciting help and support from his new family. The following is my side of the story about the Dad who was placed in our family.
In the beginning, when our new Dad arrived with the baby, everything was fine. I settled in to becoming the typical wife and mother that my friends and family had instructed me to be. You may recognize the drill. Whenever the Dad made what I considered a questionable decision about anything, I immediately went to the sulky but subtle begging routine. Afterwards, when increased whining became ineffective, I continue on with a full-blown nagging mode. After all, it was the Dad that was being too hardheaded to see that I knew the best way to do most everything. At first, the Dad wanted to make a good impression so he was cordial but that gracious resolve quickly withered. I had a hard time understanding the necessity for the Dad having this new and growing negative demeanor. After all, I was doing the same thing I had always done. Nevertheless, my Dad on longer wanted to cooperate with my continual lack of trust in his abilities to handle his job.
After many cold-hearted but heated consultations, I decided this Dad was ill-suited for our particular family and went to file for a replacement at the local office. The branch manager reassured me the Dad and I could eventually work out the kinks through cooperation and communication. Ultimately, the manager would not take no for an answer and suggest I contact their corporate office for any further advice. Feeling defeated, I went home and wrote the most righteously profound sounding letter to the corporate office that I could construct. After I mailed it, a sense of renewed strength and hope sprang forth. I just knew my problems with this obviously delinquent Dad would be solved.
Within days, I received their reply. I excitedly tried to discern their letter until it plainly accused me of being a major part of the problem. Hence, I felt justified in disregarding the rest of that despicable letter. What?! Me the problem?! There must be some mistake! Growing more indignant, I contacted the corporate headquarters personally and informed them of the horrible mix up. No mix-ups here was their gracious but confident reply. When my frantic plea for an easier way was voiced, they reassured me of their extensive experience in dealing with situations just like mine. In the end, the recommendations remained the same. Go back to their original letter, study it, and practice what I learned from its contents. At the first natural conclusion, I didn’t hear a “click” but I sure thought I felt one.
Now, in desperation, I resigned myself to reading the entire corporate letter and studying its contents. Eventually, I naturally demonstrated the suggestion of respecting the Dad position and the authority, which had been given to him by the corporate office when he was first assigned. To my surprise, the whole family began to experience greater productivity. I realized the Dad needed to be the CEO of our family operation while I needed to develop my position as the heart. The attitudes of the heart were a vital determiner of the family’s overall success as well as the possibilities for future expansions.
I soon discovered valuable productive secrets. Remember the overlooked official instruction manual? The secrets in that book started to unfold when I read and studied the section called I Peter 3:1-2. I learned in dealing with a Dad, I needed one of the Biblical zippers designed and promoted by the corporate office. After mine was installed and began functioning properly, I became amazed at how it helped my mind to reorganize and dispose of any questionable hidden motives or agendas, any unclean thoughts in the storage areas, and finally any unnecessary or hurtful words I used for emphasizing in our family meetings. As my strategy continued to change, the positive creativity for genuinely wise solutions in our unique situation increased steadily. And yes, if you have to know, I do admit to some manipulation of my Biblical zipper on occasion but I always got the same downward-spiraling as a result. The normally sooth running zipper stuck forcing me to go back to square one and begin again.
Along with the fully functional zipper, I also concentrated on how to deal with the Dad’s questionable decisions. Before, when a questionable choice was made, I would lose sight of the overall family’s goal of unity. I became impatient and discouraged with the progress the family was making. I thought myself wise when I would decide to handle situations on my own without consulting the corporate office first. Now, I have realized those at the corporate office have plenty of time and patience to handle any thing I send their way for discussion and approval. My family no longer has to plummet into needless disasters and costly delays.
In essences, what did I learn through my own experience with a Dad? First and foremost, I can never be the Dad’s Holy Spirit. My position as a wife was never designed for that kind of stress. My ability to change others brings only temporal results at best while God’s changes are eternal. Next, when I insisted on my wisdom, I ran the risk of dissolving my family permanently. When I had a problem or question about God’s plan or procedures, I learned to honestly communicate and cooperate with God to know how, when, and where to communicate with the Dad. Next, I learned that a commitment to prayer and study of the scriptures were never optional. Searching for wisdom and learning humility were just a part of the process. If there was an easier way, I assure you, I would have found it. However, the good news for those who remain faithful to the search, find solutions to the problems they face in dealing with the position of Dad.