Protection from a Delinquent Protector

I’m very grateful for my godly father and his example.

“Many years ago I was teaching a class of high school kids at a Christian school, during the time when awesome was the descriptor of pretty much everything. For some reason, I was at war with that general usage. I would tell the class that ‘the Grand Canyon is awesome, crab nebulae are awesome, and God is awesome. Your quiz scores are not awesome.’ I recall telling one bright young student there that I knew I could not make them stop saying that word. but I went on to say that I could behave in such a way that, throughout the rest of their lives, whenever they said it, they would cringe and think of me.

“It is the same kind of thing with fathers. Fathers (whether they recognize it or not) are behaving in a way that will shape their children’s understanding of what it means to be a father, and that understanding will occupy a central place in their lives. Are you their protector, or the principal thing they need protecting from? Are you the provider, or the main impediment to provision? Are you the driving engine of joy in your household? Or the central reason for depression and sorrow? ‘But the main threat against which a man must protect his wife is his own sin.’ The same thing goes for everyone else living in that home. He must protect them all, not only from outside threats, but also from a delinquent protector – himself.”

-Doug Wilson in Father Hunger: Why God Calls Men to Love and Lead Their Families (Thomas Nelson, 2012), p. 30 [quoting also from Richard Phillips]



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