Given recent events in our lives, I’ve been slapped in the face with this reality: One of my jobs as your husband and the dad is to protect the family.
Erect the Walls and Fill the Moat
I need to do a better job at building a moat, erecting the wall to surround the city, building the turrets to keep a look out, and finally to make sure that I’m not a Trojan horse bringing in the enemy.
We aren’t going to stay holed up in our house, only going out for milk, bread, and mini-carrots. I know we cannot fully cut ourselves off from various people who sometimes we’d like to cut out. We can’t fully avoid every bit of harmful media that flies in over the airwaves and through the little co-ax cable.
I wouldn’t want to live in a commune out in Montana.
That said, I can be sloppy and owe it to you and our children to be more vigilant. I owe it to you for you to know that I’m in your corner and that one of my top two priorities is to keep our family on track to be what we want our family to be.
How to Move Us Forward
It’s not about huddling in fear. It’s about protecting our vision of who we want to be and who we want our kids to be able to become (because we can’t dictate who they become, but we can build a big sandbox for them to play and experiment and grow in).
- Have a Vision: It’s up for adjustment as needed, but since we had the passage read at our wedding, my hope has been that we embody Matthew 5:14-16: “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” It might sound a little uppity, but I imagine a safe, peaceful place that is nourishment to others. I want our family to be full of peace, and engaged in helping others.
- Protect our Hearts: I need to be better at doing heart checkups. How is your heart? How are our children’s hearts? What is bugging you? What is making you happy? What feels threatening to you? This morning you texted me, ‘I’m feeling cold, tired, and blue.’ I struggled with the best response. Do I ask a follow-up? Do I encourage you to go do something that might counter the ‘blue-ness’? I’m praying to be better here. I’m way worse than I thought I was at encouraging communication. Sometimes big emotion freaks me out. I need to take it like a freaking man!
- Give us Adventures: We can’t just have a vision and tend to ourselves. I need to do a better job at being creative–coming up with stuff for us to go out and do. We need to have fun. We need to help people. We need to take little trips.
- Keep Stuff Out: This is a tough one. And it can involve a bunch of things. First, I need to be vigilant for people who should or shouldn’t be influencing us. Perhaps while keeping some folks out–or limiting access, we also need to be proactive in building quality relationships. This one is osmething I need to work on: what do I watch, listen to, etc? And what kind of attitudes and distractions do I bring in the door–am I ever a Trojan horse? I need to keep my own self focused on good stuff. I can’t control you and the kids in this regard, but I can model it and be better at it.
We’ll stop there. This has gone over my word limit.
I’m praying for you, us, and our family.
I love you.