Sunday, April 08, 2007

A Faithless Leader

I've been a husband and father for a little over eight years, now. I've learned lots of things, becoming a husband scarcely months after becoming a believer, a father to a 5-year-old, a head of my household, all at the age of 23. I've learned, first, that I often have no clue what I'm doing, and second, that being a leader to my wife and children takes faith -often much more than I have.

It takes faith to not break down and get discouraged when it seems like nobody follows your lead. It takes faith to not resort to anger or emotional power-plays to try and control others so that you feel like you are doing your job (after all, if they do what you want, you are leading, right? wrong). It takes faith to implement things you have learned about the roles God has called you to, and to stick to it, even when it looks like it isn't working or nobody cares. It takes faith to walk into battle and say, "My God will triumph," and press ahead, doing what you know you need to do, not despairing of hope and falling apart at the seams.

Maybe some of you guys out there have been blessed to always have a family that is fully on board with everything you want to do and every way you try to lead them spiritually. They are never disinterested. They are never thinking about what else they would rather be doing. They are never consumed by other things. They never leave you thinking, "God, what am I doing?"

I realize, for me, that I have been faithless in many, many ways, and am weak beyond measure. I find it hard, sometimes, not to envy others who seem to have it so put together. Sometimes it makes me want to strangle them or throw up on them. These things, for me, are a constant struggle. Faith, itself, is a constant struggle. I spend most of my days either in blindness or in a dim twilight.

I have exasperated my children (my son, mostly). I have failed to lead my wife spiritually. I have failed to be an initiator with her on many levels. All I can truly say is, "Help my unbelief!" I long so deeply for a day when the cross is daily powerful to me, when the resurrection is full of life to me, when joy and hope overcomes my soul and becomes the constant pulse of my life. I can't even express how badly I want these things.

My God, let me not be angry with you because I struggle so badly and others do not. I realize, now, that there is much of that in me. I think I envy others, but I am really angry with you. I am angry that you have made their struggles in these areas, especially faith, less than mine (or, rather, mine more than theirs -I wouldn't wish mine on another). I am a dull and dry stick. Have mercy. I make this sin known to you. I am full, to the brim, with unbelief -no trust, no vision, just powerlessness, dryness, deadness.

To think that I have ever hoped to be some kind of leader in the Church -ridiculous! What a sad, deluded person I am.

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