I went on the best date ever last night, the 8th consecutive father-daughter dance with my daugher, Jarah. It’s humbling to see us grow up and old together. I am so grateful for the opportunity to share these special moments with her. God willing, we’ll be able to continue right up to her wedding day.
In addition to having fun and creating memories, what I attempt to do with with Jarah is show her what it feels like to be treated by a gentleman. I open the car door for her, I hold her arm while she walks, I move the chair so she can easily sit at the table and push it back it so she’s comfortable. I model the behavior I want her to expect from the boys she’ll eventually date and man she’ll eventually marry. I want to teach her the standard she should expect. If she’s willing to learn from me as her teacher, then she won’t have to carry the burden on her own. I’ll be right by her side along the journey.
We all need good teachers. I’ve had my share of good and bad, but for me, the best has been Jesus. When I humbled myself, submitted to his teaching and became willing to learn from him, I no longer had to carry the burden of figuring life out on my own. I stopped pulling life’s yoke solo when I let him strap himself to it right by my side. In fact, he took most of the load off my shoulders. That’s what I want my daughter to learn as well.
The sad truth is that many of us are too proud to let that happen. Our ego’s get in the way. We think of ourselves as “self-made”. That voice in our head says,
- I built this business with my bare hands.
- I thought up the business plan totally by myself.
- I worked for where I got today by the sweat of my brow.
The problem with the self-made man or woman is that they worship their maker, i.e. themselves.
Prideful ingratitude is the sin that got Satan kicked out of heaven, and it’s the source of all our sins. When you stop being grateful to God, you get into trouble.
“Yes, [people] knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused” (Romans 1:21).
Ingratitude is actually one of the roots of atheism; when you’re ungrateful, you start dismissing or even denying what God has done. And that’s just a short step from denying that God even exists.
“What do you have that God hasn’t given you? And if all you have is from God, why act as though you are so great, and as though you have accomplished something on your own?” (1 Corinthians 4:7).
My daugher, Jarah, is a blessing from God. The ability to share our father-daughter dates is a blessing. The opportunity to teach her about life is a blessing. I don’t take any of that for granted, nor do I think I’m so great that I have those blessings because of something I did.
To the contrary, I have them in spite of myself, my flaws, my imperfections, my mistakes. I have them because of God’s goodness and grace, and I am humbly grateful for that.