Thomas DeFrank (Newsweek’s senior White House correspondent for a quarter century, covering eight Presidents and 12 Presidential campaigns) wrote a biography of President Ford titled, “Write It When I’m Gone.” It is a unique behind-the-scenes look at a Presidential campaign and the life of a president when he leaves the Oval Office. The title comes from a statement made by President Ford when DeFrank asked if he could write about a certain aspect of his Presidency. If one were ever to write a book about my life and the behind-the-scenes episodes, I’m sure that is exactly what I would want the title to be. I might ask them to title it “Way after I’m gone!” I have made many mistakes and I’m sure I will make many more in days to come.
The lives of many of our Old Testament characters are no different. Just imagine being born into the family tree of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob! These passages in Genesis cause us to shake our heads, gulp, and maybe even blush at times. There might even be some chapters you choose to quickly skim over. Unfortunately, the people living in these crazy messes were not offered that luxury.
I often wonder why God allowed these stories to make it into our Bible. I am sure there were other things Jacob bartered for in his early life other than just a birthright. Why did God see the need to have it recorded? He also probably said many wonderful things to Rachel, but the “am I not better than ten sons” comment was probably not one of his best.
My goal is to do a few blogs titled, “Family Fiascos.” We all have “fiascos” in our families. We all are dealing with or will deal with messes.
Let’s start with Adam and Eve. Here are two perfect beings standing in literal heaven on earth and enjoying everything there is to enjoy in a sinless marriage. Can you imagine?!? My wife can, but for the rest of you…What could ever get in the way of such paradise? Yeah, you guessed it, the serpent.
The serpent was evil and obviously, God cursed it for all of its evil deeds. When reading the passage in Genesis three though it is not the serpent that causes me the most frustration. It is the man. Adam, for all we can understand from the original writing, was standing there the whole time. He watched this whole scenario play out. His silence was deafening. He stood back and observed Eve being lured in by the Serpent and said nothing. He chose not to speak.
Unfortunately, I get it. All men do I believe. We have since the days of creation adapted to the genes of our ancestor Adam. We would rather remain silent than potentially upset someone. We would rather remain silent than deal with the attitude our boys are giving us or their mother. We remain silent when we know there is an elephant in the room that needs to be addressed.
I believe we tend to remain silent because…
1. We feel guilt that it is somehow our fault.
“Had I been around more when they were younger they wouldn’t be this way.” “Had I not been fired from my job my wife wouldn’t have to run up these credit card debts.” We take the blame for the way things are instead of leading in the way they should be. It is time to stop looking at the review mirror and start focusing on where you need to lead!
2. We feel inadequate to say anything.
“I am not a pastor.” “I really don’t know much of the Bible.” “My kids know more Bible than I ever will.” “My wife is much more spiritual than I am.” Despite who you think you are, God has ordained you as the leader in your home. It is not easy. You will make mistakes. Even still, God promises to give you the wisdom to do this if you ask (James 1:5). God has put you where you are and where you are needed. You are as adequate as you ever will be in Christ.
3. Calm seas are better than treacherous waves.
“I just want to enjoy my night.” “If I say something it will ruin our weekend.” “I know she is mad, but she will get over it.” “I know that Jamie is starting trouble, but if I say something others will really start talking!” The waves are going to come regardless, but it is never safe to turn your back to the sea! Face the waves! Hit the situation head-on. The longer it has to swell the greater the damage can be.
Stand up and speak up men! Be the person God has called you to be. Take the lead! May we no longer watch as others fall around us.
If you need some counsel or coaching in this area feel free to reach out to me.