How Fathers Are Like NBA Stars

If you’re familiar with Anthony Davis, you’ll know that he was the first pick in the 2012 NBA draft.  This may have had little bearing on your life; if so, we will excuse you–though I would encourage you to keep an eye on Jeremy Lin this year.  I think he’s going to have a great season.

There’s been a good deal of chatter about what Davis can do for the woeful New Orleans Hornets.  He can draw more fans, score more points, block more shots, and especially help the team to win more games.  In other words, he’s predicted to make an immediate and major impact on the team.

I don’t know why–this is how my psychology works itself out–but I was thinking about this in relation to a father.  Those of us who believe that men are called by God to provide for their families will know that this often means long, hard hours at work.  But here’s the thing: we’re not able to let ourselves off the hook when we come home.  In other words, we don’t think being a “breadwinner” means that we are justified in being disengaged with our families.

Like Anthony Davis, we want to come home and bless our wives and children.  We want to make an immediate and major impact on our homes.

What does this look like?  It looks like, on days when you can do this, coming home and being a blessing to your wife.  It means engaging with your kids.  They’ve been waiting for you; they’re excited to see you.  Play with them.  Pick them up.  Build towers with them.  Listen to their stories.  Correct them if necessary.

With our wives, this means asking them how they are, what they’re feeling, and how we can be of help to them.  It doesn’t mean turning on ESPN, firing up email yet again, or goofing off.  Complementarian men are, contrary to some popular thought, not domineering lords.  We are those who, as John Piper has powerfully explained, work hard to bless our families, and who take the lead in sacrificing.  (Here’s a great resource on this topic, by the way.)

In this regard, we’re trying to take Ephesians 5:22-31 seriously.  Through the gospel of Christ, we have been transformed and made able to sacrifice on behalf of others in order that they might flourish in him.  That is our theological call, and that is our practical manifesto.  Our days of shot-blocking and dunking may be over (for some of us, they may in point of fact actually never have happened), but our days of leadership, provision, and Christic sacrifice are here.

These are good days, and this is a good call.


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