James Dobson describes the straight life for men:
“The straight life for a working man is not much simpler. It is pulling your tired frame out of bed, five days a week, fifty weeks out of the year. It is earning a two-week vacation in August, and choosing a trip that will please the kids. The straight life is spending your money wisely when you’d rather indulge yourself in a new whatever; it is taking your son bike riding on Saturday when you want so badly to watch the baseball game; it is cleaning out the garage on your day off after working sixty hours the prior week. The straight life is coping with head colds and engine tune-ups and crab grass and income-tax forms; it is taking your family to church on Sunday when you’ve heard every idea the minister has to offer; it is giving a portion of your income to God’s work when you already wonder how ends will meet. The straight life for the ordinary, garden-variety husband and father is everything I have listed and more…much more.
Happy Father’s Day!
I should have taken more time when I posted this, based on the comments I’ve received. I don’t think Dr. Dobson is _complaining_, and I certainly am not. Instead, he is calling men to live this straight life of self sacrifice and obedience to God.
This “straight life” is not tedious or burdensome. It’s _glorious_. It’s strong, sacrificial, and _manly_. This is what we are called to!
Ephesians 5 says that the relationship between a husband and wife is a picture of the relationship between Christ and the church. The relationship between a father and his children is an obvious picture of the relationship between _the_ Father and His children.
God’s relationship to us is marked by His self-sacrifice. Jesus laid down His life for us. This speaks to the way He _lived_ as well as His death. We are called to die daily for one another, and the obligation to our families is clearly first on the list.
God is glorified by sacrificing Himself for us. Self sacrifice is love. God is love. God’s dealings with us are marked by this self-sacrifice. And He is supremely glorified in it.
Similarly, men – as pictures of God the Father, and of Jesus – are called to lives of self-sacrifice. Not just a glorious “I’d die for you” mentality, but a _daily_ sacrifice. A _living_ sacrifice. God calls us to serve Him by serving our families. And it is glorious for us.
It is glorious to shoulder the burdens of protection and provision. It’s glorious to make sacrifices even with our leisure time. It’s glorious to give up our desires for our families. It’s glorious to take our families to church when we don’t feel like it. This is what God called us to.