“. . . With a cloud of dust and a hearty, ‘Hi-yo, Silver!’”
This is the way one of my favorite black-and-white television programs began. The Lone Ranger, starring Clayton Moore, was about a good guy who dressed in a white cowboy outfit but wore a black mask. A real metaphor mix—if you know what I mean. However, this wasn’t even the most striking paradox in the program. The Lone Ranger never went anywhere alone; he always took his faithful companion, Tonto, along. Even the Lone Ranger was not, in fact, a “lone ranger”!
God never intended for you and me to do our jobs as dads all by ourselves. Believe it or not, He has surrounded us with faithful sidekicks and partners. Certainly, our wives can share in carrying the load. Youth ministers at your church, extended family, neighbors . . . many of these people are only a phone call or text message away from helping with the daunting task of effective fathering.
The Israelites were in a battle with the Amalekites. It was one of those fights that could have gone either way. As the field commander, Moses discovered that when he held the staff God had given him high in his hands, his army prevailed. But when his arms grew tired and the staff fell to his side, his army lost ground. So Moses’ two lieutenants, Aaron and Hur, stood next to him and held his hands high for him until sundown. As a result, the Israelites prevailed.
Isn’t this a spectacular picture? The man charged with being the leader—the father—of his people gives his family a victory by asking his friends to help. There’s no indication that this was hard for Moses to do. We don’t know if he had to swallow his pride and admit that his arms were tired, too heavy to hold up by himself. All we know is that he got the help he needed and saved his family.
These days the job of being a good father takes the concept of “daunting” to a new level, doesn’t it? The stuff your children are exposed to—including ideas about their dad being a worthless and out of touch dolt—pull them away from you. And you’re no match for their electronic distractions. Even at your best, the forces pitted against you are too powerful to comprehend. Or defeat.
But I have really good news. Listen to this . . . “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4 NKJV).
You’re doing your best and your arms are tired. But the Lord, the God of the universe, the One who will give you grace and power against your foes, is here. He made your arms and He knows how to hold them up for you.
You are not the Lone Ranger. You cannot do your job as a dad all alone. You aren’t even supposed to try. God is here. And He has sent others to be your companion. Sit down with your wife and tell her that you feel overwhelmed by the task of being a godly dad. Ask her to pray with you. Call your pastor and seek his counsel. Pick an older guy whose marriage you and your wife admire. Humbly admit your need for help . . . and remember that even the Lone Ranger didn’t go it alone.