One Saturday evening I drove out in the middle of a Michigan January blizzard to pick up my family’s evening meal at Domino’s Pizza. While waiting at the counter, I heard behind me the parlor door swing open, and in blew the Domino’s Pizza delivery man carrying his empty pouches. Our eyes locked. He looked a bit embarrassed.
It was Justin. Justin is a thirty-something father of four. For years he’s been a successful construction entrepreneur, but apparently the recession has choked his business. So now, he’s delivering pizzas at night.
Before he could think to himself: “I’ll bet Pastor Chanski thinks I’m such a loser”, I shouted, “You’re a great man, Justin! When I was young like your kids, my dad used to work three jobs to keep clothes on our backs, food on our table, and a roof over our heads. And there’s no man I respect more in the whole world than my dad! He did whatever it took to take care of us. That’s what you’re doing for your children. You’re a great man!”
Justin’s changed face told me he wasn’t embarrassed anymore.
Times are tough, not only in Michigan, but all over the country. We financially challenged fathers can keep up our courage by considering our grand roles as imaging our Heavenly Father to our little ones.
“Your Father knows what you need, before you ask Him. ‘Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. . . Give us this day our daily bread . . .'” (Matthew 6:8-9, 11).
“Or what man is there among you, when his son shall ask him for a loaf, will give him a stone? Or if he shall ask for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him” (Matthew 7:9-11).
As image bearing Fathers, we’re fundamentally to be providers – not fulfilled self actualizers, not esteemed business owners, not corporate heavy hitters, not sharp automobile drivers, not stylish clothing wearers. We’re to be providing bread winners who sweat from our brows (Genesis 3:17-19), caring for the needs of our wives and their babies.