Across the Scarlet Thread, we have a father in heaven who redeems us. That seems obvious, but to bring that point home, let’s make that personal. Parents love their kids. No doubt. We often don’t do it well. Yet, as I look across our lives, I see the discipline, work ethic, and blessings we’ve lived while striving to teach these things to our family. Jan and I seek to redeem our kids’ lives, even as we transitioned from imperfect parenting to coaching and mentoring.
The concept of redeem in Hebrew is ‘Go’el’. We talk a lot about this in Church as a religious concept, but it is not a religious idea. It is a Patriarchal idea.
One of the Lingo problems today is various agendas changing the definition of ‘Value’ to meet their agendas. It is often used by people steeped in those agendas to accuse opponents – or people in disagreement with them – of not valuing them. Usually, this is a one-way conversation that is more of an accusation.
The concept of Value is a business term that begins with investment. What comes back is a return on your investment and brings value back home. This is not a one-way accusation against someone you disagree with, making them look like the bad person with a bad agenda.
Go’el is a Father idea. A parent idea that a husband and wife unconditionally do for their kids. It means to purchase, ransom, redeem, and avenge. It is incredibly valuable in that parents invest in their kids to rescue and love them. The return on that investment is joy in kids’ lives well lived and hopefully, grandkids.
A Patriarch mom and dad team up to rescue their children. They take care of family. When one of our daughters brought us the concept of an Intervention for one of our kids, we embraced it and redeemed it with our every resource. Our actions stepped to that place where Patriarchs take care of all needs. The family is fed, clothed, and housed.
If one family member is marginalized – the father redeems. Here’s why that value proposition is important in the economy of the Kingdom of Heaven.
The ultimate Patriarch is God the father and he uses the resources of His house, ALL CREATION, to redeem his kids. Even using his own son to redeem us through crucifixion, death, and resurrection to life. Recall that God is the perfect father but look at how His kids act. It is interesting that God’s first born is Israel, but God’s first begotten son is Jesus. In John 14, Jesus speaks of preparing a place or us in Bet Av – the fathers house.
The Patriarch mom and dad are to Redeem and restore… Keep their house intact…
- To restore family to the household is the concept of Go’el…
- Abraham goes after Lot – Family member…
- Boaz Redeems Naomi – Family member – and gets Ruth as a wife…
- Jesus Redeems us – Family members in the House of Bet Av – God our Father…
The problem killing our ‘modern’ church and even our civilization is the marginalization of Fathers. We are told from pulpits and by angry wives to man up by leading our families and making the important decisions. To set an example. To grow up. Yet, when we do that and family members too often don’t like the decisions, fathers are overruled. Rather than being the Go’el, fathers are marginalized to a corner to twiddle our Opposable Thumbs.
Our civilization has fathers and fatherhood in its death culture grip for very good reasons. Taking out dads creates a Gap as huge as the one between Gen 1, verses 1 and 2. The fascinating thing is that marginalizing fathers through all the tactics of ignoring dad, dismissing his words and authority, and demeaning him in words and actions, leaves mothers alone in the tasks of family leadership. Most marginalized men will sit back, smoke a cigar, watching the Dallas Cowboys stumble around the football field, and wave as mom tries to drag the kids off to Church. She wanted to lead? Cool. Marginalized dad shuts his mouth and lets her have it, using his Opposable Thumbs to pop the top off another beer. His copy of David Murrow’s Why Men Hate Going to Church sits in a corner, edges beat up, certain sections highlighted, and smelling of cigars.
On the male side of this equation, there are far too many men, with too many words, who have not succeeded at anything hard. Those of us who have, often get marginalized and categorized into the rest of the crowd of foolish males so we can be ignored. It’s ironic that many of the men who have failed to do hard things join the effort to marginalize productive, capable men who understand hard things. What are those hard things too many men have not done? They are things like keeping a job to provide for your family so your wife doesn’t kill herself working a job that provides for the family. Then when she gets home, a second job as mom, wife, and nose wiper, wearily using her Opposable Thumbs to cook dinner, get kids in bed, wake up, cook breakfast, and do it all over again.
If you are a marginalized mom and dad who has a job (YES – being a Mom is a full-time job!) and are doing hard things with your Opposable Thumbs, that is awesome in my book. If you have not done hard things like mom, dad, faith, and job, then keep your words to yourself until you can bring the substance and wisdom of hard things into your life. As for those of us who understand and succeed at Hard things, it is with great regret that about the only thing you and I will learn from life is a brutal summary of the book of Ecclesiastes… “Life is hard and then you die.”
If you’re sitting in a marginalized corner twiddling your Opposable Thumbs, get out your Bible and find Joy in God’s word. My wife, Jan, is so awesome at this! This is important because joy and faith will be about the only things we’ll be able to take with us to eternity and life in the Unseen Realms. Guys find a men’s Discipleship group of blood-stained allies in faith and war who understand this problem. Ladies invest in a women’s discipleship group of warrior princesses who will be your blood-stained allies. In other words, get ready. When your family and friends need their Go’el, they will desperately call mom and dad. Once the crises are past, however, don’t expect anything beyond a cursory thank-you as you return to Opposable Thumb twiddling in your marginalized corner. One of my greatest joys is that God gave me a beautiful wife to sit in that corner with me and she doesn’t let me pout there very long.
It’s a two-way street in which marginalized moms and dads are not the Go’el and families do not let parents be the Go-el’ because it’s easier to do it themselves. Until the crises that come in life that require a Go’el to solve.
One more snarky whine – If you succeed at hard things, love your family, and have grace when they marginalize you, then once you hit Jan’s and my age, you’ll understand why Solomon wrote Ecclesiastes at the end of his life.