Tuesday, July 8, 2014
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It was absolutely awful. I can remember the images of that Korean ferry just rolling into the sea with all those passengers disappearing with it beneath the waves. A lot of them were teenagers. It was heartbreaking to look at all those loved ones on the dock, grieving inconsolably over children who would never come home again. What was outrageous was that the captain was one of the first to abandon ship. They charged him with negligence of duty and abandoning people in need. Sadly, there are a lot of captains that can be charged with those crimes.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Three Ways Any Captain Can Sink His Ship."
See, I'm talking about being the captain of your family. The ship starts to drift...the crew gets confused...the vessel is in danger of a fatal turn when Dad keeps "abandoning ship."
When the cruise ship Costa Concordia shipwrecked off the coast of Italy, again it was the captain who was charged. A maritime lawyer said at that time: "The captain is the master of the vessel. Every crew member looks to the captain for guidance and leadership. It's the captain's responsibility to know the waters and avoid coming close to any shoals and reefs."
Sad to say, I've sometimes gotten too busy to know the waters that our family ship was navigating; when this captain was "below decks" at a critical point. We know there's a devastating epidemic of fatherlessness in families these days. But it isn't just dads who are physically absent. You can be emotionally absent, and that may be even more damaging; around your family but not with your family. There, but not really there. "Abandoning people in need."
A daughter, missing her father's love, ends up looking for that love in all the wrong places. A son who can't get his father's approval or attention, growing angrier by the day. A wife who's left to run things alone. In many ways, the ferry disaster mirrors the family disaster caused by a "captain's" three tragic mistakes.
Number one - leaving the wheel. It appears that the ferry captain left the ship in the hands of a third mate at a decisive turning point. How many of us husbands have forfeited leadership when the going got rough, when finances were turbulent, when discipline was needed, when hard choices had to be made? Criminal negligence.
Our word for today from the Word of God, Proverbs 27:23-24. Here's what they say: "Be sure you know the condition of your flocks. (May I say your family.) Give careful attention to your herds. For riches do not endure forever and a crown is not secure for all generations." Translation: Take care of it or risk losing it all.
There's a second way a captain can sink his family ship - looking out for me. Apparently, that ferry captain was so concerned about himself that he left his passengers to fend for themselves. "Me first" while those he was responsible for were going down.
I'm sorry, but that hits a little too close to home for some of us. Consumed with our personal pursuits, our work, recreation, sports, hobby, toys; effectively oblivious to the leadership that we're abandoning.
And then a third way that any captain can sink his ship is providing no guidance. There are dangerous passages. There are rocks to avoid. There are crises requiring direction. And a husband - a father - cannot be AWOL when a steady hand at the wheel is needed. Along with a wise, reassuring guide when the water is rising.
I have to confess this to you. I don't know how in the world to be a dad today without the power of Jesus Christ to change the man that I am, and give me the love of Christ and the power of Christ, and the insight of Christ. If I didn't have Jesus as my Savior, being a dad would have driven me to my knees to find Him. Being a dad is when you find out you're not enough by yourself. You're not in control. You're not in charge. You need a Savior.
Today if you're a dad, and maybe the ship is not going the right direction, let this be the day your family gets a new dad, as you turn that dad over to Jesus Christ. If you'll go to our website, I'd love to meet you there and talk about it. It's ANewStory.com.