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An Open Letter to Family Men

She was blond and beautiful, with azure eyes and a tumble of tawny curls. At three years of age, she would climb into her daddy’s lap, snuggle up with a wide, satisfied smile, and purr, “This is my safe place!” And so it was.

Dads, husbands, YOU are the “safe place.” You are our protector and provider. And when you gather us for a time with God, we need a safe place. A safe place, not a lecture. A safe place, not a sermon. A very human dad/husband who simply cares about God and us. We don’t need or even want a “spiritual giant.” We just want you. And we need a gathering time (phone unplugged) where it’s safe to say to each other, “How are you and the Lord getting along?” “How can we pray today?” We need a safe place to cry laugh, sing, rejoice, challenge, share, and sometimes not to share and have it be okay. We need a time with you that’s relaxed—unstiff, when we can pray honestly, in simple sentences, from our hearts. Unfixed. Unrigid. Unroutine. Unshackled. We need a place where irregular opinions are respected, and where God has the last word. We need a gentleman leader, not a general. Gracious. Relaxed. Human. A family shepherd who exhibits not infallible authority, but a thirst for God. Every day? Not necessarily. Often? Yes. Long? No. Where? Anywhere. How? Sense where we’re at, and zero in. We may need heavy-duty confessing to each other and to God...silent prayer...exuberant praise (try sing-a-long tapes)...Bible study. But not every time. Thanks for listening, Dad (Husband). Remember, we need you. Your family.

Written by Linda Anderson, 1989, Our Daily Bread.