Sunday, December 19, 2004

john mayer & the family

Has everyone heard John Mayer's song Daughters? The first time I heard the song I loved it. It has a catchy melody and the music is rather intriguing. Mayer has an extremely smooth voice that you just want to sing along with, and for those of you who hear it, sing a harmony. What was best, in my opinion, was the chorus.
so fathers be good to your daughters,

daughters will love like you do, yeah
girls become lovers who turn into mothers
so mothers be good to your daughters too.
Sounds good doesn't it? I was amazed at mayer's insights into the family. The father is so important in a woman's life. How he relates to her affects so much of how she relates to men throughout her life and especially how she relates to God. Example: the father never really pays much attention to his daughter and ends up having several affairs with women other than her mother. One of my friend's wife is this woman. For a long time, her self-worth was determined by the man she was dating. She craved male attention and love and would do ANYTHING to have it. When she finally did began dating one guy steadily and eventually married she had a hard time believing he was always going to be faithful. She also has a hard time believing God is faithful even to this day.

It is amazing how much the family influences a person, isn't it? Studies show that if a mother takes a child to church forty percent of the time they will continue to be in church as an adult. If the father takes them the percentage jumps from forty to eighty-five percent. Nearly ninety percent of inmates within the U.S.'s prison system did not have a stable father-figure in their lives as children and teenagers. Family, my friends, is important.

This is just one example, though. There are so many out there in the world today. The U.S. is filled with a plethora of women who do not have healthy relationships with men and with God because of dysfunctional relationships with their father. If he was abusive, she will search out men who are abusive thereby creating a vicious cycle that desperately needs to be broken. She also sees God as some vengeful male figure who has some perverted pleasure in making people suffer.

I think, though, that even guys can learn something from this song. We are who our parents shape us to be. Have you ever caught yourself doing the same things your parents do? My goodness...I really do sound like my dad (or mother)! That happens to each of us, especially if we deal with children or are parents. This is both good and bad. If our parents set out good examples for us to follow, it is a good thing. If they did not....well, it is something we'll have to overcome and create new patterns and examples to follow. Ninety-five percent of child molesters/abusers were themselves molested/abused as children. We do as we learn and experience shapes us whether we like it or not.

BUT, as I listened and read the lyrics to Mayer's song I have come to the conclusion that the chorus is the only thing I like about it if that much. Read the verses:


i know a girl
she puts the color inside of my world
she's just like a maze
where all of the walls all continually change
I've done all i can
to stand on the steps with my heart in my hands
Now i started to think
maybe its got nothing to do with me.
Oh you see that skin
its the same shes been standing in
since the day you two met
i bet i was on your mind
never ever any time

Do you see the problem I have with the song? Mayer's concern is not for the woman he so desperately wants to wed and love and be loved by. His only concern is himself and the problems he is having in "pursuing" her. He's not able to have a fulfilling healthy relationship with a woman because her dad was a mess-up and he is torqued about it. His concern is not for the woman: that she would have healthy relationships with both God and men. He even says, "I bet I was on your mind never ever any time." He tells the dad, "You were so selfish, you didn't think about me when you were raising your daughter! You're such a jerk!" Who is really the selfish one?

I think this is just evident, though, of all relationships within much of our society. We put in only enough to get a good return. We view relationships like economic transactions: we want a good return on our investment; what is the best I can get with the least amount of input. Selfishness, plain and simple. Mayer SHOULD be arguing to fathers for the sake of their daughters not "on behalf of every man". Fathers be good to your daughters because they will love like you do. If you want them to have happy, healthy relationships with men and with God (especially) raise them in a godly manner. Love them, teach them, and protect them. Be the father you always wish you had. What if Mayer's argument was based on that kind of logic? It probably wouldn't have been much of a hit.

Lastly, I want to talk about personal responsibility in life and relationships. Mayer lays all the blame on the father, and while the father may have caused the behavior in the woman Mayer desires, she is ultimately responsible. We cannot blame all our problems on our parents or on other people. We have the responsibility to find what is unhealthy about us and change those things if we are able. I could very easily blame the fear of commitment I used to have on my parents, but I chose to deal with it and be healed by God. Now, because of me being honest and responsible and because of the healing work of the Spirit, I'm ready to be married but no woman will have me!

If we do not have a healthy, Christian example of Fatherhood, Motherhood or Marriage, we need to find a couple or family who can exhibit that. We need to find Godly men and women who can disciple us. On the other side, we might be in a position to mentor other folks and guide them in the Christian faith and be examples to them. After all, we are a body; a family of God that needs to help each other grow in mind and spirit. We need to help our brothers and sisters break the unhealthy patterns and traits and to replace them with biblical patterns and attitudes.

If there is a guy who is afraid of commitment because of the fights he had to pretend to sleep through as a child, help him deal with it and to move on. If there is a woman who has an unhealthy self-image because her father verbally and even physically abused her, help to counsel and love her and show her that true value and worth is not determined by any man but by God alone and what Christ has done for us. If there is a couple who is dating toward marriage or is engaged, as an married couple, spend time with them and help them to see a biblical, Christian marriage and relationship.

Folks, there is an enormous need within the church today for positive male role models in children's' and youths' lives. Guys, be that big brother to those children. They will love you for it, trust me. Ladies, encourage the men in your life to be the godly male role model this young people need. Even if they do not work with children or youth normally, this is an area where they can impact a life not only temporally but eternally. Remember the stat from the beginning of this blog? If children and youth have a male figure teaching them and mentoring them in a Godly manner, they will be more likely to truly convert and grow in their faith. I'm not being sexist, just realistic. We need to shape boys and teach them what it means to be a man of God. We need to train them to be Tender Warriors, not emotional wimps or emotionless berzerkers.

In addition, there are needs for young ladies to know what it means to be a woman of God. More and more, young girls are being shaped by the secular culture and taught that they are only valuable if they are a sex object and look like the porn models...sorry, billboard models. Teach them that value comes from God. Teach them modesty. Be the nurturing figure in their lives. Don't let Ashlee Simpson or any other person on MTV have any more impact on young ladies and girls in the church. Start a counter-cultural revolution that is raising up passionate, Godly woman who love God and have a Biblical worldview and a Biblical selfview.

Fathers, be good to your daughters. They will love like you do. You have an awesome responsibility to train up a daughter and grow her into a beautiful woman of God. Fathers be good to your daughters because they will love like you do. If you want them to have happy, healthy relationships with men and with God (especially) raise them in a godly manner. Love them, teach them, and protect them. Be the father you always wish you had yourself.

until Christ is formed in us


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