Nowhere do I feel more inadequate than my own home. No matter what I do, how much I help, how much money I earn, it never feels like enough. Do I have what it takes to see this thing through? To be a good husband and father?
When the water bill is double this month for some crazy reason, the kids are screaming at each other, and my wife says she desperately needs a date night, it doesn’t feel as if there is enough of me to go around. I’m needed for money, referee skills, and love that is in short supply at this point.
Enter the comparison game.
The world of social media only exacerbates how woefully under talented we all are in our lives as husbands and dads. We aren’t as fun-loving and carefree as that dad. Our job will never take us on a vacation like that family. That guy’s wife probably goes shopping all the time gleefully whipping out the credit card with no concern about how it will be paid.
Between the Facebook friends flaunting their perfect lives and our wives and kids taxing us financially and emotionally, it’s easy to feel like we’re never going to make it. We’re exhausted at home and work looking at the happy energetic lives of people on Instagram that we think are in better situations than us; people we believe are “making it.”
Those people are a resource in helping you on the journey of being a family man.
If you look around I promise there is someone, most likely multiple someones, that have been through whatever is overwhelming you right now. Whether you need encouragement in enduring the job you hate, you need a pipe fixed on the leaky shower, or you need to know how to keep your love on in the midst of what your family requires from you, they’ve experienced the hardships you’re facing. God placed them there to bring the wisdom into your life that you need and they have.
We weren’t designed to do this alone.
Look at everyone you’re connected to regardless of how well you know them. You’re probably following them on social media. Think beyond your close friends and family. What about people you know at work? The friend of a Facebook friend that you met that one time or acquaintances from church? There’s even that mom you chatted with in the drop-off line at school who said her husband was a carpenter. You probably have some sort of connection, even if it’s distant, to a person that can help you with anything you encounter.
Comparing ourselves to all these people and the snapshots of their lives is the perfect recipe for slowly winnowing away our self-confidence and belief that making it can be made. But if they in fact are making it, then they have the skills to help us make it too.
We will always feel inadequate when we compare ourselves to our community. We will never be inadequate when we live in community.
The point we realize the resources we’re connected to will be the point we realize we’re going to make it. It just can’t be alone.