Becoming the Grain of Wheat (a Reflection on Fatherhood and Media)

The following post is written by my husband, Jake, to all the fathers and husbands out there. 

Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies it bears no fruit…

-John 12:24

This Scripture verse has affected me at many different points in my life following my conversion, but none greater than being a father (especially a father to three boys). That’s the beauty of God’s living Word – it can impact me at different times in different ways. (So keep reading your Bible!)

Unless it falls to the ground and dies, that’s pretty intense. Unless I fall and die I won’t accomplish anything? I won’t bring goodness?

Well…in a lot ways, yes. I have come to realize my greatest failure as a father is media. I am always distracted. I will have a free minute and what do I do? I pull my phone out, check my fantasy football team, or see how my hockey team is doing.

Now, is this a bad thing in and of itself? No, not truly. However, what message am I sending my boys when I do this all the time? I’m telling them with my actions, “hey guys, Daddy is tired and needs a break from you. So I’m going to stare at my phone and escape my life for a little bit”. Is that the kind of father I want to be for them?

Becoming the Grain of Wheat
Maybe this is a little harsh on myself. Then again, maybe I haven’t been harsh enough on myself. There is a time and place for me to look at my fantasy football team or my hockey games, but it isn’t when my boys are asking to play or want something to eat. I think media is one of our greatest struggles as men.

The remedy is to put away the easy escape and enter into the beautiful reality called LIFE. I take it for granted so much. When my oldest makes up some crazy story about frogs jumping through our house, when my middle son wants me to wrestle, or when my youngest just stares at me and waits for me to pick him up. These are all things I miss so I can check out and take a break with media.

“Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies it bears no fruit”. What I feel God showing me (and I think really our entire generation) is a new way to die to ourselves. To deny ourselves the escape of media in order to love those in front of us.

I can die to myself on this way by saying “no, I will not pick up my phone. Instead I am going to give that time to my children or give that time to ask my wife how she’s doing”.

I need to learn that if I don’t do this, my children will see it as acceptable to ignore those around them and bury their faces in a device. They will learn that Daddy would rather look at his phone than play monster trucks with them. This isn’t the fruit I want to sow. I would be telling my boys and my wife that they are not enough.

When in reality, they are the most perfect gift that God has given me.

I want to die to self so the fruit of love can grow in my family. 

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