A Father’s Strength

I have had the privilege of serving as a volunteer police chaplain for over twelve years. I currently serve with our local police department. While I serve our community, it is my desire to encourage and support the men and women who risk so much to keep our city safe.

Last night there was sad call. A young lady came home to find her husband deceased. There was not much I could do. I offered condolences. I handed her tissues. Her church’s website didn’t have an emergency contact. So, I just sat with her. Compounded by her father’s death just a short time before, this widow’s grief seemed to strangle her.

Then, I witnessed the power of relationship.  When her father-in-law came into the house, she stood up. He held her and spoke strong words of faith, gentle words of support, and endearing words of love. I watched something spiritual. She drew strength from this man. His presence, his embrace, his words all channeled God’s love, peace and comfort into her heart.

The man began to cry out to God. His humble prayer confessed confusion. He asked the questions that were in her heart. Strength began to rise when he relinquished the right to understand. Throwing himself on God’s mercy, he lifted her up for God’s comfort. Joy burst forth from the darkness as he celebrated his son’s life and entrance into heaven through the blood of Christ.

Don’t miss understand. Death’s sting lingered in the house. Heavy grief suppressed the family’s hearts. But hope flickered in defiance. Resurrection whispered victory in the presence of mortality.

The Kingdom of God breaks through on the mantle of spiritual leadership.

It wasn’t the chaplain who carried the family. Sure my comfort and knowledge of how to navigate the situation was helpful. It wasn’t the professional “man of God” who gave light to this grieving widow. Although their pastor’s guidance looking forward at the ideas of how the funeral would go, gave her direction.  It was the family-priest, the spiritual leadership of the father-in-law who brought God’s comfort and peace. The Kingdom of God breaks through on the mantle of spiritual leadership.

Men, let me encourage you to consider your role in the family. Spiritual leadership should not be hidden until a crisis. Leading in your home with a godly perspective will usher the Kingdom of God into your family in all circumstances.

Ladies, spiritual leadership is not solely your husband’s responsibility. You are his partner not his populace. Wisdom is found in many counselors. Take advance of every teachable moment to point your family towards truth and the kingdom of God.



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