Participants: Xavier Morales (Host), Gordon Fraser, Denry White
Series Code: AFH
Program Code: AFH000003A
00:01 A good father takes time to play
00:05 He has strong integrity
00:07 He is someone that is truly dedicated
00:12 He is not afraid to show his love
00:15 He is a caring provider
00:19 And, he's a kind spiritual leader
00:22 These are just a few ways to describe a father's heart.
00:30 Hi, welcome to A Father's Heart. I'm your host Xavier
00:34 Now today, Perfection that's the topic.
00:37 Perfection, are you Father of the Year?
00:39 I'm here to burst your bubble. You're not.
00:41 We're not perfect, nor is anybody perfect.
00:45 So today we'll be discussing that. And with me
00:47 to discuss this are Denry and Gordon.
00:50 How are you guys doin today?
00:51 Good, pretty good. I'm, feelin perfect. You feelin perfect?
00:54 Man, so what is that about? Are you Father of the Year?
00:58 Are we Fathers of the Year?
01:00 I've been Father of the Year now for 9 consecutive years.
01:03 And you can see it in my resume. At home if you ask my kids
01:08 Ok, alright. Let me stop. No, No. Of course not. No I'm not
01:12 perfect, you know. And sometimes I try to be but I've ended up
01:17 just workin myself to death.
01:19 So I mean we dress the part
01:22 act the part, we look the part
01:24 what do we do with that? Are we in character are we that part?
01:29 I don't know about you but I don't think I'm that part
01:34 I try to be that but I always fall short.
01:38 You know I can't live up to that perfect standard
01:43 as a father and I have a wife that always keeps me grounded
01:47 when I think I'm perfect she lets me know that
01:50 you're really not perfect.
01:51 So we're not perfect then. Why not get comfortable?
01:56 I agree man because this suit is pretty tight
01:59 We're not perfect. I'm not perfect.
02:01 Tired of wearing this monkey suit.
02:04 Tired of playing games with this man because you know
02:07 try to be perfect, ah this is comfortable
02:11 You know what? In fact, in fact you know what?
02:13 Let's just take off these shoes. I can take it off, Oh man
02:16 You know, Ah! Relax, Here it is.
02:19 Right here, this right here. This is what a father
02:22 Yeah. Father heart right? This is what we do.
02:26 This is much better. This is more fun. Relaxed. Hmmm
02:28 So what about our children though. Do they expect us
02:31 to look that part? Do they expect us to act that part?
02:33 I think this is what our children are really looking
02:36 forward to. When we try to wear, and I'm not talkin about the suit
02:42 I mean, of course, in context there's times when you dress up
02:45 I'm not talkin about that. I'm talkin about when you try to be
02:48 a professional father. Some of us are tryin to be professional
02:51 fathers. And when you try to be professional you are
02:54 goal oriented. You are always I gotta do better, I mean I'm
02:58 I've accomplished this, your time management. But children are not
03:02 property. They're not another client. These are your children
03:06 And sometimes all they simply just want is just your time.
03:11 Just to play, to bond that's it. For them that's a perfect father
03:17 You give them daily, not monthly not when you can, but daily
03:23 bonding time I think that's what it is to be a perfect father.
03:28 Yeah they're not looking for perfection in their fathers
03:32 No way. What they're looking for is love, what they're looking
03:35 for is just to know that they're important.
03:38 And being able as a father to single out some times you know
03:43 you've got 30 minutes today and my 30 minutes is for you
03:47 I'm going to take my phone off you know put the phone away
03:53 just so that you and that child spend one on one time
03:57 That's what they're looking for more than anything else.
04:01 What about the Bible says, Be ye perfect as your Father in heaven
04:05 is perfect, though. Ohhh. I see our side game is on point today
04:10 you know, side game is on point I'm trying to be imperfect but
04:13 not matching. You know what I'm just saying, if our side game
04:17 is on point and the Bible says Be perfect as your Father in
04:19 heaven is perfect, why can't we, what is perfection?
04:23 you know in accordance to the Father in heaven
04:25 that's given to us. You wanna try that one?
04:28 Yeah I'll start you finish off because you do much better
04:31 at finish in making sense of whatever I started
04:33 But I think, see, our human mind sees perfection as perfect
04:43 flawless, never doing anything wrong, never makin any mistake
04:47 But in the context of Matthew chapter 5. Jesus is talking
04:51 about God's love. How perfect God's love is and how complete
04:56 that He's so perfect in His love that He is willing
05:00 to take a slap on His cheek. He is slow to be angry with us
05:06 He is so loving towards us that He is always looking to bless us
05:12 as His people. And so being perfect like God,
05:16 just like we say, is making time for each other
05:20 Making time, demonstrating the love of God to each other
05:25 not trying to walk around you know, head high, you know
05:30 being the perfect dad, being the perfect such and such
05:33 because you gonna fall and because we're sinful
05:37 there's gonna be a point where we just break.
05:40 That's why a lot of people I think, like mentally unstable
05:44 because they break because they're trying to be this
05:49 this thing in the air that they can never reach
05:52 So wait a minute, if I'm the perfect father you talk about
05:59 Christ's perfection, being perfect as the Father in heaven
06:03 is perfect. So if my child messes up, yeah, they're
06:11 choosin a different lifestyle and I don't wanna go there
06:15 but they're choosin a different lifestyle than me whether
06:18 it's a lifestyle or drinking, smoking whatever it is
06:23 what is my role as a father? To shun them because I'm so
06:26 perfect, I'm so good or should I be inclined like the Heavenly
06:32 Father when the prodigal son went away in that analogy
06:37 when the prodigal son went away, to be that father that waits
06:40 with love, hopin and prayin for that child to return?
06:45 Is that what we're talkin about?
06:46 I mean, help me out. Yeah I mean for example though
06:51 let's bring it back over to this. My dad was perfect in accordance
06:58 to Puerto Rican culture. He taught me to fix cars,
07:03 he taught me how to work with lumber, build things, fix things
07:07 but emotionally, I didn't learn how to cope with my emotions
07:13 because that was not the manly thing to do.
07:16 You know you don't express emotions. But I learned how to
07:20 fix cars, I learned how to build things with my bare hands
07:24 I learned how to provide for my family but the one thing I
07:27 didn't learn was how to be a priest to my family.
07:30 Mercy. So how do we deal with that in today's context
07:34 is it a cultural perfection or a God given perfection that
07:39 we seek. How do we become fathers? Like good fathers.
07:44 Like the one we serve, like the one we have as our heavenly
07:46 father? How do we accomplish that feat?
07:50 You wanna go? Go ahead. Let's look back at Matthew 5
07:54 The text you're talkin about, the last verse
07:57 Be perfect as your Father in Heaven is perfect but let's put
07:59 that in a parenting sense, ok? So the first couple of verses
08:04 Bless your children they're poor in spirit, you know, fathers
08:08 should always bless their children, alright? That their
08:11 children should be such a priority in their life
08:15 that even their presence should always be a blessing
08:19 for their children. Fathers should be slow to be angry
08:23 with their children and not be angry for no cause
08:26 Uh Huh. Right? Don't put the children down calling them names
08:31 You know. Always lift, we've talked about this before.
08:35 Always lifting them up, lifting your children up, you know
08:39 lift everyone up. So when you look at that, put those into
08:44 practice, even when Jesus talks about divorce, that we shouldn't
08:47 be always ready to, a lot of times I, sometimes I even get
08:51 frustrated when I just, ahhh just go to your room, you know
08:56 like you just always want to get rid of them, you know
08:59 that's not how God deals with us. When we look at how the
09:02 Father deals with us, slow to anger, He never calls us names
09:08 always lifts us up, right? He's patient with us and He always
09:12 when we are tryin to run from Him, He's pullin us to Him
09:17 The more we run, the more we want and you mentioned the
09:20 Prodigal Son and I think one of the points we miss out in the
09:23 Prodigal Son story is the fact of training your child up
09:27 in the way he should go. Notice the son when all his money
09:31 was gone, right? When all his friends were gone what did he
09:35 remember? His father. If that wasn't in his training
09:41 if he didn't have that relationship with his father
09:43 he would never. I worked in mental health and unfortunately
09:46 I had some kids that I worked with, that didn't have that.
09:50 So they didn't have a father or a parent or even a God
09:54 to go back to when things went wrong. So all they could try
09:58 to do was figure it out them selves and all it started was
10:00 chaos. So if we demonstrate and be as God
10:04 in a loving way, that should be the title that we should
10:09 look up, to be loving like God the Father is love.
10:12 So that image of the father waiting for the child to return
10:20 Yes! I think it's the image that we as fathers, having the heart
10:25 of a father should always look for our children to come back
10:30 and whatever we do I think we ought to be doing everything
10:34 that we can, train them up in the way they should go
10:37 so they will not depart and have confidence that they're not
10:41 gonna depart, the training is going to stay. So no matter
10:44 how far they go, they will always come back.
10:47 Now I think the important thing is that priestly father
10:49 Uh huh, is to pray for the children every morning
10:54 Just pray for the children, spend time covering them
10:58 one thing that I learned from one of the seminary professors
11:03 in the Jewish culture is that every Sabbath evening they would
11:08 bless their children and I've been doing that for a long time
11:12 As a matter of fact I've been doing that even before
11:16 I knew that it was something that was being done
11:19 When my son was born, he's the first born, I remember so
11:23 vividly sitting down by his crib kneeling by his crib, my hands
11:29 on his back and I'm praying and blessing him.
11:32 Because I wanted God to cover him. Yes! And as he grew older
11:37 you know I would, every night, I had to do that. Just lay my
11:42 hands on him and sometimes you know it took him a
11:46 little while to go to sleep and when I moved my hands from him
11:50 he knew, he needed my hand. He would just reach out and grab
11:54 my hands and put it right back on his back. Praise God!
11:57 And I kept that posture, I had to, he wouldn't let me stop
12:04 I kept that posture until he went to sleep.
12:07 And then I was able to get up. Sometimes I was there for 1 hour
12:10 But I spent time praying for him. I kept that up.
12:15 And every Friday for devotions Sabbaths, I would just bless
12:21 my children individually. Just asking God to cover them.
12:25 Because I know they can't look to me for perfection, they can't
12:28 look to me for anything. They had to be able to look to God
12:31 to God and all I had to was to cover them.
12:35 Yes, I think that's important. For example, my kids, my 2 girls
12:40 in fact my 4 year old, she doesn't look at me to go to work
12:45 get money and provide for her. She just wants me, one time
12:49 she said, Daddy can you be the Princess for me?
12:52 I'm like, that's kinda out of my manhood. But I don't
12:58 I looked at her, I looked in her eyes and she didn't care
13:01 so she put a little tiara on my head and I became a princess
13:04 with her for a day, right there in the bedroom. We played
13:07 with toys and little things like that you know, and
13:11 that's the thing I learned. I had to get outside myself
13:15 as a priestly father get outside myself and just she's not
13:20 expecting a lot from me. I think sometimes as fathers we put
13:24 expectations as being given to us, previously,
13:27 by culture or whatever it might be. Sometimes all we gotta do
13:31 is ask our kids what do you want me to do and they just
13:33 ask the simplest things, to play that satisfies their need
13:37 for you as a father. I don't know, what do you think about
13:40 can you resonate with that?
13:42 My step father, when I look back now, is the best father I had
13:48 besides God. You know I was hard on him when I was young, I gave
13:53 him a hard time. But it was new for him. He came into my life
13:57 when I was 10, 11 or 12 one of those age and he didn't
14:02 he didn't have a father in his life and so here he is now
14:08 he starts a marriage with a child that's not his.
14:12 How do I take care of this? Do I treat him like mine?
14:17 Do I treat him like he's adopted or do I treat him like he's a
14:20 bad, what do I do, how do I treat him? And so, but when I
14:25 look back now I see that my dad, things like, he'd always share
14:33 his tithes with me, he showed me how to return tithe
14:40 Took me to a basketball game, well he never took me to a
14:42 basketball game but every time we'd go to a park, he didn't
14:45 know how to play basketball all he knew was to put the ball
14:48 in the hoop but he would play basketball with me
14:51 um umm once in a while we'd go driving together
14:56 you know, those things, I look at those things, I didn't
14:59 appreciate them because I wanted more, I wanted a dad
15:02 I wanted somebody to lift me up on their shoulders
15:05 somebody to help me conquer all the things, he couldn't do those
15:10 things. He didn't know how to. But the things that he did know
15:14 how to do he did give me. He provided food on the table
15:19 he went out and worked. He set that example and then he was my
15:23 you talked about Sabbath, every Sabbath even till this day
15:28 as soon as the sun sets, you can hear my dad in there
15:33 singin, Lead on worship. He doesn't care what's going on
15:37 how much more cleaning needs to be done, whatever
15:40 he says, Stop. Sabbath. It's time to welcome the Sabbath.
15:44 And you can hear it, and from that point on, this day on just
15:47 that example, those examples I think it helped me to be a
15:52 better father and more caring father. And so I thank my dad
15:56 I thank him. You know if I went to see him again just wanted to
16:00 tell him, thank him for what he did. He wasn't perfect but he
16:06 cared enough to try to be a father for me who wasn't
16:10 his biological son.
16:12 I think I wanna raise something here. All our children I believe
16:19 no matter how imperfect we are look at us as if we are perfect
16:25 parents. I mean, do you agree with that?
16:28 Yeah. So no matter how flawed they still look at us
16:32 in our brokenness, in our misery, whatever they still
16:38 look at us as if we're perfect. How can we capitalize on that?
16:44 And help them to know that we're not settin them up
16:48 for a fall? Yeah. I think it's important to, you know,
16:52 to be real with them, you know not saying, you're gonna try
16:56 you start crying, and you know you pour out your heart
16:58 not sayin that but at least spend some time talking you know
17:01 My dad I have a strong relationship with him
17:04 even though my parents have been married all my life
17:07 I have a stronger relationship with him now than I did before
17:10 because I did look at him as perfect, Superman, He man
17:14 Boom and I remember that I did the prodigal son, I ran. And
17:20 I ran away, got my life, every thing in the blink of an eye
17:25 everything was gone and I ended up in jail and my dad was the
17:28 one that drove up with a U-Haul truck from Florida to W Virginia
17:33 and said, son you're comin home. Wow! You know he was the one
17:37 who was there to bring me out and I looked at him, I told him
17:41 I'm sorry I disappointed you. He said, you're not a
17:43 disappointment. You just made a mistake. Wow! And I was like
17:46 man! like. Then I learned what a real father is about. It's not
17:52 about condemnation. It's not about, you need to do this
17:55 you need to do that, you need to, it's about, you know what
17:57 we all mess up. I mess up, you mess up, we're in this together
18:01 Yeah. That's the most important part, for me at least, that your
18:05 children know that you're in it together. Yes.
18:08 No, you go first this time. One thing we don't do, I think we
18:12 as parents, we try not to tell our kids where we've been
18:18 how we've messed up in the past. We try to keep this persona that
18:23 we are this perfect parents. I think we as fathers need to
18:29 really sit down and tell our children, I messed up,
18:32 I've done this, I've done that and you're going to make some
18:37 mistakes. But I want you to know that you don't have to, uh huh
18:43 you can choose a different route. I think we need to be
18:48 real with our children. We're not real with our children
18:50 so they keep repeating some mistakes that we have made
18:55 and even they go to the total extreme. But we need to be real
18:59 with our children. We need to tell them where we came from
19:02 if we expect them to go some place different. And we don't
19:06 do it as parents. A couple years ago my dad, my step father
19:12 and my sisters, my whole family was by my house and we had a
19:16 heart to heart. And I mentioned something that he said
19:21 20 years ago. Out of frustration my dad called me a pest
19:27 20 years ago he said this. Maybe even more, maybe 25 years ago
19:35 I think I was about maybe, I'm puttin my age out there,
19:37 maybe I was 10 or 12 something like that, it's just right as
19:40 they got married he said this. He called me a pest,
19:45 and I remembered that. And so it's been in my life like
19:51 and even sometimes I try to set certain goals in my life
19:56 so I can prove to him I'm no pest. I try to out do things
20:02 so I can prove, I'm not a pest. I'm the best thing you know
20:05 next to sliced bread. And I had a heart to heart with him
20:09 and he said to me, Denry I've done what I thought was the best
20:17 but I've made a lot of mistakes when I look back.
20:20 And I'm sorry. And he said, but I thought I was doing best.
20:25 This is the way I was raised. I realize I hurt you guys
20:30 and I'm sorry. And do you know like, I mean, it's like all
20:34 no matter what he did in the past, the strict years,
20:37 the negligence, all that, it didn't matter anymore. Once he
20:42 said that, it all just fused, just like. I'm just like finally
20:47 like, sometimes our kids just want dads to be the real person
20:52 that they can, if we put this persona like you said, up there
20:55 so high, they'll never attain it. And then later on when
20:59 our parents are dead and gone we hear all the bad stuff
21:03 they really did, we're like see. And you know what we point to?
21:06 God. He was a man of God, quote, unquote, man of God
21:10 but he did all this stuff. He never apologized. You know God
21:14 you're not real, you're not real.
21:18 I think we need to, I'm feeling this emotionally now, we need
21:23 to come to a point in our lives where we forgive our parents
21:28 and pray that our children forgive us. Yeah
21:32 For the mistakes that we've made Because we've made a mess of
21:36 a lot of things. And I thank God that we have a loving Father
21:39 who forgives us. So my heart is telling me that we just need
21:47 to, maybe just for one minute, just pray for some father
21:51 there that really needs forgiveness.
21:54 I think we should. We really need to know that there's a
21:59 God that loves them even though they've made some great mistakes
22:03 and that child that has been the brunt of that mistake, or
22:09 know that they need to forgive their father before they can
22:13 move on. Because unless we do that we'll be in the same path
22:17 I just feel that we need to. Before we pray, because what he
22:22 he's sayin, you asked what's a perfect father.Hmm. A perfect
22:26 father, to me, is someone who has experienced the grace of
22:29 Jesus Christ and now demonstrates that grace
22:34 to his family. And that's what we wanna pray for.
22:37 That these fathers experience the grace of Jesus Christ
22:40 they're so captivated by Him that they're so full of love
22:43 that they now have to share it with their family.
22:46 Whether culture, whether race whether religion, they just have
22:50 to give this grace now to their family
22:53 So, let's pray. Let's.
23:01 Father, we're talkin a lot about perfection and know we have
23:05 messed up. Father we pray you will forgive us. Lord we pray
23:13 that You will help our children to forgive us.
23:18 The only perfect father we have is You, so God we can only look
23:23 to you for everything. So please help us. Yes Lord. Help us to
23:27 live the life that you want us to live. Bless our children
23:31 in our homes, in Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
23:37 And that's the thing we need to understand is the fact that
23:40 we're not perfect. You know where it's crazy because our
23:46 children see us as the image of God but we have to continue
23:50 to remind them that we're not. Yeah. And we're not God that
23:53 they need to guard our relationship and I completely
23:56 resonate with in fact I grew up like this, this is the way I
23:59 grew up, you mentioned about your stepfather. Lot of times
24:01 I think we use that as a cop out as an excuse, just because
24:05 we grew up a certain way, because we grew up in a certain
24:08 culture, that's the norm. No. Take an example, Jesus. He
24:12 always lived above the cultural norm. Yes, Yes.
24:15 So we are, as the book of Romans says, we are left without excuse
24:18 Yes. We need to start rising above, as men of God
24:21 no matter what your race, no matter what your skin color.
24:25 Stop using excuses. Start rising above, and be the fathers
24:28 that God calls us to be not who society says we need to be.
24:33 You know, is it Psalms 27? Though your father and mother
24:40 forsake you, yet the Lord will take you up. I think you got
24:44 a word on that. We were talking about that when we were driving
24:47 down. I think you have a word on that.
24:48 Yeah the fact that even though
24:54 our earthly parents can forsake us
24:56 mess up, God promised to pick us up. So instead of looking
25:05 to our earthly parents for that perfection, we have to look
25:09 to our Heavenly Father. He promised that He is going to
25:13 take us up. And there's lots of parents that've made mistakes
25:18 and the kids are looking for ways to mend the relationship
25:25 who's to start that, who's to build that bridge, who's
25:31 supposed to build the bridge to mend the relationship?
25:34 I think that when we understand that our earthly father is gonna
25:40 mess up, don't hold them in such high esteem, hold our Heavenly
25:44 Father in that high esteem because we're gonna mess up.
25:48 Now when you find yourself in a situation where
25:53 your home is a mess because your earthly father is a mess
25:58 they're fightin and complaining. They're fightin, the parents are
26:02 fightin all the time and you're caught in the middle of the mess
26:07 look to Jesus man, and forgive your earthly father. You reach
26:13 out first and try to make amends and know that, man, God is gonna
26:19 bring the whole family back together.
26:22 When your father and mother forsake you, the Lord is gonna
26:26 lift you up. And earthly fathers you know we should look to
26:30 the same Jesus to realize that we are messed up without Him
26:39 and actually to realize that we are a mess.
26:42 So no matter how perfect you think your culture is
26:46 no matter how perfect you think your upbringing is
26:49 you know how we do it, this is how we did it back in the days
26:55 You know what Jesus said in Matthew 5? Back in the days
26:57 you were taught this, but this is what I say now.
27:00 And it all pointed to who? To our Heavenly Father.
27:05 So earthly fathers, let your Heavenly Father be your example
27:10 And one thing I wanna share here is that we need to admit
27:16 that we mess up. The problem is we don't admit that we're
27:19 you know we don't admit that we're messed up.
27:21 I'd like to continue this conversation but we're out of
27:25 time, so to viewers, you know if you have any questions
27:30 please send them in to AFH@3ABN.org
27:33 Again that's AFH@3ABN.org
27:37 You're not perfect and that's okay. Your child needs you
27:41 no matter what you are, no matter how you are
27:44 your child needs your presence So please stop making excuses
27:48 stop trying to be perfect. It's okay. Your child just wants you
27:51 to be there. To be present in their lives. Love them
27:55 Cherish them, protect them. May God be with you.
27:59 Thank you for watching