Am I enough?

This week’s 5 Minute Friday prompt is ‘Enough’

Go:

“It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.”
(1 Kings 19:4 ESV)

We men are generally supposed to be strong and provide for our families. There is an unspoken but well understood code which prohibits showing or speaking of weakness or insecurity – such feelings should be masked with bravado.

The truth is that I have spent much of my married life and certainly my time as a father seriously doubting if I measure up.

Am I enough of a husband?

Am I enough of a father?

Enough of a man?

We don’t say such things out loud, but the apprehension is always there. Seeing the task before me, I know I do not measure up. Other men earn more and provide better for their wife and children. Other men are more helpful to their wives. Other men are more tender fathers, more consistent in discipline and better at teaching their children about Jesus.

Like Elijah I look at myself and see the truth – I am no better than my father, or his father. Some might reply that “of course you are enough”. They do not know the truth. I know it. God knows it.

I am a failure at what really matters. I am not enough.

God accepts this and He has done what is necessary to make up the difference between my not enough, and what is enough. The difference is Christ. God knows the truth, He doesn’t offer platitudes, He offered His Son.

Unfortunately the world and other people don’t always see this. Where it gets hard is when my wife sees that I am not enough, does she lie to herself? Or does she see Jesus making up the shortfall? Do my children see my faults and then see Christ making the difference?

Sorry, no answers in this post, only questions.

(I overran the stop timer today!)

12 thoughts on “Am I enough?

  1. Thanks for your post. You are right (and not just for men!) – we are never enough, in our own power. Thankfully, through Christ, we are enough, in God’s eyes. Unfortunately, people don’t always show the grace to each other that God does.

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    1. Hi Melanie,
      So true about people not always showing the grace that God does! But when tempted to moan about that I need to remember others don’t have the depth of wisdom or insight that God does either so their lack of grace is not all their fault.

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  2. As a wife of a wonderful man of God, my spirit does see the difference in my Hubby’s life with Christ as his Savior. I see the dividing line between flesh and grace. (Although I have to sometimes fight my flesh so I can get out of my own way.) I am confident that he sees where my flesh ends and the grace of God begins…I doubt he would have married me otherwise! LOL Great post! 🙂

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    1. Hi Mindy,
      This is encouraging – that it is possible to see the grace of God in action in each others’ lives. So often I cannot see God’s work in me and I wonder if it is remotely evident to others. It is good to now you see it in your husband!

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  3. Mike- such humble words here, I love your willingness to be so vulnerable and real. It’s refreshing. And you did provide and answer- “The difference is Christ. God knows the truth, He doesn’t offer platitudes, He offered His Son.” Christ is always the answer, I’m certain your wife knows and sees Him in you, and she has all she needs because Christ lives in your home and knits you together for His glory. Blessings brother!

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    1. Hi Michelle,
      Initially I had no idea what sort of picture might go with this post but this one certainly fitted well. I won’t own up to which of those men I most identify with!

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  4. I feel like a colossal failure as a mother all the time! So glad you wrote this…I see my hubby struggle with this and I am guilty of seeing his “not enough”, but I know that isn’t fair to rub it in because I am not enough either. Sure, I might be thin or pretty or a great cook, but some woman is always more of one of those than me and I can’t compete. I am so grateful for Christ and I needed that reminder that where we fall short…God has our back with Christ! Love your transparency!!! Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Hi Dionne,
      I suspect most of us doubt ourselves at least sometimes, especially with the perfect expectations portrayed in various media. It seems that men are not good at owning up to our self-doubt and this can cause all sorts of problems, sometimes horrible, violent ones, in others a gradual eroding of purpose. To be fair, I do also need to be prodded into living up to higher expectations than my sinful nature would settle for so wifely expectations are not the problem as such, the problem is sin – without it I’d be a much better person!

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  5. More questions than answers in my world today too! Sometimes I think maybe I’m meant to live in this tension of fighting trying to do it on my own. A continual laying down of my “trying to be enough”.

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    1. Wow, you nailed it!
      A continual laying down of my “trying to be enough”.
      Striving to be enough in our own strength will tear us up inside and out. To lay such striving down and walk in the grace of God would leave no room for sin so we would in fact be enough but only through Christ. Thank you!

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