Archive for September, 2008

Samurai Father

It is not often that the structures of the ancient Far East cultures are compared to the present day structures of the western culture.  Recent movies like “The Last Samurai” and “Shogun” have romanticized the ancient Japanese warrior known as the Samurai.

 

As a Christian, I often viewed these movies for their entertainment value with little thought for the spiritual implications of these ancient men.

 

Over the past several years I have come to understand there is always an element of spiritual truth in every religion, therefore it is interesting to explore the greater meaning of the title Samurai.  For all its mystery, often made more interesting by the movies mentioned above, the basic meaning of the title Samurai is simple.  I means servant.

 

As a Samurai, the servant was expected to take on a life of constant discipline.  Since he was a man of war, his worth to the powers that be, was his ability to be the best warrior he could be.  This meant constant honing of his skills which make him a formidable opponent for those who would seek to take away from the Lords he served.

 

As a father are we seeking to become the best that we can be.  Are we constantly honing the skills of a father?  Are we the formidable opponent to those who would seek to take away from the family we serve? 

 

All too often we as modern fathers get lost in what we are instead of who we are.  The Samurai became synonymous with the Clan he represented.  He would take only a small part of his original name, which would point to his individualism, but the bulk of his name would represent the Clan, the Shogun, and the Emperor he served.

 

God has called fathers today to become the Samurai of this age.  To take up a code that is older than that of the ancient Samurai of Japan.  The code make up of the following elements:

 

  1. Love – God is jealous for us.  Nothing will get in his way.  He will protect us as his children, and as such we are to take on the same view of our families.  We are to be in constant discipline.  We must understand our role as a father, we must understand what his word says about his love for us and how our love for our families and all of mankind must mirror his example.
  2. Compassion – Compassion moves the heart of God.  Like the Samurai, we must put on the armor of compassion.  If we operate out of compassion, we will see miraculous things happen in our lives and in the lives of our families,
  3. Discipline – If we are to be the Kingdom Samurai, then we must embrace a disciplined life.  We must show a daily dedication to the word of God and walk daily in God’s love and show true love to our Spouse, our children, and others.  We must become the example for others to follow.
  4. Duty – 2 Samuel 23:9-10 — 9) Next in rank among the Three was Eleazar son of Dodai, a descendant of Ahoah. Once Eleazar and David stood together against the Philistines when the entire Israelite army had fled.10)  He killed Philistines until his hand was too tired to lift his sword, and the LORD gave him a great victory that day. The rest of the army did not return until it was time to collect the plunder!

A field full of barley?  What an insignificant-seeming thing to defend!  Yet Eleazar held a sense of duty that the Japanese Samurai would understand.  He understood the importance of not giving an inch of his territory to the enemy.  He and his men defied the Philistines, as many fathers today set out to defy the enemy’s plans but find themselves, like the men of Israel, fleeing the heat of battle when the times get tough.  Fathers must, like Eleazar, set their faces like flint and stand to defend the plans that God has set for them and their families.

  1. Honor (Obedience) – Our purpose is to honor God and his plan for our lives and the position of leadership he has places us in.   “Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else.” 2Cor 9:13
  2. Skill/Excellence/Balance – Trained to go and take back the lives the enemy has taken.  Fathers, there is a price to go where we are to go.  We must build our skills as fathers and husbands; we must act in excellence and maintain a balance in all we do.  When we feel our lives getting out of balance, we know we are not acting in excellence and our skills become rusty and soon become useless.
  3. Courage/Boldness/Zeal/Strength – The zeal of the Lord is our strength.  By this will we have the courage and boldness to know the fullness of God in every avenue of our lives.  Isaiah 42:13-17 tells us; “13) The Lord will march out like a mighty man, like a warrior he will stir up his zeal; with a shout he will raise the battle cry and will triumph over his enemies. 14) “For a long time I have kept silent, I have been quiet and held myself back. But now, like a woman in childbirth, I cry out, I gasp and pant. 15) I will lay waste the mountains and hills and dry up all their vegetation; I will turn rivers into islands and dry up the pools. 16) I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them. 17) But those who trust in idols, who say to images, ‘You are our gods,’ will be turned back in utter shame.”
  4. Humility – To act in humility we must have a grateful heart.  We must surrender our heart to what we know to be right.  Pride and self worship will do nothing but destroy us.
  5. Faith (trust) – Confident expectation, this is what fathers must show in their lives.  What God has promised in our lives can come about only if we confidently commit our own understanding, reason, and logic in subjection to God’s plan, knowing that his glory will be manifest in our lives.
  6. Joy – The joy of the Lord is our strength.  If we fill our lives with joy, our families will be filled with the same joy.  We can know this joy but we must want to know the fullness of God in every way.  By this our joy will be made full.
  7. Vision/Sight – Fathers, declare what you see!  By seeing what the Holy Spirit is revealing to you.  Follow this vision and speak it into reality.

 The Samurai father is something most of us are well on our way to.  We have begun the journey and have experienced much of the training that will make us the master.  We must realize the authority under which we are charged to become the Samurai father.  It is not a charge of men, it is a charge given to all men by the God or all Glory.  A charge given long before we entered into this life, while we were yet in our mother’s womb.

 

All who ask will receive.  All who take action will find courage.  All who seek the inward confidence of the Spirit will become the Samurai Father!

 

En servicio como padre

Dave


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