Is it OK for a pastor to punch someone?
Before anyone gets their underwear in a bunch, I know the answer to the question I just asked, and it is a definite "maybe" depending on the circumstances. Before you start referring me to anger-management classes, let me give you the back story.
My daughter was 5 years old and had her first dance recital. She had spent the last six months working hard, practicing her routine. It was amazing how seriously she took the whole thing. The afternoon of the recital, Kailee was so excited she could not wait for the curtain to go up.
As the proud dad, I was excited as well. The morning of the recital I stopped by the store and picked up some flowers to give her after the performance. Guys, here is a heads up.
Giving flowers to a dancer after a performance is tradition in the theater. And 98 percent of girls, no matter their age, love flowers. There are several reasons why. First, flowers are pretty, and girls like pretty things. Also, flowers smell good, and girls like things that smell good.
But most importantly, when you personally hand that special girl in your life flowers, she knows you thought about her so much that you made a special effort to go out of your way and personally pick something out. To most women, and even little girls, that means the world to them.
When the recital was over, I went backstage with my wife to get my girl, hand her the flowers and tell her how proud I was of her. I wish I had a picture to show you the look on her face, but I don't, and that is OK because the one in my memory will live with me forever.
As we left the backstage area, I got to see many other fathers have the same type of moment I just had with my daughter. It was a great evening.
Afterward, we all went out for a celebration dinner at one of her favorite restaurants. Apparently, a lot of people from the recital had the same idea, so the rest of the family went in to get a table while I locked up the car.
As I walked in, I was joined by another father with a bouquet of flowers in his hand. Me being me, I started a conversation, "I take it you just came from the recital, too?"
I could tell he was frustrated "Yeah, our first one. No one told me I was supposed to get flowers."
"It's a tradition in the theater," I said. "Don't worry, you'll know for next year." We continued into the restaurant where both our families were already seated.
"Well, if you ask me," he responded, as we approached his table, "This is all a bunch of crap."
And that is when I wanted to punch him in the face - figuratively, literally, verbally - you name it.
Everything in me held back going off on the guy. Honestly, I wanted to yell at him "Are you an idiot? Sorry, rhetorical question. You think this is 'crap' because she is not a boy and into hunting, fishing or golf, something you get."
Then his daughter saw him. "You got me flowers," she exclaimed. I will remember the joy on that little girl's face as much as I remember my own daughter's.
I leaned over and whispered where only he could hear, "Apparently, it's not all bunch of crap to her; remember that."
We have to remember, it is not all about us. Men, we may not understand our daughters dancing, cheerleading, drill team, ice skating, love of ponies or whatever "girl" thing they are into, but we do have to be there for them and take a genuine interest in their activities.
If you act like you don't value what they are doing, they will take it that you don't value them.
Oh, and no matter how much you feel like it, don't really punch someone in the face.
Bard Letsinger is the senior pastor of Renegade Church.