Years ago I visited a counselor for a stretch of time. He dropped this pearl of wisdom and saying on me..."No emotional response to unverified data."
What does this mean?
It means we as Dads can choose to live one of two ways: subjectively or objectively. Subjectivity - jumps to conclusions and “fills in the gaps” with people, situations, things said (or unsaid), and assumes the worst of the intent of others. It's the "emotional response" side of things. Objectivity - takes things at face value, asks clarifying questions, and assumes positive intent from the outset.
I'm not proposing that we should be emotionless robots...our emotions have been given to us for a reason. However, we shouldn't solely be led by our emotions and let our emotions "fill in the gaps" in the void of not having clarity on a matter.
Dads, #FatherhoodIsWar and there is a daily battle for our minds and a battle for our outlook and heart's focus. We are battling our sinful flesh tendencies, our brokenness that tugs us in certain emotional directions, the Enemy who is trying to lie to us, and the brokenness of others that presses back against us. I can also tell you from personal experience, that living subjectively sets up all sorts of unmet expectations and harbored entitlements internally that results in a lot of pent up anger. Here's two bits of good news: 1) 2 Timothy 1:7
“ God gave us a spirit NOT of fear, but of power and love and self control."
2) Romans 12:2
"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." God has graciously given us His Spirit and His Word for both renewal and power to overcome all that we face. Embrace them both today and lean into objective living.