Chaplain’s Corner: “Here’s lookin’ at you, kid.”

chaps-cornerBy Chaplain (Capt.) David Howell /

FORT BENNING, Ga., (Oct. 26, 2016) — Someone should write a book on “burnout” among parents. It’s a real thing! One father I recently counseled declared to me that “No one should be a parent who enjoys photography.” His theory: If you have a need to look at the world through a small aperture; if you need to get everyone fixed and in focus, you will be miserable as a parent. Children refuse to be still, and they can stink too! You think you’ve got them pinned down and in focus, and then they move – always changing, exploring and growing. Sheryl and I often felt as if we were playing catch-up to the boyish antics of our three sons. Now as a grandparent, I knowingly smile as they wrestle with the discrepancy between their expectations and the precious little “gift” of God waddling the hallway of their homes. One thing is for sure, there is no way to be a parent and to be neat. I’m fairly certain God feels that way about us too.

I wonder if God designed parenthood, and even marriage to make us more like Himself. Let me explain. When my children or my spouse are “out of sorts,” rather than seeing THEM as the problem, God would have me look in the mirror. If I say to my son, “Tyler, you’re not listening to me,” then there’s a pretty good chance that I have not been listening to my Father. God often uses the misbehavior of my family to address a concern He has with me. Problem is, I forget to remember that, and focus on my children or wife, and see THEM as the problem, not me. Here’s the truth: THE PROBLEM IS NEVER THE PROBLEM. More often than not, the problem person is me.

I tell the men in my Battalion, “Gentlemen, the problem person in your family is always you, and if something is bugging you, it’s your problem.” Own it. Be still. Stop waddling! In the busyness of our lives we lose sight of God and double our efforts. Not good! If the title, “MAN” means “the one who remembers,” then we need to be still and remember that God is on His throne and we are not. What better place could we waddle to than that? Get in His presence. Just show up with an attitude of prayer and humility……and be still.

As I learn to be still and know that He is God, then my heavenly Father changes me from the inside out. Funny thing is, as I grow, God then changes my wife and my children in those ways that I have often seen as the problem. I can’t change them, but He can. It’s His way. Now, this is not always prescriptive, but it’s a good idea to remember the next time you get upset with one of your children or your mate, maybe you need to go look in the mirror.

‘Til next time….. “Here’s lookin at you, kid.”

One comment

  • I am the Facebook manager for the Religious Support Office at Fort Benning. We are sharing the Chaplain’s Corner on our page, (TFTD or “Thought for the Day” album). As part of the weekly duty of the On Call Chaplain, they are to submit a Chaplain’s Corner entry for the Bayonet and Saber. It looks as if the baton has not been passed from the RSO to this week? Please let me know if you’re not receiving the submission.

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