We LOVED the movie Saving Mr. Banks. Loved it! Emma Thompson is my personal favorite, and Tom Hanks is always good, too.
I didn’t see Mary Poppins until I was in college. My friend summed up the story: “It’s about the dad’s redemption.” Not the magical nanny who comes to manage these children, nor the children who need to be managed, but the dad’s redemption. I love that.
The screentime and singable scenes go to Mary Poppins, the chimneysweep, and the children. But the backbone of the family is the father, and change in him restores everyone.
Fathers impact their family in profound ways. Pay attention to stories of family restoration. They don’t happen because a father gains tighter control of his family, or because kids become more submissive. On the contrary, a real paradigm shift happens because a father’s agenda cracks into pieces, to reveal his deep love for his family.
And when that’s not possible, when Dad can’t or won’t make that break, it’s about the children picking up their own lives and moving forward, sometimes without him (a poignant little piece of Saving Mr. Banks.)
If you are the father of a family who has not met your expectations, seek God out for yourself. Ask him for his agenda. Surrender yours. I know you’ve learned from this culture to keep a firm grip on your family to make it what you want it to be. (Times 10 for Christians.) But that plan consumes you and throws you in a pit.
Surrender to the life God has given you and let people be. Love them as they are. Lay aside your idea of a patriarch and be a daddy. That’s all your family ever wanted.
And while you’re at it, lay aside the ‘ideal’ man you think God wants you to be, and just let him be your daddy. It will restore your life!
For a full treatment of loving your growing and grown kids, read How Not to Lose Your Teen.