Top Temptations Father's Face: The Push for Perfection
A couple of days ago I posted on a recent message from Insight for Living, Chuck Swindoll's preaching on "Top Temptations Father's Face." Two of the points hit me in the heart and I want to expand on them. Point number 4 was: the Temptation to desire to be perfect and demand the same from my family.
This is me to a tee. Here are Swindoll's words on this point:
"Do you expect the absolute best of yourself at all times? Do you sometimes put off a project because you don't have time to do it perfectly? Do you get frustrated with others because they don't get your desire to get things done right? Are you hard on yourself when you make a mistake? Are you doubly hard on yourself when you make the same mistake twice? Are you disappointed in others because of the lack of quality in their work? Is the idea of being average distasteful to you? Do you often think on finishing something that you could have done it better?
Perfectionists tend towards extremes. It's either/or: Either something is outstanding or it's totally worthless. There's no middle ground. Perfectionists tend to minimize successes and maximize failures. Depressed because we're not tops of the year...
It's always something more. We tend to alienate those we love by our perfectionistic requirements. You give your kids room to fail. You give your wife room to fail. Can you see good even when there are flaws? Does satisfaction depend on ten out of ten?
I was looking at the baseball hall of fame the other day and I didn't see many four-hundred hitters. Many were in the three hundreds...that's three hits out of ten! Do you let your kids three hits out of ten? Do praise them with four hits? Or must it be eight? Preferably nine? Ideally son, like my father taught me, ten out of ten! Fathers, I understand but I must warn you. You're slipping off the banks if your perfectionism is building a wall between you and your children. Guard against the temptation of wanting them perfect. Now, quickly let me add that you want them righteous, godly, but even the godly will not bat a thousand."