Here’s to hoping Conner and Owen don’t punch lockers
So last night, the family and I rented the movie, “The Fighter”. I am not much of a boxing fan, but I really loved the movie. It was absolutely fantastic.
If you haven’t seen it, it traces the story of Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale who play brothers who both box. Bale is significantly older, and after a bout with Sugar Ray Leonard descended into crack addiction. He spends the next 15 years in and out of prison. Along the way he has a son.
There is a particular scene in the movie that stood out to me. When Bale returns from jail he meets his brother in the gym locker room and his son is there too. Wahlberg breaks some tough news to Bale and then leaves. Bale responds to this by punching lockers.
And then it happens.
Bale’s son, who is only 3 or 4, starts punching lockers too.
Which brings me to my point. One of my greatest fears as a parent is that my bad habits and sins will manifest in my children. I see generational selfishness and manipulation, non-chalance and anger manifested in my life. As Conner grows into his own, I see it in him as well.
A few nights ago, he was up and playing when he should have been sleeping. I came into the room to talk to and discipline Conner. He knew he had done wrong. As soon as I walked in, he pointed to my shirt and started saying, “go Rays, daddy, homerun Rays!”. He knew that would make me happy and for a split second, it distracted me.
Again, as we were driving home, I was venting (read:yelling) in the car. I was terribly upset about something relatively insignificant, but boy was I venting. And in my anger I said something fairly inappropriate. Like a voice recorder, Conner piped up from the back seat and repeated what I had said.
He started punching lockers, like his daddy.
I am reminded of the terrifying idea in scripture that our sins are visited on our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. And I am comforted by the fact that God’s covenant faithfulness extends to a thousand generations.
God, I need your faithfulness, because I sure don’t have any.