Comment by Harborough churches: What happens when we roar too loud

Every week, the Harborough churches write for the Harborough Mail. This week, it is the turn of Rev Andy Giles of St. Dionysius

By Rev Andy Giles
Monday, 28th September 2020, 12:15 pm
Updated Monday, 28th September 2020, 12:16 pm
Rev Andy Giles of St. Dionysius.
Rev Andy Giles of St. Dionysius.

Viewpoint by Rev Andy Giles is St. Dionysius Resource Church Curate

There is something so majestic about a lion, the king of the jungle, with a roar louder than all the other cats. But what happens when we roar too loud?

We are born with a built-in longing for a parent’s affection and approval. As a father of four children I am very aware of my failures.

They get pointed out to me on a regular basis! I want to be the best dad I can be and I love my kids. But loving my kids doesn’t mean I’m perfect.

I have all sorts of influences that steer my parenting technique. I’m affected by how my father wonderfully parented me. I’m aware

I don’t want to make the same mistakes. I’m aware of who my wife wants me to be and her expectations, of what society expects of me, and of my own selfish desires. We sometimes react when we shouldn’t, we roar too loud, often as a result of an emotional wound that was inflicted in the past, perhaps from someone close to us and that we thought had healed long ago.

There is a well-known story in the Bible called “Daniel in the lions’ den” which illustrates the possibility of healing when relationships break down. Daniel won favour with King Darius of Babylon. This made the other advisers jealous and they cleverly managed to get King Darius to pass a law forbidding the worship of any gods but himself. King Darius was devastated when he found Daniel continued worshipping his God, but he had no choice but to feed Daniel to the lions.

Many parents know this nightmare of wanting to take back something we said or did, but instead have to watch helplessly as our families suffer the repercussions of what can’t be undone. In Daniel’s case God stepped in, and although Daniel got thrown to the lions he didn’t get harmed. This allowed Darius an opportunity to repair the damage that his roar had created.

There are four practical steps we can take when we realise we’ve roared too loud:

1. Engage with people where we can. Revisiting our mistakes with our families is painful, our shame shouts that it’s too late. The courage of Darius shows that staying engaged makes room for the unexpected.

2. Own our own mistakes. When Darius recognised his failures, he acted quickly to eliminate those influences. Recognising the effects of our own roars goes beyond offering an apology, into unpacking our own stories and perhaps seeking help from others.

3. Darius felt most helpless when Daniel was with the lions. He cried out to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!” Sometimes our relationships are too broken to be fixed, no matter how badly we want to mend them, and we have to entrust the other person to God.

4. But God is the king of rescuing. If we invite him into the situation we can look forward to the possibility of restoration, perhaps by enlisting the support of a pastor or counsellor.

By Rev Andy Giles is St. Dionysius Resource Church Curate