Another year. Another Father’s Day. A useless holiday that we made up to spur the economy i.e. to get people to spend money. That’s just about what I used to think anyways. Not so much anymore.
Today when I think of Father’s Day I think of my father, myself as a father and my heavenly Father. There is something about growing up that makes you appreciate your parents and other older adults in your life. Part of it is just the maturing process and appreciating life in general. Fatherhood is important and has helped me grow in many areas. I’m going to share from four of those areas: Appreciation, humility, ministry and some reflections.
I’ve really grown to appreciate my dad more and more over the years. As I seek wisdom as a father I reflect on what I mine did for me. My dad has always put his family first. He sacrificed himself and his things for the family.
Even today he is the go to guy when the rest of the family needs something. Even though he doesn’t have much to give he will do whatever he can. I appreciate this more today than I ever have in the past. The sad thing is that I don’t even know what to do to show this appreciation. I’m just very grateful that my father was a great model for me. But now I’m a father and I hope I am half the man my father was in those areas of sacrifice. This is amplified now that I’m a Christian as I see everything through the lens of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross of undeserving sinners like me.
God has given me a wonderful daughter that I don’t deserve. Atleast from my perspective I don’t. God apparently doesn’t see it that way. Neither does my wife I might add. Fathering is a big task and I’m thankful to do it in humility and with great care.
See, my teen daughter is my step-daughter. But you won’t hear me call her that unless I have to for clarification of some kind. Of all the men God (and my wife) could have picked to shepherd her I get the privilege. It’s just humbling. I’m not sure how else to describe it. I think she deserves better. (My wife is gonna kick my behind for saying that.) I pray that God gives me the ability to be a good father. Next to being a husband this is my second ministry.
As I’ve begun seeking pastoral ministry in the past months I’ve taken another look at my life. Before considering pastoral ministry I needed to see how I was ministering to my family. This is the primary ministry God has given me. If I cannot take care of my family, then I certainly cannot take care of a congregation.
In this ministry as a father I’ve learned to work through difficult issues and make hard decisions. I’ve learned to do this in love. To grow in love while learning to confront, correct, teach, etc. is not easy. But I love it! I’ve learned lessons that I can take and use to minister to others. I’ve thankful to God for this ministry of fatherhood.
Below are six reflections about being a father. There are many more, but these are some key points. Despite all my failures Jesus strengthens me and sustains me. This is the basis of these reflections. I’m just trying to show and live out for my daughter the grace of God in my life.
- Love your child. Whatever stupid thing they do you’ve probably done worse and/or more. Jesus still loves you.
- Forgive your child. Whatever wrongs they do to you you’ve done worse towards God. Jesus still forgives.
- Apologize to your child. Parents over-react and say and do stupid, sinful things. Repent. Model repentance to your child. Show them and explain it.
- Pray with and around your child. Show them that prayer is important in your life and theirs. Don’t just do it during special occasions or quietly as if you’re ashamed. Pray often and with confidence.
- Attend church. Show your child that being involved in the life of the local church is important. Get involved and get them serving too.
- Love Jesus always. The above points will show your love for Jesus, but say it too. Talk about Jesus. Make Him central so your child doesn’t become religious. This goes no matter where or what activity you’re involved in.
Thank you dad for being the role model a father should be. Thank you Father God for Your Son Jesus, His grace and my earthly father.