I was overwhelmed.
It was July 9 or maybe July 10, 2003. It wasn’t Fathers’ Day, but you might say it was for me. It was my first few days as a father.
She was just a little baby. The tinniest thing.
She was in the car – a brand new baby – in the back seat. I was now a father. My life would never be the same. Not because every Fathers’ Day now, I’d be remembered with a card, a gift, a hug. but because I loosely grasped the realization that her little eyes would be looking to me for the rest of my life as her role model, guide, advocate, was very overwhelming.
Perhaps author and pastor R. Kent Hughes, in his book Disciplines of a Godly Man, captures this the best: “The terrible fact is, we can grace our children, or damn them with unrequited wounds which never seem to heal.”
The reason why I was overwhelmed was and is because fathers have power. You can’t hide from it; you can’t not use it. The position of a Father is one of power and great, great influence.
In their early years, everything – everything – my kids learn about God: authority, relationships, love, emotions, the church, comes from my wife and I. Gulp!
I have read my share of parenting books and am glad I did.
But there is one thing above all else that helps me navigate the uncertain storm of raising my children. Here it is: I must stay close to Jesus. I must nurture my walk with God. In order to be a good dad I must be a good son of our Heavenly Father.
There is no better gift or legacy I can give my kids than to stay close to Jesus, be a man of prayer, know and live God’s Word, and spend time – lots of it – with each of my kids. Oh, and I also need to have a great marriage!
I love my children, and am honoured to serve Jesus by leading and discipling them. I smile when I receive the Fathers Day cards and gifts.
She’ll be eleven soon. The two boys are right behind her.
Not sure I know much more than I did back in July of 2003. Sometimes I am still overwhelmed. That, I think, is a good thing.