Many people have asked me what I think God has called me to do for Him. It is a hard question to answer. The walk I have with Jesus is often on a bumpy road, and my goals as a Christian are usually vague. I struggle with things like remembering the Lord’s Prayer and having a daily quiet time, and my praying has the randomness of a lotto number. So when someone confronts me with this question, I mumble and stammer, “well I ah er…I love Him!”
One goal I do have is my ministry as a father. My sons know Jesus through the sharing of my heart. I became a believer in my late twenties. Living the Christian life does not always come easy for me. Therefore, I have sought the Lord in my life through any means, and this passion I try to give to my children.
Three things come to mind that benefit my sons regarding faith. First, children need security and men are naturally protectors. We have a desire to assure our families that, God willing, we will always be there. My boys are like most kids; nightmares and the dark are mysterious sources of fear at bedtime. It has become my job to quell these fears by discussing the differences between reality and imagination. I attempt to assure them that shadows and bad dreams are quite harmless. However, with all my logical skills at work on their young minds, there is only one real solution to the problem. Before I leave their room, they hand me their nightmares and “scares” and I promise to throw them in the trash. They both know how ridiculous this is (even giggle at its absurdity), but it has the effect of easing their fears. They even wait to hear the sound of the garbage opening. Consequently, the security I offer them is not merely masculine presence, but more a protection like God imparts upon us all. He promises to be there for us.
Secondly, my boys’ eyes light up when they hear that I love their mom. This need children have goes hand in hand with security. They need to know mom and dad love each other. I do love my wife and I tell my sons that I do. I admire her strength and courage. When she hurts, I am tortured. When she is sad, I am depressed. When she smiles, I melt.
Sometimes I think a father does little parenting compared to a mother. I realize that it is trendy today to think that parents are equals in their parenting roles and I am not saying that a father is unimportant, but a man does not come close to nurturing his children like a mother does (especially when children are at a young age). I am astounded by the amount of work a mother goes through to provide for her children. My wife has utterly devoted her life to raising our sons. Yes, I am committed to them, but I am amazed at the details I miss that she picks up. This dedication only strengthens my love for her.
Finally, knowing Jesus compliments fatherhood to no end. I have shared with my sons the desire in my heart to grow close to our Lord. They know that their father can be weak, but that I look to God and His Word for strength. Lying with them at night before they go to sleep, they often ask me to tell them a “Jesus” story. I am thrilled by the fact that they want to know more about Him.
I envy their faith. The prayers of children are innocent and personal. This is something adults can forget. It is easy to get lost amongst the pressures of this world and squander the quality time we could be having with Jesus. Therefore, I want to take the time to know the Lord and introduce my children to Him.
Being a father is an amazing gift. It is hard to believe that God has entrusted me with caring for these little ones. My goals may not be impressive to the casual observer, but God is using me to raise two boys who will know and love Him. This is my calling.
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Great subject, really needs to be emphasized in our society for the awesome ministry it is. I would like to see some scripture references (doesn't have to be exact quotes) that support your position and think your message would ring louder if it were shorter and more concise.
Bravo Dan, Bravo...you have expressed the heart of a father wonderfully! - Jay Cookingham
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