Happy Father’s Day to all the dad’s out there! Take some time today to spend with your child(ren) to show them how much you love them. This Father’s Day is a very special one for me. I have a whole new perspective to experience. I am a soon-to-be father. No, Kristi did not fall pregnant and no haven’t been matched, but with our home study finalized and being a waiting family with one of the largest and most successful adoption agencies in the nation; I am hoping to be a father this time next year.
Speaking from my heart, adoption is a program largely centered around mothers. You have the expectant mothers who sometimes don’t have a dependable partner and father which could be one of the reasons they are looking to adopt their child to a loving family. We learned from our social worker that the only thing we need from the birth father is a signature and consent to terminate parental rights. The focus of adoption then remains with the expectant mother however dads-to-be are just as eager to realize their dream as the moms-in-waiting.
I’d like to take a look at what Scripture writes about fatherhood. During his ministry, Paul writes to those in Thessalonica regarding how a father should treat his children:
“For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.” 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12 NIV
Fathers are challenged to be encouraging, comforting and urging their children to live lives worthy of God. I am not a father yet, but I continue to prepare my heart to be the man and father God is calling me to be.
A father should be encouraging his children. The root of the word encourage is “courage”. The meaning of encourage is to insert courage into someone’s life. A father should give courage to his children to try new things, to make mistakes, to speak out and love others.
A father should comfort his children. Children naturally get into trouble. Born with original sin children too are not pure and perfect. When children do not listen to parameters set with intent to keep one safe they can wind up with scraps and bruises. Likewise emotional injury can occur at school through navigating friendships, or struggling to fit in. All this just the nature of a life not fully matured. A father should always give comfort to his children when they go through these circumstances.
A father should urge his children to live lives worthy of God. This is one of the most difficult things a father should do. God calls fathers to be the spiritual head of their household. This requires a deep devotional life and a strong desire to see his children learn the faith. The thing that is so difficult is the same thing that we face as adults. Sometimes living lives worthy of God means suffering through something because it is His will. A father never wishes to see his children suffer. Fathers need to put on God’s lens and attempt to see the greater picture of the immediate moment. “How does the thing my child is going through end up glorifying God forever?” An example of this is Jesus. Granted, it is the perfect example, but in Him we see that God has to watch His child suffer for the greater purpose of saving all of humankind.
The Bible is filled with examples of character that father’s should have as well as examples of great fathers in action. I don’t know that anyone can every be truly prepared for fatherhood but by God’s grace I am waiting and excited to be entrusted with the child that God has chosen for us. I can’t wait to be a father, I’m eagerly awaiting to become a father, and the day I get to hold my child in my arms will undoubtedly be one of the best days of my life. Becoming a father is not a means to the end but the beginning of the journey where I get to dedicate the rest of my life instilling the faith that my parents taught me. I can’t wait for that chapter to unfold, and watch as God grows a little missionary.