I am a dad. I want the best for my children and my grandchildren and all the generations to come. And as I come up to Fathers Day next week, it is my heart to write on 5 things that I think are important to dads. As I listen to my grandchildren pray for their “dad” to return to their life, I cry inside. I hurt for them. So, if as a dad, I can stop one child from going through that, then I feel it is all worth it.
What changes a family? When I was a young father and husband, I looked for answers. I wanted to a better father, a better husband. I have shared how my dad, who suffered what we might describe as PTSD or even TBI as the result of a shell that blew up near him during the war (Resulting in a Purple Heart, as well as no hearing, years of plastic surgery and recovery.) He loved me and our family but sometimes his ability to connect with us, was “challenged”.
I read books, sought counsel, but inside all I could think of was, was that I would fail. A divorce confirmed my worst fears. Even my friends whom I looked to, seemed to be in their own struggles. Financial difficulties, infidelities, children out of control. It seemed like there was no where to turn. As my second marriage began to dissolve, a surprise occurred. I met Jesus in a grocery store. My life began to change.
Fathers? Mothers? What causes families to stick together and become a working unit. How about God? I am not suggesting that there are not exceptions to the rule but it does seem that faith plays a large part in successful marriages and parenting.
It was not easy for me at first. I had a false start or two in the parenting arena. But I soon saw this. Dads that truly love God and accept the Lord’s love for themselves establish a great heritage for their children. That of a loving relationship with God Himself.
My kids have often told me how thankful they are for the love I give them through the love I have received from God.
Do I make mistakes. Beyond a shadow of a doubt. I am sure I give too much advice, want it fixed now rather than later and miscue from time to time!
In Deuteronomy 6:5-6 it says “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your [mind and] heart and with your entire being and with all your might. And these words which I am commanding you this day shall be [first] in your [own] minds and hearts; [then]. This what I desire my children (And now my grandchildren.) to see in me. A heart turned towards God, His love and His principles. But not because “I have to” but because “I want to”.
The greatest gift a Dad can sow into his children is the love for God. Oh many, can disdain it, putting other things first. But in the end, I admonish you to give consideration to this.
My love has allowed me even to love the “unlovable” as they have come into my life. My love I received from God I was able to share with my dad even when he made it “hard”.
Today, I encourage you as a father, as a dad to share your faith and your love and your devotion with your child or children. And if you see yourself as I once saw myself, not being the best dad, despite your desire, I encourage you to reach out to the Lord, and let the person of grace, Jesus, empower you to love as He loves you