Well there are two sides to fatherhood. Yesterday we talked about the side on which we all share, and that is about having a father. The other side of fatherhood is much scarier; it’s about being one.
Fatherhood is something no one is ready for. There is no such thing as a professional father. There are classes and counselors to help with fathering that we can take advantage of, but not all of us do. Not everyone can afford to. There are books and lectures on fathering that are available, but there is no one who will graduate you with a degree in Fatherhood. Most of us are basically groping around in the dark, trying to figure this out, at least that’s what it feels like to me.
It’s amazing anybody grows up relatively healthy with this lack of preparation for those who are responsible.
There are stern fathers, lenient fathers, absent fathers, overbearing fathers, caring fathers and dead beat dads. How does anybody live through this? Why isn’t there a manual for fatherhood? If you’re a father, you should get a medal just for trying. Maybe that’s what Father’s Day is all about: “Nice try, Dad. We appreciate it. We know you don’t know what you’re doing, but we acknowledge the effort.”
Fathering is one of the clearest ways we learn how to trust the Holy Spirit in our lives, because this lack of preparation — this feeling of being unschooled in one of the most important responsibilities we take on — leaves us no choice but to step out in faith that God is there and will give us what we need when we need it. That’s what we call the new covenant, or grace turned outward.
For me, this means coming out of isolation. It’s turning around, facing into my fear of the unknown and turning toward the people who need me. Be kind to a father this weekend. We’re far from perfect, but we’re showing up, and that’s when God can show up, too. When we are weak, He is strong.
Wishing u Pastor John a very happy father’s day… 🙂
Thank you John for making me think! For a long time my fathering consisted of you should do this, and I told you so. It took many years to abandon that method. As Dr. Phil says, ” So how is that working for you so far?” . Once the answer was it does not work, was it abandoned.
Now, in general I keep my mouth shut, and pray for my sons to be fathers as God intended. When they share their problems, I encourage. When their kids baffle them, I commiserate. When they point out my mistakes I ask for forgiveness. When their misplaced rants and raves at me for something I said, I take it like a man. (Not reacting seems to take the starch out of their venom and I don’t make them angrier.) When we part company I tell them I love them. I even send them a text from time to time that only says this, I love you. I also make sure that they are told, ” You got what it takes!!!!”
I can’t make up for the damage I have done in the past. Christ redeems the past, thank God. It is amazing how much was corrected when I treated them as men and began to show my love for them.
This is very encouraging. Thank you, Peter.
I remember reading a post a time ago that spoke about parenting. The gist of it was: Well God had two children (Adam & Eve) and didn’t obey, so why would your children listen to you! There is no set of rules when it comes to parenting male or female. I sometimes believe we think back how our parents spoke or treated us when we were young. Some of us mimic them and some want to stay far, far away from their teachings and mistakes. The bible doesn’t have a chapter for parenting and I believe it is because we all need to learn what He told us and interpret it to the best of our knowledge. A few examples would be the commandment: Honor thy mother and father in which most people believe that a child should adhere to their parents when in fact it means to ‘weigh’ their teachings and thoughts. You can listen to it, but weigh the truth in it and is it correct or a myth/ superstition/ or cultural thing. Ephesians also state not to provoke your children to anger, Whoa what? But our little turds have been doing this since they’ve started school! Well, what is the anger the Lord is speaking of? I believe it is Righteous Anger, like when a child is mistreated, abused, neglected, ect.. they chilld becomes frightened, afraid, and angry. The Lord also has an opinion when it comes to abuse; because He says it is better for him to put a millstone with a rope around his neck and walk out into the sea than to face judgement. So Dads, mom’s parents, all we are left is with what works to make loving, caring, Godly children with just a few vague tips from our God! After all we are His children and how good are we?
Thanks, Colleen. Good perspective.