Workplace Devotionals

June 27, 2011

Becoming Dad

Filed under: Uncategorized — ejwcpa @ 10:14 pm
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On May 27th, a month ago today, I became a father.  My daughter came into the world right on time, just after noon on her due date.  She lays next to me now as a write, alternating between crying and sleeping; a nightly, late evening ritual for us.  I try my best to stay up with her and keep her calm until her next time to feed, so that mom can get some rest.

With becoming a new father comes a flurry of joys, responsibilities, and fears; some rational, some not.  Bringing a new life into the world is an unforgettable experience of overwhelming joy and a deep unconditional love I didn’t know my heart had room for.  New levels of responsibility face me:  I will be the sole provider for my family, and not a family of just me, or even just me and my wife, but also consisting now of a helpless child, dependent upon us during her every waking and sleeping moment.  With becoming a father also came fears: will she be healthy, will she be smart, will she be athletic, will she love Jesus, will she love her father as much as I love her, or will she be overwhelmed by the pressures of a lost world that encourages debauchery, will I always be able to provide for her?

The birth of my child was the most amazing day of my life; with all due respect to my wife and our wedding day.  I know most people say that their wedding day is the greatest day of their lives, followed closely by the birth of their children, but I think that is said more out of love for their spouse than an honest comparison of the days.  I love my wife very much, so much so that I didn’t think I had room left to love another person; and I loved our wedding day.  But, I’ll tell the truth, wedding days and births of first childs are much different.

Your wedding day is marrying a former stranger who you’ve grown to know and love over the course of several months or several years, culminating in a beautiful day that begins a lifelong journey together.  Proverbs 18:22 says, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.”

The birth of my child was indescribable. Likewise, a beautiful day beginning a lifelong journey together, but this time not with a stranger… but with my own blood.  Instead of having gotten to know this person over the preceding couple of years, I was meeting her for the first time…yet, I already knew her, because she is me, and I am in her.  I truly loved her before I met her, and continue to love her more each day.

In the hours leading up to the birth, I watched my wife labor in pain, likely the most helpless I’ll ever feel in life.  Seeing someone you love that much, in that much pain, is unbearable.  I’d rather go through it myself then watch her do it.  Through one day, through the night, and halfway into the next day.  Perhaps the preceding trauma made the moment of birth that much more remarkable.  Perfection and joy the result of trial and pain.  My child was born, a little bit me, a little bit my wife, perfect in every way.

It amazing to see myself so clearly in another person.  To see little fingers shaped exactly like mine.  I almost felt as if I created her… in my image.  This seems to remind of of something…

Becoming a father has led me to learn a little bit more about how God, our heavenly father, sees us.  God did actually create us, in his image.  God does love us and look down at us like a father.

In order to be a good father, I must first acknowledge that God is my father.  Jesus prayed to God as his father and instructed us to pray to to him as our father.  I must also be a good Christian.  Following God in all my ways, looking to Jesus as my savior, loving my wife as Christ loved the church.  Proverbs 14:26 says, “In the fear of the LORD one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge.”  By following God and acknowledging him, I am a blessing to my children.

I have the burden and opportunity of being the first example of a father that my daughter will ever know.  How my daughter forever views fathers, and therefore God, will depend on me.  I want to leave a legacy for my children, a legacy where they too follow God for all their lives, and follow God as a father.  The example that I set as a father should lead them to God.  Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

I understand that my children and especially my daughter will search to find a male role model and father figure in their lives.  I prefer that man be me.  In a sermon, Mark Driscoll says, “Fathers are supposed to teach their children. Dad, you are a pastor. You are a pastor. And those children and that wife, that’s your church, and you’re supposed to love them and read the Bible with them and pray with them and instruct them… Every man in the church is supposed to conduct himself as a pastor in his home… They manage their households well. Their children honor and respect them.”

The journey is only beginning for me being a father.  I know almost nothing now, and we are trying hard just to make sure to keep our daughter fed and to not break her.  I have a lot of work ahead, leading her, guiding her, teaching her.  I pray that I and all other fathers will continue to be a positive presence in their kids lives.

My daughter is now sleeping peacefully next to me.  I watch her tiny chest rise and fall, as I check to see that all is well.  My prayers will stay with her the rest of her life, and I pray that I can be that father that leads her in the way of the Lord.

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