Children are an inheritance from the Lord. They are a reward from him.
The children born to a man when he is young are like arrows in the hand of a warrior.
Blessed is the man who has filled his quiver with them. He will not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the city gate. – Psalms 127:3-5 (GW)
Over the course of this next year it is the hope of this writer to encourage, challenge and spur on fathers toward good deeds. We will be exploring what the scriptures have to say about fatherhood from Genesis to Revelation (I am sure that my daughters will think I am worse than one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse at some point in their lives). There are two foundational assumptions about fatherhood that I would like to start with, the first being that fatherhood is a blessing.
At face value, most would see this as an obvious statement. Of course fatherhood is a blessing. Most of us understood this when we held our child for the first time, or saw our infant son or daughter sleeping soundly in their mother’s arms. We heard it the first time the name daddy was directed at us and in the shameless laughter of a giggling baby. We continued to hold onto this blessing, but it became slippery and lost its firmness. It was worn down by loss of sleep and the perpetual stresses of raising a child. The blessing seemed to be something we hoped for, but did not expect.
The mistake is to think that the blessing is what changed or faded. When God blesses us with a child, that blessing never changes, only the circumstances change. For us to experience the blessing of fatherhood to the fullest, we need to allow the blessing to define our circumstances instead of our circumstances slowly redefining the blessing. This is not something we need to convince ourselves of, but allow the Holy Spirit to speak into our lives daily to strengthen and equip us for the challenges of fatherhood.
To carry a title that expresses affection, authority and heredity all at once is a blessing. To be the first impression of manhood to a little boy or girl is a blessing. To express the love of God through discipline and mercy is a blessing. To taste the goodness of God’s selfless love toward us as we attempt to exhibit that same love toward our child is a blessing. These blessings exist because of who God is and do not fade because of Him, but because we lose perspective. It is too easy to make the mistake (one I have made more than once) of equating being blessed with being free from challenges and hardships.
The blessing must carry us through the dark nights, the weary days, and the fretful moments, keeping us strong for the sake of our children. I hope that the devotions at this site will remind you of this treasured blessing we share as fathers and help you to live as a blessing to your children.
There will be another post this week on the challenge of fatherhood and then check in on Monday, June 20, 2011 for the first devotional. If you would like to subscribe to this blog, go to the subscription link at the top right of the website and click on the “Subscribe me” button. I would love to hear your comments, but this is a moderated site, so there may be some delay from your comment submission to it appearing on the site.