I recently celebrated my first Father’s Day as a father. My wife and I found out we were pregnant back in August/September. It’s weird because I said, “I’m going to be a father!”. In reality, I already was a father. A human being’s life had begun and was growing in the womb of my wife. There was never a doubt for us that was life. It not only was life, but a human person. We were extremely excited to find out we were having a child. My son was finally born on April 29, 2016. He came a week early, and we were glad because we were eager to hold him.
Fatherhood has been one of the best things to ever happen to me. My heart has been full of joy, happiness, and love ever since we found out we were having a child, especially, when I was able to finally hold him. Scripture tells us “children are a gift of the Lord” (Ps 127:3 NASB). I find this to be true. I know there will be hard times ahead, but my son is the best gift I could ever ask for. I have already been frustrated and at the end of my rope caring for him, but I will always love him, find joy in him, and be proud to be his father. If I could be a stay at home dad making caring for him my full time job, then I would in a heartbeat. Alas, I know I need to help provide for my family. Sometimes I wish I could write enough to make this blog my source of income, but that is not what the Lord has planned for me at this time.
Fatherhood comes with its responsibilities, though. I am reminded of a great quote, “With great power, there must also come great responsibility” (Amazing Fantasy #15, “Spider-Man”). Jesus said, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be required” (Luke 12:48 NASB). This is true of having a son. I have the power to end my son’s life or to do my best to take care of him. I can either discourage him or encourage him allowing him to flourish in his endeavors. I can ignore him allowing him to be wild and rebellious, or I can train him to be a respectable man. There is a responsibility and burden to be the father my son needs.
The biggest responsibility I have as a father is to raise my son to know the Lord. Many people think that the church is supposed to teach our kids about Jesus just as we drop our kids off at school expecting the teachers to teach our kids everything. In fact, the church and school help us parents to teach our kids what they need to know, but it is our responsibility to make sure they are actually learning, especially, to know the Lord.
God tells the ancient Israelites,
And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise (Deuteronomy 6:6–7 ESV).
He is putting the responsibility on the parents, especially the father, to raise and disciple their kids. We think discipleship, following Jesus and teaching others to do so, is a complicated thing that only pastors who have graduated from seminary can do, but it is as simple as being parents. Which I know is not simple at all, but if the most inept of us can be parents, then we can teach someone to know Jesus. This begins with our own children. If we fail to do so even in trying, then we fail God’s Word and are disobedient to the Lord Himself.
It is my responsibility to teach my son to know and fear the Lord. We do this by taking him to church with us and have started reading him The Jesus Storybook Bible. I have loved reading this to him thus far and will continue reading it to him until he is old enough to understand an actual Bible. This book shows how all of God’s work culminated and leads to Jesus Christ our Savior. I am thankful to my mother in law for buying this book for us making it easier to share Jesus with my son and future children. See, it is as simple as reading a book sometimes.
I mentioned earlier how blessed I am to be the father to my son, Charles. I am reminded of when Abraham was asked to sacrifice his son Isaac (Gen 22:1–14). Abraham was obedient without question while I would have been cursing God not willing to sacrifice my son. Since Abraham was obedient and faithful to God, God provided a ram to be sacrificed instead of Isaac. The writer of Hebrews tells us this was a test of his faith and points towards the promise of Jesus to be the ultimate and final sacrifice for all of us (Heb 10:10, 11:17). I am overwhelmed with joy and love when I look down upon my son’s face that I can’t imagine sacrificing him. Yet, this is exactly what God the Father did with His son, Jesus Christ. He sacrificed Jesus for the sake of all us to be reconciled unto Him.
God’s love for us, His created children, is so great that He was willing to do whatever it took to have us reunited with Him. Being a father now, I can begin to better appreciate and understand God’s love for us and what a sacrifice it was for God the Father to watch Jesus pay the price of our debt for redemption.