Getting ready for kid number two in a few months has me reminiscing about fatherhood. So I thought I would take a moment and share about how God prepared me for fatherhood the first go round.
My preparation for fatherhood began when I was a child watching my own father. I was gifted to have a strong and capable dad. I learned so much from him, even when he wasn’t looking. I must have been a really good student of my father, because I catch myself saying things and acting just like him. And that’s not bad, because I really love my dad and feel blessed to be his son. I wonder if he knew he was teaching me about being a father?
Then there was the day that a friend of mine told me that he and his wife were going to have a baby. We were memorizing scripture together and so we turned our hearts to Psalm 127. We discussed the meaning of the Psalm and that day Psalm 127 began teaching me that children are a blessing. Though I was young, unmarried, and a long way from fatherhood, God used that psalm to shape my life. I longed for the day that I would be a dad.
Along the way my job has afforded me the opportunity to watch parents in action. I have been blessed to see some great parenting from discipline to discipleship. I’ve learned a lot through the years by partnering with parents in student ministry.
Yet, nothing could have prepared me for the day when I was told I was going to be a dad. In our marriage, it was something Avia and I were hoping for, but not exactly planning on quite so soon. Yet there we were, newly-weds, five-months into marriage and Avia became aware that all was not as it used to be and took a special trip to the doctor.
One Wednesday night I came home to see my wife and in my chair there was a little teddy bear holding a pregnancy test. Tears filled her eyes and then mine and then I quoted Psalm 127. We were nervous. We didn’t know what parenthood would be like, but we knew this was a blessing from God.
Nine months later I held my little girl in my arms for the first time. I held her up and quoted this same Psalm over her and prayed and thanked the Lord for this blessing in our lives. Then I dedicated her to the Lord and asked for guidance to be a godly father.
“Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep. Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.” (Psalms 127:1-5 ESV)