In my new role as Grandpa I’m revisiting familiar stories with a new and unbiased audience. Fern’s attention span is nearly as long as mine and she must have some tendencies toward speed reading. If the pages are not turning, the bottom starts squirming.
Gramma and I babysat so the new parents could enjoy time with friends. Part of the evening, during Fern’s short nap, I sat quietly and pondered that adorable face. I thought about familiar words:
Be still, and know that I am God…
Psalm 46:10 KJV Selected
Dads, that is our best course of action. The role is full-time and the challenges never stop. God has the special flavor of wisdom we need, and cultivating the art of quiet contemplation alone with Him will be of greater benefit than fretting, fussing, or blowing a gasket.
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.
James 3:17 NASB
God knows we can’t do the dad role solo. He’s a Father, too. He understands. And He promises to share His wisdom if we ask Him.
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
James 1:5 NASB
Becoming dad requires living deliberately with defined purpose. One who would be dad must model humility, admit his wrongs, and love enough to ask forgiveness. He will learn the blessing of sacrifice, the strength of vulnerability, and the challenge of conquering the unknown.
Some men quit when the trail grows steep. Or there are no sign posts pointing the way. Each child is unique and techniques that worked with one might not with the next. But dad’s consistency and commitment to lovingly raise his children propel him toward the future. Uncertainty? Yes. Concern over how things will turn out? No doubt. But dad grasps the meaning in John Wayne’s wise words, “Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.”
My daughters were loved before they arrived. They’ve been loved every day since. Becoming a father then learning to be a dad is a journey that has afforded more challenges than any career and greater satisfaction than earning titles or certifications. I would not trade the dad role for any other.
And now I’m hugging my granddaughter! What will I tell Fern as she grows? What are my prayers for her?
- That her Daddy and Mommy will always be in love with one another.
- That her home will be a place where she feels safe and at peace.
- That reading and devouring good books will be a focus she never jettisons.
- That she will not allow fear of failure to keep her from expanding her horizons.
- That she will attempt and succeed at great things.
- That as she discovers her talents and strengths she will share them with others.
- That she will recognize her weaknesses and learn to compensate.
- That she will never be too important to show concern for a friend.
- That she will connect with Jesus at an early age and follow Him.
- That her grandpa will have answers when she asks questions and that his answers will be seasoned with God’s wisdom.
To my fellow Dads I say hang in there! If the job was easy it would not take a man with backbone and grit to get it done. A man like you!