I would like to offer some ideas on how to cope during this uncertain time. When we can’t control our external environment, it is helpful to take control of things we can.
I don’t know about you, but last week my life changed drastically. It was announced that all on campus schooling would be canceled for the next month. As a mom of six kids, ranging from 5 years old to 21, my kids are best friends or greatest rivals, and it can change in a moment! I, like you, am thinking, “How will I keep them entertained?” “What will we do all day?” “How will we survive this?!?”…
Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.
(Psalm 127:3, NLT)
Fatherhood is a blessing
At face value, this is 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 felt the blessing when we heard for the first time the name “daddy” being directed at us, or hearing the laughter of a giggling baby.
We continue to hold onto this blessing, but it can become slippery and lose its firmness. Loss of sleep, and the ongoing stresses of raising a child can seem to wear the blessing down. However, it’s a mistake to think that the blessing has 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, it’s essential that the blessing define our circumstances instead of our circumstances slowly redefining the blessing. This isn’t something we need talk ourselves into, but allow the Holy Spirit to speak into our lives daily to strengthen and equip us for the challenges of fatherhood.
Dark nights, weary days
Being a father is a role that expresses affection, authority and heredity all at once, and that 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. But because we lose perspective, it becomes easy to make the mistake of equating the blessing of being a father with being free from challenges and hardships.
The blessing of fatherhood exists because of who God is and does not fade because of Him. Knowing this will carry us through the dark nights, the weary days, and the fretful moments. It will keep us strong for the sake of our children. It will remind you of the treasured blessing you have as a father, and help you to live as a blessing to your children.