On Fatherhood

But to all who did receive Jesus, who believed in his name, He gave the right to become children of God. -John 1:12

Two weeks ago the kind staff at our local hospital were crazy enough to let my wife and I bring our baby boy Rory home. Having him here now means that today is my first official Father’s Day as a Dad, so with the holiday here I thought I’d take a moment to share some quick reflections on these first few weeks of Fatherhood. Specifically, I want to share what becoming a father has taught me about the heart of God.

One of the most amazing teachings of Jesus to me is His insistence that God is not an idea or concept, nor a distant and removed deity, but is instead a loving Father. Over and over again in His teachings Jesus emphasizes this aspect of God’s being. In light of this incredible focus of Jesus on the Fatherhood of God it is not too much of a stretch to say that if you haven’t come to know God as a loving Father, you haven’t come to know God at all.

While I’m sure there are many more things I’ve yet to learn about the heart of God as my heavenly Father and will continue to discover throughout the rest of my parenting journey, there’s one in particular that’s stood out thus far. When I think about what I’ve learned about God being my perfect heavenly Father from my own (limited) experience of being Rory’s dad I can’t help but think about joy.

Here’s the thing. If I’m being fully honest right up to the moment we first met our son I can’t say I really wanted to be a Dad. I mean don’t get me wrong, I was excited we were pregnant and certainly didn’t want to get rid of the baby, but I also liked my life the way it was and was worried this oncoming freight train of constant poop, soul piercing cries, and three-hour sleep cycles was going to irreparably blow it up. And I wasn’t wrong! We’re just two weeks in and I barely remember what life was like before Rory, everything has changed. But I’m not miserable. Why? I’m not miserable
because spending time with my son has become an incredible wellspring of joy.

I mentioned earlier that Scripture teaches that God is our perfect heavenly Father. So let me ask you something right now in light of that and my own experience and Scripture’s testimony. Do you believe that God delights in you? Do you believe that He finds joy in you?

I don’t know about you but most days that’s hard for me to believe, because I know myself. I know my faults. I know my sins. I know my inner life, and I see just how far I am from where I want to be in so many different places of it. And the biggest lie that Satan tells me over and over again day in and day out is that because of those things God doesn’t want me. Forget delighting in me, a lot of days I struggle to believe God wants to have anything to do with me at all.

That’s why I’m so grateful to have had these last two weeks with my son, because here’s the thing. Can I let you in on a little secret? The kid is totally useless. He can’t do anything for me. He’s completely dependent on Kayli and I for survival. He has no discernable skills other than immediately dirtying a new diaper right after he’s been changed. And I still think he’s amazing. Why? Because he’s my son. He doesn’t have to earn that. He doesn’t have to show that he’s worth that. He just is that. And in being that he’s brought me so much more joy than I ever could have imagined.

I don’t know where you’re at with God as you read this, but let me plead with you. God delights in you. He really does! Not because you’ve earned it, and certainly not because you deserve it, but because through what His True Son Jesus has done on the cross. Now for those who believe in His name can become Children of God.

So much gets lost in the noise of religion today. There are so many perspectives, so many voices, so many doctrinal hills people are willing to die on. And in the midst of all that noise I wonder how many of you have missed or quickly dismissed this simple truth of the Fatherhood of God. I grew up in church but I missed it for 18 years, but everything changed for me when I finally got my head around it. God delights in you. Your very existence brings Him joy. There’s nothing you can do that will ever separate you from His love because you’re His beloved kid. So go and live like it. Live loved. Happy Father’s Day.

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