Resurrected Living
"What are you going to do with your new resurrected life? This is the heroic question." Richard Rohr

What I’ve Learned From Being a Father

holding-a-newborn

Becoming a father is one of the greatest things that has happened in my life. There are moments when being a parent is frustrating and exhausting, but the good greatly outweighs the bad. I would not trade being a parent for anything in this world. It has brought me great joy, but maybe more importantly, it has helped me become a better person and a better follower of Jesus. Here are a few things I have learned from being a father.

Selflessness – We are naturally selfish. We tend to think of ourselves before we think of others. The Bible calls us to reverse this type of behavior and being a parent is helpful. Living alone in college it was easy for me to be selfish. Even after I got married I discovered that I could get away with many of my selfish habits, but once I became a parent being selfish was much harder. I had someone who now depended on me all the time. I had to give my time, money, and energy to someone else. It is not easy living in community. It is not easy when we are asked to give ourselves to others and to put up with little things that get on our nerves, but all of this helps to shape us into the person God would have us to be.

Joy – One of the great joys of being a parent is getting to see your child experience the world. Children are amazed by things we have long forgotten. As adults we often have to work at finding things to entertain us, but children are impressed by the small things. They teach us to appreciate God’s magnificent creation, and they encourage us to live a much simpler life. They find joy in the ordinary average things of life and they remind us that things are often not ordinary or average. Our children bring us joy, but they also bring us a new perspective of the world. We see the world through them and we are reminded of the joys we experienced as a child.

Hope – Secular nations have less children than nations that are religious. Secular people often have no hope for the world and so they do not see the point in bringing children into the world. Christians have hope for a bright future. We understand this world is marred by sin, but we also understand that God through Christ is working to redeem this world. We are a part of this work. We join God in making things better. Being a parent helps us to keep hope alive. Not only do we have the promises of Scripture, but we hope to make this world better for the children we have brought into it. We are not content to set on the sidelines and watch our world go to hell. We want to join God in working to make this world a better place. We do this because we have hope for the future. We pray “thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” and we hope that our children will experience more of heaven on earth than we have experienced.

Being a father is a blessing. If you are a father I hope you do not take it for granted. God has many things to teach us through the simple act of being a parent. May we be attentive to His will and to the children who look to us for love, guidance, and care.

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