Started a father, became a Dad.
My heart was pounding, I anxiously awaited the first glance into the eyes of our newborn son. Having no idea of what was before me, I just knew at that moment I had become a father. I was not sure where to go from here. I was not sure of much of anything. I only knew this, in less than 30 hours our hospital stay was over and my wife and I would be heading home. I was about to begin the most significant journey I’ve ever taken. I was starting a father, and becoming a Dad.
A Father May Take It No Further
The simple, yet painful fact that exists in our world today is some men bring children into this world only to believe their duty is over the moment the child is born. As a 21-year-old man, yet child-like in so many ways yet, I choose to take the journey to becoming a dad. This journey is not an easy one, nor does it occur overnight, but the rewards received along the way make it a journey of a lifetime.
From the moment, your child is born you have an instinctual need to protect. I remember being in the hospital with Alex (our oldest) and the nurse taking him from Heather to a cart where they gave him an initial exam. I knew I should remain close to Heather as her protector, but I gravitated closer and closer to Alex to see what they were doing and whether he was ok. As the exam finished, they explained they would be given him a bath. “Not without me there, I thought, that’s my boy, and I must protect him.” For the next number of hours, he was not out of my sight for more than a few moments. As we took him home, this desire to protect continued, whether he was injured, got sick, or peers mistreated him, I wanted to protect. The beginning of my journey to move from a father to a Dad started in my desire to protect but quickly moved to my need to provide.
At the same time, my desire to protect was present, an immediate need to provide became evident. Whether it was food, shelter, or safety, he depended on me to provide. Sometimes I provided by sacrificing my own needs for his. This felt weird at first as if something was being taken from me, but rewarding at the same time, as if something was being given to me. I was no longer the child, but a man who had one. What was taken from me was selfishness. What was given, was a quality to LOVE.
Now both my children (Alex and Keaton) called me dad from the moment they could speak, but this was not a name I had yet earned. While I was protecting and providing for them, I had not, however, presented the truest attributes of love to them. In 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8; scripture reveals to us the core attributes of a dad.
To be a Presenter is the final ingredient which makes up a dad. You see DAD for me stands for making a commitment to Deliver Again Daily.
Deliver what? Whatever is needed to ensure they are:
Living under the authority of God
How had I been doing, I reflected?
Was I presenting my children with the foundation of faith?
Was I equipping them to stand one day and take the journey to being a Dad themselves?
Had I modeled what it meant to be a Mighty Man of God?
Had I been presenting the Love, Faithfulness, and Sovereignty of Christ?
Had I shown them how a man must LOVE, LISTEN, and LEAD his spouse, children, and others in the same way Christ did the church?
I had not. So, in the early part of 2003, I began to pray for God to interrupt my life, weed out the lies, plant fruit, and allow me to experience a harvest. I wanted to be my son’s dad.
At this point, you might be wondering, when does one achieve the journey from father to dad. I believe it is not over until your time here on Earth is over. I know for me the day I celebrated the ceremony of moving from a father to a dad was official on December 10, 2017. This was the day when both my children were now living under the authority of God. Our oldest son Alex had renewed his faith and was baptized.
So, what’s next for me? As a Dad of an 18 and 21-year-old, I choose to present.
I choose to be present to present what’s needed to shift their minds from one of complaining, criticizing, and blaming to one of complementing, championing, and building others up.
I choose to be present to present the value of serving as the head of house.
I choose to be present to present the importance of shepherding your wife and children each week with Christian devotions.
I choose to be present to present the joy received when your wife, who’s running late and needs gas for the car, looks down to find the tank full.
I choose to be present to present the blessing received when one walks shoulder to shoulder with another man struggling.
I choose to be present to present the Truth that men of faith are not an island alone to wander this world in fear of inadequacy, but remind them together men sharpen one another with the Spirit of POWER, LOVE, and SOUND MIND.
I choose to be present to present the confidence needed that they have what it takes to LOVE unconditionally, LISTEN intentionally, and LEAD a bold and triumphant life.
Happy Dad’s Day!
Q&Q – Ponder This
Call to Action
Think about the quote I’ve shared with you today. Do you have what you need to be the light? Whether you have your own children or have someone special in your life that you can present the truth to and be a beacon they may need to find their way. If not you, who? If not now, when?
Men, you are never too old, and it is never too late. The simple fact is this, the very thing someone may need is YOU. Be a presenter!
Pursue Your Potential!