Tuesday, August 27, 2013


#36 Fatherhood

This is a post that if I am not careful may sound self-serving.  Please know that my intent is not in that vein.  This post is intended to speak to the state of fatherhood in our community - and is intended to wake us dads up to our God-given responsibility, and joy, in being a father.

Tonight my beloved wife was given a birthday gift by her brother.  Both she and her brother went to a Washington Nationals baseball game.  At the time of this writing they are still enjoying the game [Go Nats!].  However, this break for my wife gave me an opportunity to be with my children and spend precious daddy-daughter time together.  I took my youngest two children to PetSmart [I needed to pick up fish tank equipment and it gave me an opportunity to show them the other fish, hamsters, birds, and guinea pigs] and then out to dinner at the local Mexican restaurant.  It was a good night together with two of my children. [Though I did miss my oldest Olivia] 

Now, something happened tonight that has occurred on other occasions, but tonight it simply hit me in a different way and I felt compelled to write.  I was eating with the twins and we finished having dinner.  We occupied one booth and three lovely ladies occupied the booth behind the one we were using.  Faith sat with me and Hope sat opposite me [for those who do not know Faith and Hope are the names of my 2 year old twin daughters.]  As is the custom my girls ate, spilled some rice, and bounced around.  Nothing bad - just silly-hearted two year old stuff.

Right before we were to leave the booth Faith stood up and began talking to the ladies behind me.  She was just saying things like, "you eating....I eating too...you like your rice?  I eat my rice too..."  and things akin to this.  I did not know whether this was annoying to the lady behind me so I asked Faith to stop.  The woman assured me that this was cute and was not a bother.  We then got ready to leave.  The three ladies in the booth then commented along these lines, "we were just talking about how good of a dad you are to take your daughters out to eat...it's so nice!"  I received similar comments as I took the kids to Petsmart from ladies at the store there.

Now, I want to be clear - this is NOT a post about how I am some kind of, "good" dad.  This IS a post about the state of our culture whereby simply having a father take his kids to the store and out to eat is somehow evidence that I am a good dad.  The question arises in my mind, "how bad has our culture gotten whereby simple acts - shopping alone with children, feeding them, and watching them - somehow now solicits comments from women about how good I am.  I doubt highly [I could be wrong] that mothers who take their kids out to eat get similar comments.  Maybe they do and I am simply way off base.  I've been known to be wrong before.....:)

This does however make me think something.  Fathers, in many cases, have completely abdicated responsibility for their children.  Have you ever noticed that when a dad watches his children he is, "babysitting"?  How did we get there?  Do not fathers have the same level of responsibility over their children as mothers?  Of course they do. They were there at their conception.  They were there in the making.  They too share the responsibility.  It is just that simple. 

Now, I want to make something clear.  I am not picking on these particular comments at all; on the contrary, to have strangers tell me my children are cute and give compliments is very nice - and I enjoy them.  I too think my children are cute :)  However, this has happened on many occasions - and it often happens when I am alone with my three children at a grocery store, a restaurant, etc....it just so happens that tonight I only had two of my three kids with me.  But this was not an isolated event.  It happens often when I am alone with my children in public. 

Now to the point.  Dads - we have responsibility for our kids.  Take it.  We need to spend time with them - and yes, we need to spend some time with them alone.  We need to teach our sons how to be men - and we need to teach our daughters what a godly man looks like and how he ought to act.  We need to change diapers, discipline, play games, and rough house.  We offer something to our children that a mother cannot - because she is a mother.  Men, you have tremendous value in the sight of God.  My goodness, have we missed the fact that we are given the title that God has given us to call Him - the title of FATHER.  This is a tremendous responsibility - and joy.

My children want mommy with them all the time.  They absolutely adore mommy.  She is a good mommy.  However, my children do not cry when mommy leaves for a night.  Why?  Because they are comfortable and used to daddy.  They know that daddy will care for them.  I too can put the twins to sleep.  I too can pray with my children and talk to my oldest at night and tuck her in.  I too can sing to them.

I have a beautiful wife who is a wonderful mother.  I do not want her job.  It is tough.  And I rejoice that she is able to spend some much needed time with her family.  This does not freak me out.  Dads - there is a special joy when your children sit on your lap, put their head against your chest and say, "daddy...hold me."  It gives me but a small taste of how God must feel when I wrap myself in His Word and pray to Him - I too often say to Him, "daddy....hold me."

Dads - take the time.  Play with your kids.  Be involved.  It is worth it.  I promise you - it is worth it.  I often joke about my kids - but in reality I would not change anything for the world.  I really would not.  Drop the video game controller.  Drop the TV controller.  Drop the internet for some time.  Spend the time with your kids.  Play hide and seek.  Listen to them laugh.  It is good medicine.

This is just a post about changing our culture.  Dads, be dads.  Be involved.  Our heavenly Father is involved in our life.  He did not simply create us and then leave us.  He is always there, listening, disciplining, forgiving, and leading.  Let us take a cue from Him and be the fathers He calls us to be.  yes, you will screw up.  I do too.  We all do.  But He forgives us.  He picks us up and tells us to go again.

I am happy to be a dad.

God bless,

Pastor Chris