Fatherhood means so much more than just giving life to a life unlived, it means dreaming of things yet undreamed, and sustaining hope in a hopeless world. It means being there for my children through thick and thin, and not walking out on my family when things get tough. It means a Christ-like sacrificial love for their mother who gave them life, while providing for my family, and defending and protecting them from the evil influences of this world. It means setting the example by reading God’s word with my family, and going to church with them, not just letting them go on their own. It means untiring prayer in exhausting circumstances; and leading them through a wilderness of sin when all they can see is a godless generation before them. It means showing them God in that godless world, and choosing to remain faithful to Him when my own and their faith is struggling to live.
Fatherhood means seeing each of my children as individuals, loving them as equals, respecting them as little people. It means being careful with my words and actions, which influence young minds and hearts for good or evil. It means respecting and nurturing their budding sexuality without allowing myself or others to hurtfully infringe on its natural progression in their lives. Fatherhood entails an absolute acceptance of who each of my children are as a person, while leading them with a firm spiritual guidance in an evil and ungodly world, and having an unconditional love and forgiveness for them when I am disappointed in their words or actions. It means choosing to love them when my children are unlovable. It means not seeing their imperfections as permanent flaws, but as opportunities to grow and learn more about themselves. It means showing them my own imperfections, while trusting that they can also learn from me and become better than I ever hoped to be as a human being. It means not trying to live my life through them, but allowing them to be who God meant them to be. Fatherhood confirms to me that life is not without hope, that the future is in God’s hands, and that my life will continue through them when I have gone on to be with Him.
Fatherhood is the greatest gift God gave to mankind, to know that we are instruments in His Creation, to know that we participated in His purpose and plan for life on earth and in the hereafter. Fatherhood is life, and hopes, and dreams; it is failures and disappointments, repentance and forgiveness. It is perseverance in parenting a new people for Jesus, overcoming life’s trials through Him who overcame the world, and showing the next generation how to overcome the world by the word of their testimony and by the Lamb of God. It means sharing the truth of Christ’s redemptive plan to a new generation that they may go unto all the world. . . .