It’s this look at the very beginning that took my breath away. It was like he was holding in his hands something in his life that was finally all his – no one else could take the credit. It was a gift from God. It was something he had done and done well. In this moment you can’t see the back story, you can’t see the pain he bears and you don’t know what the future will be, but you know you are standing on holy ground.
The truth is this season for us was super scary. Because he had taken a job a state away, we weren’t sure how the future would work out and we were only seeing each other on the weekends while I stayed put awaiting the birth of our first child. There was a good chance he was going to miss the delivery. So we prayed. I remember my mom praying like a crazy person. I remember getting super fat and feeling very much alone.
I remember when I felt the first pains of labor and Mr. Hubby was right there beside me sleeping. He’d made it home for the weekend three hours before.
It was a holy ground moment not just because of new life, new family and all those firsts: first breath, first cry, first face to face…But because a holy Creator invested in the lives of His creation heard our prayers. A first time daddy did not miss his daughter’s birth. He was one of the first to touch her and see her and hold her. I grew up knowing God cares about my heart. It was in this moment I came to understand on a deeper level how much He cares about my husband’s heart. God is invested in the heart of our family.
The Making of a Father
I know a lot of guys who didn’t have a great dad to show them how. I know other men who learned by watching their father-in-law, grandfather or uncles. Some men learn to be daddies by getting face down before God daily – asking for his strength, guidance and wisdom (whatever kind of example you may have had I recommend this option). What I know 100% is that God is an amazing father. He can equip the most inexperienced man, working with his strengths and weaknesses to raise amazing kids. What God needs from dads is a teachable, humble heart that yearns to live for Him and teach his children the things of God.
I know He found that in my husband.
You can’t half-ass this father thing, or living for Jesus thing and expect at the end of the day to have an amazing relationship with your kids. God can redeem anything, but do YOU really want to be what God has to redeem for your kids. Do YOU want to be what they have to overcome to find Him?
“Fathers, don’t exasperate your children by coming down hard on them. Take them by the hand and lead them in the way of the Master.” (Ephesians 6:4 The Message)
Did you catch that? “Take them by the hand and lead them…” It doesn’t say beat them over the head, mock them and they will find God. I’ve come to understand as a parent that we make a choice: we make it easier for our children to come to Christ by living authentically, focused on glorifying God or we make it more difficult by making it all about us as the PARENT. We make a choice and some of us do not choose wisely.
While in the eyes of the world my husband may not be what would be considered “successful”… in the eyes of God, his wife and his children he is a Mighty Man. He was unsure about how to be a dad (when you grow up feeling like you suck at everything it is difficult to find your footing and acknowledge what you are good at), but being a dad is one of the things that he does best!
While some fathers are busy bragging about how amazing they are or were as dads, other fathers are busy being amazing dads. My hubby is one of those guys busy being an amazing daddy. He is sensitive to the hearts of his children. He is patient. He is forgiving. He is grace under pressure.
He is compassionate, slow to anger, level-headed, abounding in patience, but firm in refusing to be pushed around.
It took becoming a daddy for my hubby to find his backbone. And a man with a backbone is one sexy being.
All these things and more leave me deeply grateful for the mighty man I call, “Husband,” my children call, “Daddy” and God calls, “Son.”
Happy Father’s Day, Matt. I love you. I’m proud of you.
I asked on Monday: Where Have All the Mighty Men of God Gone?
Wednesday: Mighty Men: Church Janitor