On Fatherhood

 

I am a father.

I have six children and love every one of them.

Being president of the United States couldn’t be a better job than this. The next generation has been entrusted to my care. They need protection, provision, and love. They need discipline and training. I’m happy to do these things.

I am a father.

God has given me the duty and privilege of telling my children about Him. I love to share the Scriptures with them, to tell them about the Creator. I love sharing with them about what Christ has done for them.

Ephesians six explains my job description – raise my children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. That’s it – simple, yet glorious.

I love my job. My greatest joy is telling my children about the Lord. What greater joy, and what greater job could there be?

I am a father.

Being a father is difficult at times. It’s filled with joy, but I can’t deny the truth. There are times when I’m exhausted and find it difficult to love my children the way I should. But, it’s my job and I keep at it.

Life would be easier if my wife and I lived alone. But, it wouldn’t be filled with little feet, tiny hugs, and small wonders. These moments make the job worthwhile. They make me smile. My children light up my life.

I am a father.

Some nights are restless. My two little ones crawl into my bed and squeeze me to the edge. I cling, half asleep, to the little space they assign to me. If I move too fast I’ll likely fall to the carpet.

My back hurts when I wake for work. But I look at those little ones in bed with my wife, all three sleeping peacefully, and I am again filled with joy.

But my back hurts. And I’m tired. I have a full day of work ahead of me. After work I have other duties. I don’t have time to do all the things I need to do. Do I have time to spend with the kids?

I must find the time. The job isn’t easy, but it’s worth it. God helps me each day.

I am a father.

I really don’t know what I’m doing. Not that I’ve just discovered this, but the reality if fresh. How is any father to know what to do? The job description is wonderful, but it doesn’t come with a manual. Lord, help me.

What am I to do when my children reach driving age, working age, dating age? Is there a dating age? What passage of Scripture can help me with this question?

I know Scripture is sufficient and gives me all I need to accomplish what God has called me to do, but the answers aren’t sitting on the surface. Lord, teach me your Word, teach me to be a good father.

This job is difficult. My kids have questions I can’t answer, they have needs I can’t meet, they have problems I can’t solve.

They wear me out.

I am a father.

The good news about this job is that I don’t do it alone. I am a father, but I also have a Father. God is my Father and my help. He gave me the job, He gave me the kids, and He gives me the strength each day to succeed.

The thing my children need most isn’t me, their father. They need God the Father to be their Father.

Part of my job, the most important part, is to point them toward God, to proclaim to them the excellencies of Christ. Union with Christ will answer their deepest questions, it will meet their greatest needs, it will solve their greatest problems.

I have a Father. The thing my children need most is the thing I also need most – to draw close to their Father.

My job description comes from Him. My job description is Him. My job is to be like Christ. And it’s impossible. Without God I cannot be the father I need to be. But with God’s help, I can be a good father to my children. With God’s help, I can rise each day with joy and energy. With God’s help I can succeed.

I have a Father. My Father is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. My Father is Creator of the universe. My Father knows what I need and what my children need each moment of each day. Because of this I can be a good father. He is my comfort, my strength, my joy.

I have a Father.

I have the best job description in the world. I love what I do. I wake each day with purpose.

What a joy! What a job!

I am a father.

 

by David West