In April of 2016, my wife and I discovered we were going to become parents. When I learned this, being the best possible father was the only thing that really mattered to me. I wanted, and still want, to provide the best possible life I could for my child to come. I had no idea where to begin, but now I have been a father for four years and this Father’s Day, I would like to share with you two things about becoming a father that I have learned over the last four years.
1. I realized I had to become a man if I wanted to become a father. Just what did that mean though? Wasn’t I already a man since I had a wife, my own house, and a good career? Absolutely not. I was missing a key element that turns a boy into a man, caring for others more than myself.
Acts 20:35, “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
Sure, I was a hard worker. I had been working full time since high school and was far ahead of even my own parents compared to where they were at my age, but those monetary and physical things meant nothing when those were the things I was serving. I never used my resources to help other people. My only focus was myself and the things I could attain in this life. I found that when I started living for others and became content with my life, I matured from a boy into a man that could become a good example to his children.
2. The second thing I realized was I was going to have to be a better husband. Sure, I tried my best to provide and make sure that my wife was taken care of. I would defend her, but she never relied on me for anything emotionally. I never understood that until I became a dad.
Ephesians: 5:25-30, Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.”
A father sets and example for his children by the way he conducts his immediate relationships, especially with one’s wife. If he cannot treat his wife appropriately, how could he expect his children to look for that in their own relationships? If he says negative things to his wife, if he’s lazy in his endeavors, if he doesn’t put others above himself, his children will see that and accept that in future relationships. These are the two most important things I believe I have learned in my short time of being a father.