Fearful and Fearless Fathering

16 06 2019

I was privileged to spend a portion of Father’s Day weekend in Chicago with my two Rock _nsons, Jeremy and Justin and their families. It was so much fun being with the boys since they live in different cities and I don’t see them often. But what makes it special is that we can pick up as if no time has passed as we share some of the old times as well as new. On the return trip I thought about how much I enjoyed being with my boys. Seems like only yesterday they as well as their sister, Jamie were little people waiting to greet me when I got home from work. My, how it seems like the time just went too fast. I truly miss those days.

I imagine some of these feelings come from the lack of a father in my own life. As a young child I would question why didn’t I have a dad, and if I did have one where was he? It wasn’t until being nearly grown that I learned the truth; Howard (that was his name) was only interested in having relations with my mom, but not a relationship, and certainly not with a child either. A person would see that as a sad scenario, but by then it really didn’t bother me. Perhaps it’s best described as what an individual would say about not having an arm or other regular part of the body; it would be nice to have but since you never had an arm it doesn’t bother you as much and you learn to make the best without. So, if dear old dad didn’t want to be there for me that was fine, I could get along very well without him.  At least that’s how I felt up until Dec. 31, 1979, the birth date of our daughter followed in later years by her brothers. Not having a male role model to emulate was now pressing on me as I worried about making mistakes in my new role as dad.

Thankfully, the insight of my Lady pointed me to the fact that I did have a role model, a Father who was with me always and whether I realized it or not was preparing me for the day little ones would look to me for guidance and love. From my Heavenly Father I learned I needed to be a teacher (Proverbs 22:6), plant in them the important things of life (2Cor. 3:2-3), show compassion (Psalm 103:13),  pray for my children like David did (1 Chronicles 29:19) and never give up on them, just like the father of the prodigal son didn’t (Luke 15:20-24).

Yes, I didn’t have an earthly father to show me the ropes, but I have to be thankful for him giving me life, that I may learn from my Heavenly Father. “Hey Howie, whether you know it not, ya did good; you ought to see your awesome grand and great grandkids!!”

So, did I do things right? Yes. Did I make mistakes? You betcha!! Would I want to do things over? And take a chance of missing the good that came out of the bad?  No way!

Without a doubt being a father isn’t easy, but is anything that’s worthwhile easy? Think about what God has to put up with as Dad to all of us; Whoa! But isn’t it great to know that He loves each of us as if we’re His one and only, and that love doesn’t end when we screw up? I mean how cool is that?!!

I’m not perfect and I don’t think they’d mind me saying neither are my kids. But I have a good example to pass on to them, a Father who leads me as I “Travel the Rock Road.” As He will them.

“Let me tell you a secret about a father’s love,

A secret that my daddy said was just between us.

He said, ‘Daddies don’t just love their children every now and then.

It’s a love without end, amen, it’s a love without end, amen.’”

See ya next time.


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