[dropcap]F[/dropcap]atherhood Wonders—It isn’t that I didn’t want to know how to be a good dad; it was that I lacked experience. Being a parent was out of my educational background, my military training and my spiritual training.
Although I married my wife because I loved her and wanted to ‘raise a family’ with her, I wasn’t sure what that all meant. I can’t say I spent much time in my life considering babies and the process involved in making them. Having been in the military I knew men who ‘shacked up’, visited prostitutes and read Playboy magazines. (Since I was planning on becoming a priest in the Catholic Church, I kept myself from all of those things by God’s grace.)
Nine months after we married, we had our first child, a baby girl, our one and only daughter. So began my education, on-the-job mind you, of learning to be a parent and dad.
At one point I wanted to help other men with the same adventure. I knew I needed to make it simple and easy to understand – thus, the book, Fatherhood – Experiencing the Wonders. These wonders fall into two categories – the natural wonders and the spiritual wonders.
My hope is to help others dads ‘catch’ the obvious highlights and markers that are sprinkled throughout his son/daughter’s life while they were living in his home. The natural wonders such as
- Birth of your child,
- Your name, “Dad”,
- Your sleeping Child,
- Your dinner table,
- High school Graduation,
- Their mate and
These Wonders stand out, in part, because very few of them have to do with your ability as a father. These Wonders have more to do with savoring the events that unfold in the lives of your children, enjoying each special one, rather than letting them pass by unnoticed.
A lot of being a father is heart. What is your attitude in your heart towards your child?… your role as dad?… your home?… and your family as a whole? A job consumes a great deal of your time, but your family deserves quality time as well. It is not your job at home to ‘check out’ or passively vegetate and think things can run without your involvement.
When you have children naturally your concern turns to thoughts of their future. This is where prayer comes into your life. You begin to ask God to protect them when they are out of your sight and to watch over them wherever they are. You begin to ‘trust’ God to help you parent.
As a dad you begin to experience a new kind of love. This love fills you from the day your son/daughter is born until the day you die. You have known love from your parents, your brothers and sisters, your aunts and uncles, girlfriends, but this is a new type of love. You are on a new adventure and love is the river you are sailing on.
Just as there are natural wonders that are part of being a dad, there are spiritual wonders –
- Participating in Creation
- Exercising Loving Authority
- Experiencing Answers to Prayers
- Having a Godly Vision
- Blessing Your Children
- Finding Wisdom When Needed
- Embracing Christian Character
- Receiving Honor from Your Children
These are spiritual wonders because God is deeply involved in each one — some without your permission, some with your permission. Neither you nor I have been able to explain conception. We cannot get our minds around how an egg and a sperm could ultimately come to be a baby. That isn’t even taking into consideration the idea of a soul or life after death.
Spiritual wonders require your participation. You can’t be absent and fulfill these wonders. It also requires your heart wanting to do the right things for your children. You become less selfish as you love your son/daughter. In fact you would even be willing to lay down your life for them.
The Natural Wonders are beautiful to experience and the Spiritual Wonders bring joy to you and your family when you seek God for their fulfillment in your life as Dad.