Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Becoming a Dad

Growing up, my Dad's love was very conditional and constantly volatile. Insults and blows were more common than hugs and affirmation. The reason I mention that fact is because when I came to Jesus, I viewed God in the same light as my Dad. God had to be hard to please, quick to punish and constantly disappointed by all my shortcomings.

I mean, He is Father God, so of course He will have the same temperament, compassion and touch as my own dad, right? Somehow I was unable to completely shake this errant view of God many years into my Faith.

I became a Dad in 2005, when I met my son Logan. He was 14 months old on April 16, 2005 when I saw and held him for the first time. In the state of Iowa's eyes I was already a dad because they required that I pay back child support since January 14, 2004. However, at the advice of some family and friends, I did not become involved in Logan's life until DNA verified my fatherhood. Interesting, how Iowa could take months to confirm me as Logan's Dad but only took days to garnish my wages.

Anyways, after becoming a Dad, I began to see my Dad in heaven a lot differently. I began to understand how God could love me when I messed up, even when I messed up intentionally and no matter how big mess I could make. Sorta like the time I woke up to hundreds of post it notes all over the carpet.  I started to understand the concept of 'a thousand years from now, will this really matter?'. I accepted the fact that I could be patient and caring even when Logan did something stupid. Like the time he shoved a lego up his nose.  Initially I was baffled by the request and then annoyed by his anxiety when he pleaded for my help but I managed to be comforting as we worked together to dislodge the piece of plastic. If I can be that way in during an episode of stupidity, then how much more care and patience would a Holy Dad give me during one of my thoughtless episodes?

I have also realized how important my love and affection for God is to Him. When my young son could outta nowhere declare "I love you, Daddy!" and then flip his attention back onto the coloring book. I understood how my spontaneous praise or a wanting to just rest in His presence could bless Him. Similar to the time I was washing dishes and without any words Logan made me feel so loved by walking up to me and thrusting his arms up in the arm, 'begging' me to pick him up. I didn't hold him very long, 90 seconds at most, but it is still a memory that brings a smile to my face when I reflect upon it.

Most of all, how my son as been influential in my relationship with God has been learning that God is slow to anger and quick to forgive. Now, I aint gonna front, the only one with a quicker temper in my house than Logan, is me. But it is through some of my greatest weaknesses and the weaknesses of those around me that I see God at His strongest and most loving. One time in particular in which Logan was melting down, that I felt overwhelmed with love and compassion for him. My thoughts and feelings of anger and annoyance were washed away with peace and love. I felt the little guy's pain and frustration as he couldn't put words to his emotions and confusion. I understood how God could love me in spite of the nasty tantrums I had thrown and the horrible things I said to Him out of my own inability to put words to my emotions.

After becoming a Dad I can understand and appreciate why God persists in a relationship with me and it is after becoming a Dad that I can appreciate the Love and Mercy He gives me.

The Lord is like a father to His children,tender and compassionate to those who fear Him. For He knows how weak we are; He remembers we are only dust.
Psalm 103:13-14


David said...

Thanks for sharing - for shaing imperfection, for sharing love - and for sharing Jesus.

Thanks -

Joyce Lighari said...

Very powerful! Thanks!

Tony C said...

Thanks for the blessing Brother. You provided me a great opportunity to reflect on my own attitude about our Father and being a father.

photogr said...

Being a dad for children is something special. Takes a lot to be a good dad and nuture the child to adulthood. So many fail in this area either by choice or un knowing.

Anonymous said...

Becoming a Dad makes me think my Dad was human as well. Much easier to forgive and forget. It is wonderful to know we serve a Perfect and all powerful God who will be just and fair. It is also sobering to realize that we are responsible for how our children view God.