God’s Peace Through the Fog of Fatherhood
BY GARY LEWIS
As I think about Father’s Day and the stage that I’m at now, it’s much easier to look back with some clarity and yes, pick out all of the many mistakes, but also by God’s graciousness, see growth in my role as a husband/father. I’m reminded that countless numbers of men have looked into a newborn’s face and wondered, “What in the world am I going to teach this kid?…Am I good enough? Nope! Am I smart enough? Ego aside, the answer is still nope! Do we make enough to feed three people (or four)? Not a chance. Then how are we going to make this work?” You see, when our boys were born, I didn’t truly know my Savior. Of course I knew things about Him, and I had gone to church some, but I hadn’t trusted Him with my life. Thankfully Terri knew Jesus from a young age and, praise God, she was patient. But at that moment…with this little boy bundled up beside us in the hospital bed, I was wondering if I could be the husband she needed and ultimately the father he needed.
But God has a plan that slowly became clearer with time. From a biblical perspective, this is like the scales being removed from our eyes: “Whereas I was blind, now I see” (John 9:25). Little by little, I could see better. The fog was still there, sometimes close by and at others, farther off. But not gone. Truth is, I don’t think it’s ever gone. This is how I understand my continual need for growth, for trust in Him…to be sanctified by Him, through Him. I needed something other than the talents my parents had bestowed upon me. I needed knowledge, wisdom, and training that wasn’t found in your typical textbook. I needed the Jesus of the Bible. And so, almost six years later, with our boys now five and three years old and me being thirty-four, I tossed my ego aside long enough to admit I needed Jesus as my Savior. I repented of my sins and trusted Jesus’ payment (His death, burial, resurrection) as the final payment for my sins. I didn’t have to be the best dad, or the smartest, or the richest. Jesus was! What I needed was to be obedient to God and teach my boys to love God. Now I wanted them to know Him the way I knew Him, and that became my goal. Being able to see this changed my approach to being a father.
I didn’t have to be the best dad, or the smartest, or the richest. Jesus was! What I needed was to be obedient to God and teach my boys to love God.
It is true that this is the best decision anyone can ever make, but it wasn’t easy. It is incredibly scary to have a perfect God show you your faults. But oh, what joy when we finally learn He doesn’t want us to stay in that condition. He wants us to be just like His own Son! He has the biggest and best plans for us if we will only humble ourselves and be obedient to Him. For most of my early life, I didn’t understand this. I would have told you I was good. I knew how to behave; I respected people; I worked hard, and I was driven (note the number of times the personal pronoun “I” is used in that sentence). Slowly and patiently, God pointed me (sometimes it felt like an actual nudge) down His path and away from what I always thought was my path. I would wrestle with God and try to “sneak in” my own willful thoughts. Like Jacob wrestled with God but to a lesser degree. Surely my way is better in this case?? Nope. And so this process continues, repeating daily like any routine we have…wash, rinse, dry, repeat. Fail, repent, learn, repeat. I’m secure in my salvation, and secure in the knowledge of Christ’s continuing work in my life. So goes fatherhood…so goes life. I am not yet who I should be, but praise God, I’m not who I was!
I’m secure in my salvation, and secure in the knowledge of Christ’s continuing work in my life. So goes fatherhood…so goes life. I am not yet who I should be, but praise God, I’m not who I was!
God’s way: constant, unchanging, rewarding beyond words. And now, at this stage, I think I see true peace, God’s peace through the fog.
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