The Pain of Fatherhood

In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge. –Proverbs 14:26

When God’s Word and it’s thrust toward discipleship of your family comes into focus, pain immediately sets in. I mean to say it is an urgency. A desperate desire.

As a father and husband I am called to disciple my wife and my children. This is perfectly clear in Scripture. This pain I’m describing is something not suitable for words. I have a deep, unexplainable longing for the best for my wife and child. Not my best. God’s best. The conviction is this:  no one else is called to do what I am – only I can fulfill this calling in their lives.  I am called to show them God’s best.  I say it is no one else’s calling because I am their spiritual leader. My wife is married to only me. I am the only father of my child. The responsibility rests solely on my shoulders to do this, by the power of the gospel. And if I do it, it will be as a result of me loving God in such a way that they can experience His best.

But it is not my own self doing this thing. My flesh would love to outsource this discipleship (as many people think) to the local church or some other “professional”. That is not God’s design. Too many have chosen to outsource discipleship of their family. That is not Scriptural. I  have a calling placed on my life as a dad to mold and make a grown woman and growing child, through the leadership and work of the Holy Spirit, to be satisfied in God. Not in what He does for us, but in who He is. My flesh is satisfied in His blessings but the God in me is only satisfied in Himself.  Rightfully so.

The pain of fatherhood, to me, is so wanting to see God move in my family that the only alleviation is surrender. Only the killing of my own idols can make way for the true worship of God for my family. Even then the depths of what He can accomplish are not even being tasted. This pain I have is to see them become true God-worshipers. A desire so deeply rooted that it’s urgent and uncomfortable until it’s manifested in response to God’s grace. The question is not of His faithfulness to do it, but of my response to the pain of fatherhood.

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