I’m a father. 3 Daughters, and pursuing our 4th. Father’s Day is always a day of rich thankfulness for me. Without going into a huge amount of background, I was raised a large chunk of my “growing up/early teen” years without a dad around. Mom did a crazy good job raising 5 kids, and figuring out how things would work…but these years still left me feeling a bit like I’d “missed out” on something important.
Even in college & as a young adult, when approaching some things, the thought would come to mind: “People who had a father growing up are probably more prepared for this than me.” As if I was something incomplete, because of what I’d experienced.
So when we moved toward starting a family of our own, there was the fear that becoming a father would somehow “reveal” what I’d been lacking. When I actually took time to think and pray about this, I knew it was a silly thought. Nevertheless, it was a quiet humming in the background of my life’s musical score.
In 2 Corinthians 12:9, Paul writes “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
This verse has definitely rang true in my life. Am I different because of going through many years without a dad at home? Yes. But do those differences do anything to weaken/make less of what God is accomplishing through me? Not at all. If anything, as the verse above declares, God’s power is all the more evident in these areas.
I’ve always known this verse, and even declared it to be true. It has definitely been a blessing in ministry, to be able to look at teenagers going through rough times and say “I know what you’re going through, and I can speak Hope into your life.” It wasn’t hard to embrace these areas of my weakness as being useful for ministry.
But what I’m learning is that it’s not simply that God wants to use these for my moments of “professional ministry”. God wants His power to be manifested in my home as well. The areas that I don’t know, where I’m humbled, and where I’m lacking….allow me to turn and point to Jesus Christ. For my own sake, and for the sake of my family.
It’s counter-intuitive these days. But it remains, as cheesy as it sounds.
I’m not an amazing father when I provide for my family financially, buy great gifts, and take them to Disney World (whew). I’m not a great father when I fix the car engine (thankfully), clean our gutters, or patch a hole in the wall. I’m a Father when I’m pointing my family to Jesus as their source of strength and wisdom. And for that…I am more than well-equipped for the task. 🙂