Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.
Children born to a young man (Psalms 127:3-4).
In December of 2004, my wife and I got up at 4 AM in the morning to prepare to go to the hospital. That morning my wife was going to the hospital to have our first child by C section and the surgical procedure was to going to happen at 7 AM that morning. The doctor wanted to perform the procedure instead of natural childbirth so that my wife would not have any medical complications in having our first child. As we prepared to leave that morning, the weather was terrible and the blizzard conditions made driving on the road nearly impossible. When my wife finally had our child at 8:30 AM that morning, the birth of our child was truly a life-changing experience for us both. As I held our daughter in my hands, I remember touching her little hands and I felt her making contact with mine. It was at that moment that I knew that I would be wrapped around her little fingers and she would be daddy little girl for life.
My brother, you may have become a dad for the first time and you felt excited, maybe nervous or even both. If you are a man who already has children your time being a father has given you wisdom, patience, and even some heartache. As fathers, I believe there are three important things we must understand how our life impacts the lives of our children. The first thing we as fathers must realize is that our presence matters in your children’s lives. A second thing that we must understand is that our voice, when heard by our children, helps to bring love, clarity, and order in their lives. A final thing we must understand is that our presence in our children’s lives adds value in their life.
Your presence matters
We live in a society where most of our children are growing up without the presence of their fathers in their lives. As fathers, we must be determined that our presence must be felt by our children from the time they get up in the morning and when they go to bed at night. When we are there to change our child’s diaper or rocking them to sleep at night gives them the assurance we have made everything better for them. When we take them to the park and not the mother so they can play with other kids their age and have ice cream later becomes the highlight of their day.
Whatever you are going through emotionally, financially, or spiritually my brother don’t allow the enemy to deceive you into believing that it better for you to leave than to stay in your child’s life. Your child looks forward to those days when you volunteer to be a reader in her class and you read her favorite book in the class. Your looks forward to you coming to his class to pick up at the end of school and you surprise him and the rest of his classmates by giving them all balloons letting them know they are all special and are loved.
Your voice brings love, clarity, and order
Several years ago, I changed careers from working in banking to now working in Risk Management. One of my former coworkers would come in the morning and would call his house to speak with his children. We sat close by one another and I overheard him telling his kids how much he loved them and how he wanted them to have a great day. As my coworker consistently did this every day at work it made a profound impact on me inspired me to do the same with my daughter in the morning. I saw this as another opportunity to let my daughter know how much I cared for her and loved her. I was convinced by her hearing my voice each morning of her day would help set the tone to provide clarity in who she was and help to establish order in her day.
As fathers, God did not place us in our children’s lives to speak at them but to speak to them with love, clarity, and order. As a father when you speak to your child, your words of affection will let your son know how much you love and care for him. When your voice is heard it should not bring confusion but clarity in helping him to understand his identity comes from you being present is his life. Finally, as you speak to your son about who God has made him to be, your voice will help to establish order which will help him to avoid the brick walls you hit in your own life.
You add value to your child’s life
So many times we are asked by others do we know how much value we add to the companies we work overtime for and the churches we attend on Sunday morning. However, I believe our children which are a gift from the Lord are just as important and we must add value to their lives as well. One of the ways that the Lord show me how I could add value to my daughter’s life was from time to time writing short notes to encourage her. There would be some days when she was in elementary school and another student or teacher had done something that cause her to be discouraged. After me and her mother had addressed the concern that my daughter had, the next morning before she left to go to school, I would write a short note and place it in her school bag. I would place the short note in one of her school folders so that when she found it, I wanted her to know how that she had the ability to excel in school and in life. I would write these short notes at different times even if there were no concern but just let her know that she was daddy’s little girl. However, one day she did a reverse roll on me and left a short note of her own in my bible letting me know how much she loved me. These short notes were just one of many ways that the Lord has shown me how to add value to my daughter life as a father.
As fathers, we are able to help our children feel valued by giving them compliments when they are doing things well and when they have accomplished certain tasks. When we see opportunities for growth in their life our feedback should be constructive and not negative about what they have not done right. My brother despite what you may be going through as a man and a father, always remember that your presence does matter to your child not only now but also for rest of his or her life.