For Father’s Day I thought I would share some thoughts of what it’s like to be a father as well as share some reflections on my own father.
Prior to Morgan’s birth I had some anxiety about becoming a father. There are the usual issues that were running through my mind like the pressures of provision and the huge increase in responsibility. However, a large part of my anxiety came from wondering if I could or would measure up to the father that I had.
My dad is the most patient man I know and has one of the biggest servant’s hearts of anyone I know. He’s quite long-suffering and I long ago came to the conclusion that if he was angry at someone or pretty frustrated with someone – that person more than likely had done more than enough to merit such a response. However those times are so few that I could probably name them on one hand.
I’ve seen that part of entering into fatherhood is reconciling the differences between my father and I. I am quite different from my dad and because of that I’ve wondered how could I be the same kind of dad for my kids as he was to me and my sisters when I am so different. While I’ve grown to become more patient, I’m not the most natural servant nor am I incredibly long-suffering. I’m much more reactionary, intense, and cognitive while he demonstrates patience, approachability and warmth. These are some of the qualities I most admire in him and as a result I think I must have grown anxious in measuring myself against his strengths.
Upon the birth of Morgan, I was amazed at how natural fatherhood came. Things changed the moment Morgan came into the world at 3 and 1/2 pounds. I was surprised at how much fatherhood seemed to flow instinctively. Almost right off the bat, there were parts of me that were drawn out of me because of Morgan that I didn’t quite know were there. Over time I’ve seen how God can use who He’s made me to be to be the right father for Morgan, our new baby boy to come, and any other children that may come our way. It’s a great thing to be free from comparison so that I might be able to be free to be the man and father that God’s called me to be and that I want to be.
That’s not the end of my point however. What I’ve realized is that the father I am or that I am enjoying being to Morgan is not totally disconnected from my dad. While comparing myself to him does no good, I see that so much of who I am reflects him and the kind of relationship that he has had with me. I feel secure in who I am for the most part and I have felt secure as a man in the roles of both husband and father. I’m seeing more and more how rare this is as so many husbands and fathers struggle daily with their manhood and sense of self.
So I may never be the father my dad was to me, but I can enjoy knowing that the father I am and will be is in no small measure a result of my dad’s love, time, and sacrifice. I don’t need to fear what I am not, but I am most grateful for who he’s helped me to become.
I cannot fail to mention how amazing it is to watch him with Morgan. It’s almost like I get a glimpse of how he was with us as kids.
Also, if you could pray for him – his second surgery to have stents put into arteries around his heart is on Tuesday. Pray that the procedure goes well and that he has a quick recovery.