Father's Day

As I think of Father's Day three things quickly come to mind.

Love God, love my wife and how God has taught me how to love sacrificially through my children.

First, if I want to really learn to be a father, I have to spend time with my heavenly Father in the secret place.

Blaise Pascal writes, "All the troubles of life come upon us because we refuse to sit quietly for a while each day in our rooms."

Actually, I believe that there are some troubles that are just part of life. But to face them without my heavenly Father is unthinkable. The really great problems of life: sin and death, our heavenly Father has solved. But, I'm also trusting Him for the provision that is daily, as well as for eternity.

Second, to love my wife. I'm reminded of my own Dad when I think of this. A vivid memory from my early teen years is when all four of us boys were sitting at the table with Mom and Dad. Mom had experienced a stressful day. Perhaps the four of us boys were part of that stress. As we finished dinner, Dad described a scenario where a gunman might enter our home. He said if faced with a decision between Mom and the four boys, we'd all be gone. He said, "She was with me in the beginning and she'll be with me at the end." And she was. And I never forgot the lesson that day of loving my wife before my children.

However, loving my children has been and is a great joy. And God has used them to take me out of a self-centered existence, to which I am prone and into an others-centered life.

I so remember the first time I held each of our newborn children and how keenly aware I was of their dependence upon me for protection and provision. And it changed me. I became less concerned with how well I shot a basketball and more concerned about how I would provide a life and home for them.

As I close I have one more thought. And that is expressing our Father's love by being a father to the fatherless. I pray for all the Dads out there that they will share their lives beyond just their own physical children, and love those who have no father. For that is the heart of our Heavenly Father.

Psalms 68:5-6a
A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
is God in his holy dwelling.
God sets the lonely in families,
he leads out the prisoners with singing

Love,
Papa Joe