Sunday, June 15, 2014

Blessed is his son...

Webster will tell you a father is a man in relation to his child or children.  But our Heavenly Father says there is a little more to it than that.

God tells us a righteous man who walks in integrity brings blessings to his children. God instructs fathers not to provoke their children, but discipline them in the ways of the Lord.  Show compassion.  Do not discourage them.  Teach them.  Do not be harsh with your words, but give answers with a soft voice.  

The Child is father of the Man (Wordsworth, 1802) is a phrase I have come to ponder often.  In this I believe that the child's experiences will determine the man he grows into.  The boy Matthew, is the father to the man Matthew will become.  He is now learning how to be a man of character through an example given to him by Lord Jesus.

Being a father is not passing along some cash. Popping in for a birthday party.  High-fiving at a ball game after not seeing each other for days.  Fitting in some "fun time". Offering some cliché as advice. Throwing out that you're around if you're needed.  

Fathering is a verb — it is love in action.  I couldn't have asked for a better example for my son.  Trace gave him life, his name and his heart within the space of a moment. Matthew has a father that has wipes his tears.  Tells him no.  Gives his unconditional love.  Listens. Is available.  Wants to spend time with him.  Knows his interests.  Gives advice.  Seeks out his opinion.  Lets him learn those hard lessons.  Laughs with him. Disciplines him.  Checks in.  Invests in him.  Puts his needs first.  Does without in order to provide some wants.  Stands up for him.  Believes in him.  Corrects him.  Is selfless. Teaches him the right way.  To take pride in a job well do.  How to apologize.  How to forgive.  How to treat others.  Has his back.  How to honor his Mother.  How a husband should treat his wife.  How to ask for forgiveness.  Sits down for a meal.  How to be humble.  How to give God the glory.  The importance of God's Word.  What family means and does.  How to say no.  Always present.  That your word is your bond!  You finish what you start.  You go the extra mile.  Don't judge people.  Give everyone a fair chance.  Choices.  Be honest.  Give back.  That it is okay to be wrong.  You don't always have to be strong.  Crying is not a weakness.  How to care.  Be a friend.  Have an open mind and heart.  Be accepting.  Be thankful.  Dial down the attitude.  Share yourself. Make time.  Ask for help.  Keep your commitments.  Rest.  Play.  Have fun.  Love.

Sixteen years of witnessing the type of father Trace has been to Matthew has been a blessing to my heart.  He never turns away for a challenge nor neglects his role.  God trusted Trace to be a father to Matthew and he has followed through with all his might.

People have said I must have the perfect marriage with the perfect family (usually with a little eye rolling).  "I do," (without the eye roll) is my response.  But my perfect is not their perfect.  God made each one of us someone to love.  And someone to love us. God put this team together, so yes, it is perfect.  Perfect, but not without faults.

We fight.  We yell.  We make bad decisions.  We let each other down.  We have regrets.  We handle things wrong.  We have meltdowns.  But, we work on it.  We ask for help.  We seek His guidance.  We fix the problems.  We forgive.  We move on.  We grow.  But most importantly we stay.  We stay and we fight to get back to what God intended for us.  For us, walking away has never been an option.

So yes, Matthew has a good, honest, loving, spiritual, dedicated, ever-present example to mold his young mind, heart and future.  He calls him Daddy.

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