My window today has me high above the clouds flying west with an ultimate destination of Colorado Springs. We are making our way west to welcome our brand new grandson into the family. These are exciting times and I find myself at yet a new altitude in life. My teen years are long gone when I wondered if I would have a wife one day. The early days of employment trying to find my way in the work force are long gone too. While the work force journey has been an interesting one, now at the age of 55 I’m beginning to feel pretty comfortable in my skin. I’ve spent a number of years in the entertainment business working as a radio announcer and about an equal number of years in ministry.
But, when all that is boiled away, the most important journey is one of a father. Through the years I of course picked up tips on parenthood – and how to be a husband – from my earthly father. He is now gone and I must admit there are times when I wish I could roll back the hands of time to sit and chat with him once again. I learned from my dad the importance of being a role model for our kids, but also the role of father. These days many believe it’s more important to be a friend to their kids instead of a father. However, while dad’s do need to be friends, more importantly our children need a father. As a dad myself I truly did try to encourage my kids in all they did through their pre-teen years and then the teen years. High school posed different challenges for each child. Now they are all grown up.
The author of Proverbs encourages parents to “train up a child in the way they should go. When they are older, they shall not depart from it”. Recently a parent who is praying for their oldest child asked; “What good is it to raise up a child in church, when so many seem to depart from that foundation?” A staggering question for sure, and if I’m going to be honest here, it is a question I too have asked.
Now our boys are older and it’s amazing to think that our youngest is now a father as well! Where does the time go!? And so, here I sit in seat 16D of an Air Canada flight heading to Colorado where I will navigate a new place in life. I’m more than just a father now. I’m also a Papa praying I was a good example for our son on how to be a good father. Through the years I’ve even discovered what it means to be in the place of a father through adoption. While we didn’t officially adopted our daughter, we do have a spiritual daughter who looks to me as her daddy. In February of 2018 I have the honor and privilege of giving her away on her wedding day. Again, a new place in life as a father. Giving my Little Girl in marriage.
Where do we find the perfect example of a father? While earthly fathers are wonderful, a new understanding enters when we discover earthly fathers are a blessing from our Heavenly Father. Our heavenly Father provides the perfect example of how to be an earthly father. The Book of Proverbs is full of wisdom when it comes to not only raising children, but also on how to be a good father. For those children that go their own way and depart from the foundation established in their lives through their growing up years, we have the example of the prodigal son as described by Jesus in the Gospels. For those that go to a “far far land”, we patiently wait on the front porch, praying and watching for their return.
As we find ourselves celebrating another Father’s Day, take some time to reflect not only about your earthly father, but also our Heavenly Father who promises to never leave us nor forsake us. When we aim to follow His example, we will in turn be a blessing to our children, as well as our children’s children.
Looking Out My Window is a regular column in the Northumberland Today newspaper located in Cobourg, Ontario, Canada.