Psalm 127:3-4 (ESV) Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth.
Children are a gift. Unfortunately, lots of fathers don’t look at it that way. They see kids as a burden, mouths to feed, an obstacle to getting important things done. If you’re reading this, I’m going to assume that you’re not one of “those” dads. The effort you’ve made to seek out devotions for dads says that you probably already value your children.
I’ve always known I was going to be a dad. Even when I was very young, I liked to play house with my friends, who were mostly girls. I would be the dad, helping to take care of the Cabbage Patch kids (I’m dating myself…), while also doing manly things of course. My career in these pretend scenarios was usually something like a stuntman or construction worker. I never, ever thought of it as “girly” to pretend to be a father. As I grew older, I realized that I wasn’t in the majority. Many people thought that a caring father was somehow not normal.
Maybe it’s because I had a great dad that I see things differently than much of the world. I’ve never lacked fatherly love. But maybe it’s also my understanding of God’s design for men that makes me this way. You see, I can’t look at the narrative of the Bible and see a God who intended for dads to be hands-off in the lives of their children. I can’t imagine that the deity who decided that we should call Him “Father” would be passive about the role of a man in his family. I find it hard to believe that the author of such words as “children are a heritage from the Lord” thinks that men are girly for caring for this kids.
Children are a gift from above, but not just a gift, a strategic blessing. “Like arrows in the hands of a warrior” the Psalm reads. Our kids are given to us to love, but also to train. They’re ours to care for, but also ours to guide. They are precious, but they are also God’s plan for furthering His agenda. I’ve learned a lot about my relationship with God through my relationship with my kids. I think that’s by design. I think we’re only really growing when we’re helping others to grow. What are your thoughts on the matter?