Fatherhood and new perspectives on God

This weekend marks my first Father’s Day as a dad. It’s been 10 months, and I still can’t believe it; and to some extent I get the “you’ve gotta be kidding me, someone let me have a child!” feeling every once in a while…

And the most amazing thing is the sense of love that I have now. It’s different from any other kind of love, and it sneaks up on you. When Caleb was born I loved him, but the longer I am with him and the more time we spend together, the more I realize just how much I would do for him. In fact, having Caleb has added a new level of love to so many of the relationships I have in my life. I love my wife unendingly, but I love her all the more that I know her as a mother. When I see people with children I feel a certain kinship and connection with them. When I hear about those who are struggling to have children or who are fighting through the adoption process I pray harder and more fervently for them.

But most of all there is a whole level to my love for God and understanding of how He sees His people. Because of all the ways He could have chosen to describe His relationship to us, of all the ways He could have given us a glimpse of how He feels about us – He chose the Father/child relationship as His most used… I get that more now than ever.

See there’s this inexplicable connection I have with Caleb as my son that I don’t have with anyone else, and right now he really can’t talk aside from “mama, dada”, he’s not terribly mobile, at times he still wakes me up at night, and he’s only just learning to feed himself. But I was there when he was born. I saw him from the moment he took his first breath and first recognized Jules as his mom (still gets me crying when I think about that one). I have changed diapers and fed him everyday of his life. He laughs when I tickle him, and I know what every expression on his face means. He hears my voice and he knows me. There’s this connection.

How much more the connection of a Father who not only sees but forms…

11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

13 As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust. – Psalms 103:11-14

Beyond that as a dad now myself, one of the worst things I see is when Caleb hurts himself. When he grabs something he shouldn’t or tries to stand prematurely and falls. It literally hurts me too. And as time goes on I know there will be times that I reach out to try and stop him from hurting himself, or I will tell him not to do something that I know will hurt him – and he’ll do it anyway. He’ll get hurt, and even in his disobedience I’ll pick him up.

Earlier in Psalm 103 it says,

7 He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:
8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
9 He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities. – Psalm 103-7-10

God, our Father, who formed us and loves us, desires such a connection with us that He makes the way – through Jesus Christ – that we can get up to follow Him and love Him as His children… I don’t understand that fully, but as a father now – I understand it better – and I praise God!

Happy Father’s Day everybody!

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