Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Fathers

Father's Day is a special day to honor our Father.  Are we supposed to just do that one day a year?  No.  The Bible tells us to honor our Father (and Mother) - every day (even when you are not with them)!

I want to honor my Dad by saying that I love and appreciate him.  He is a man of integrity and sound character, well liked and respected by many people, even in the workplace before he retired.  He loved my Mother very much.  They were a team and best friends.  They loved all six of their kids and did their best to raise us in a loving, safe environment and to teach us to love and serve God.

As a Father myself, I love my daughters and am so grateful to be their Dad.  It is a huge responsibility and a lot of work, but it is so rewarding to watch them grow and develop into who God made them to be.

I think we all realize that as wonderful as Dad's are, most of us Dad's would have a hard time making it without a wife to help us out.  Ask any single Dad (or Mom) how difficult it is to raise a family alone. God designed each of us to fill a role in the family. When one part is missing, the other parts need to work harder to compensate.

Our family has spent a lot of time with orphans the last few weeks.  It breaks the heart of this Dad to realize that they do not know the love of a family.  I know that orphans are close to God the Father's heart as well.  I have been so blessed with family - both growing up and now.  And, sadly enough, sometimes I take the members of my family for granted.  God help me to always remember that you made us a family and chose each one of us to take our special place in it.

Being a Father takes more than just being present at conception or even living in the same house with a Mother and a child or three.  It means being involved in their care, nurture, development, and love.  It takes T I M E!  When Laura was just a baby and I was carrying her in a car seat, someone said to me "Look at you.  You look just like a real Dad."  What?  Just because God chose us to be adoptive parents does not make me any less a Dad than someone else.  I was a "real" Dad then and I still am now!  Adopting a child is often more difficult and challenging than having birth children.  But it is so worth it!

Is being a Father easy?  No, it is not.  But I would not trade my role as a Father for anything.  Before we moved to Ukraine, someone asked Denise if we were going to adopt more kids while we were there.  Her answer (which I loved), "We are sure going to try hard not to."  Would it be easy to adopt here?  The process is very difficult and expensive, but adding another child to our family to love on them would be easy to do.

I have been thinking about all of this.  Maybe we should stop trying hard "not to" do some things in our life and instead start trying to watch and listen for what God has for us.  Rather than deciding what we want to do ahead of time, it would be a whole lot better to ask our Creator and heavenly Father (who is the only perfect Father) what His plan is.  Do you, like me, approach things in life that way?  You try so hard "not" to do something that you miss out on what you should be doing?  Or you are so busy saying "No" that you don't realize that God is actually telling you to go ahead and do something - something that you have wanted to do?

Listen to your heavenly Father.  He knows what is best and has a plan and a purpose for your life - and for the lives of each member of your family - both now and into the future.  Keep trusting Him for He will never fail!  Thanks, Dad, for teaching me that God is always faithful, even when I do not get what I want.  It is always something better.