What kind of impact can a Christian father have on his children?
In a world that spends so much time making fun of dads and telling them that they are unnecessary, I thought this month would be a great time to remind ourselves of the impact that a Christian father can have on his children. I asked some of the children of our contributing authors to tell us about their dads. Their reflections remind me of many special moments with my own dad.
Do you have a story to share about your father or a dad you know? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A lesson from my dad
Rachel Learman writes about one of the life lessons she learned from her dad, Jim Aderman.
He listened quietly and patiently while I poured out my frustrations concerning the new place I was living. Out tumbled discontent with my job, the church, the choir, the location, and more. When I finished my long string of aggravations, there was a brief pause. Then, “Well, I am sorry to hear all of that. Life isn’t always easy, nor what you had hoped. But God does have a plan and purpose for your life there. Grow where you are planted, Rachel.”
As we hung up the phone, I have to admit I was far from satisfied with Dad’s answers. I don’t really know what I was hoping for, but “grow where you’re planted” was not it. At least that is what I thought in that moment.
But as I considered what he said, I realized it was what Dad had been teaching me all along—through new family houses, financial hardships, the anxiety of his pastoral calls, different schools, moving hours away for college and law school, breakups, and job loss. It was, in fact, even an intrinsic part of my confirmation verse that he, as my pastor, had chosen: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9). The context for this Bible passage was the Lord finally allowing the Israelites to enter the Promised Land of Canaan. God gave them the Promised Land but didn’t promise them a perfect life in that land.
Dad has shown me this throughout my life.
God puts us in certain places and situations for a reason. We can either follow God’s command not to be afraid and discouraged, living our lives to reflect his love and being joyful in our circumstances, or wallow in self-pity and push away our loving God who has plans beyond measure for us.
Life has changed significantly since that phone call. I have since married; become a mom of four children; moved two more times to two different states, two different churches, and three different companies, yet I continue to apply Dad’s advice.
All about Daddy and me
Elliana Bourman, age three, answers questions from her mom, Melanie, about her dad, Jonathan Bourman.
Melanie: Does your daddy love you?
Melanie: How do you know?
Elliana: Because he tells me.
Melanie: What is your daddy’s job?
Elliana: I don’t remember.
Melanie: Daddy is a pastor, remember?
Elliana: Oh, yeah. He’s a pastor.
Melanie: What does Daddy do as a pastor?
Elliana: He stands on top and talks a lot.
Melanie: What does Daddy teach you about Jesus?
Elliana: That he washed my sins all gone.
Melanie: What is your favorite Bible story that Daddy has read to you?
Elliana: I like the big storm [Jesus calms the storm] and baby Jesus away in a manger.
A favorite memory of my dad
Kayla Nommensen, now 14 years old, reminisces about a special time with her dad, Dan Nommensen.
When I was about seven and eight, my dad took me up north a couple times to a cottage that my great uncle used to live in. On our four-hour drive up to the cottage, we had a great time singing camp songs, talking, and telling stories and jokes.
When we got up there, it was usually dark. Being the great dad he is, he let me trudge in while he took everything in out of the cold. He lit the fire, and we watched the temperature slowly rise, degree by degree. Then, after about an hour and a half of sorting, putting things in the fridge, and setting up heaters, he would finally get the bed ready and we would hop in. We sometimes watched a movie on the small screen of the portable movie player. Then we’d go to bed after saying prayers.
In the morning, I got up to a nice, warm, handmade meal. He already had everything set up and ready for us to eat and go. We then put our fishing things on and walked down to the lake just as the sun was rising. We got into the rocky boat with cobwebs and all and floated off. Dad rowed while we searched for the perfect place to cast our lures. When I finally threw a lure out with as much strength as I could, it would go off course or cross Dad’s line. But he always said, “That was a good one,” and helped me do it correctly.
I loved having those times with my dad. I love my dad and am thankful that I have such a loving Christian father to always watch over me.
My dad is special
Josh Nommensen, age 11, shares some thoughts about his dad, Dan Nommensen.
At night when my dad tucks me in we pray five special prayers, including one in German and the English meaning that he learned from his dad. My dad learned two prayers from his mom that we also pray. Then Luther’s Evening Prayer. This is special to me because my dad is passing them on to me from his parents, my grandparents, that I didn’t get to know. He plays basketball with me, and he plays Wii with me. He is very patient with me. My dad is special because he helps me get through tough times, and I love him very much.
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Author: Nicole Balza
Volume 103, Number 6
Issue: June 2016
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