In the months and years since the birth of my kids, I have been inspired by a few truths about fatherhood that all have one thing in common – they are all attributes of MY father in HEAVEN. I’m sure there are many more than these, but for now, I’d like to list just 5 things that I have learned about God since becoming a dad.5
- 1. God Really, Really Loves Us!
The only words I can use to compare my life before and after the birth of my first child are these: “Drastically different!” From the moment my little girl was born, everything changed. I’m not talking about the physical changes or the late nights or the non-stop supply of spit rags & dirty clothes…I’m talking about inside me. Everything within me had changed. I was a different person. I was given a new identity. I was a father and I knew only one thing: I LOVE MY DAUGHTER! If I, a broken, damaged, forgetful and insensitive guy could love something as much as I love my little girl, HOW MUCH MORE would God, our own Father in Heaven, love us?!
- 2. God Really, Really Loves Us!
I’m sorry, did I just repeat myself? Looks like I did. Don’t skip over this! You think this is not important? I’ll say it another way. If you get this point wrong, you will misinterpret everything else that God does in your life! What’s worse, if we don’t understand how great our heavenly father’s love for us is, not only will we will misinterpret Him, but we will misrepresent him to everyone we meet!
- 3. God Loves To See Us Smile
When I said that I changed when I became a dad, I wasn’t kidding. I started acting weird. I started making strange noises. I started spending my hard-earned cash on the craziest things. Why? Because I found an addiction. I was addicted to the happiness of my kids! I would do anything (and I mean ANYTHING!) to make them smile and my wife was no better. We would buy them gifts for no reason, clothes they wouldn’t fit into for another 6 months, flowers that would create an endless trail of petals around the house and more for no other reason than to see that smile! I discovered the source of God’s need for extravagance.
- 4. God Wants To Include Us In His Lifestyle
Something my wife and I agreed on when she became pregnant was that we did not want our lifestyle to finish. Adapt and change, yes. End, no! So we modified our hobbies to include our kids. We were, and still are, avid hikers, so we donned our child-carrying backpacks and chose some easier trails but all so we could include them in our passions. Ever joined someone on something they are passionate about? Pretty soon, you become passionate about it. It’s the same with our kids and it’s the same with God. When we join God in His passions, his heart becomes our heart and what is important to him, becomes important to us
- 5. God Protects His Kids!
If my first thought when I saw my daughter on as she was born was, “I’m in love!” my second thought was this: “Touch her, and you’re dead!”
I once heard a story from some old friends of mine (now married) of the first time ‘the girl’ brought ‘the boy’ home to meet ‘the parents’. The boyfriend was met at the door by her dad. As he looked at him, my friend saw that he was holding bullet in his hand and was slowly tossing it up in the air and catching it again. This went on for an eternity before finally the father tossed it over to the boy and said these words: “If you mess with my daughter and the next one is coming a whole lot quicker!”
If I am sure of nothing else in my life right now, I know this…I will defend my kids to the death. I will hurt, crush, kill and destroy anything that comes against them and I won’t feel bad doing it. I think when God said, “Vengeance is mine…” he had just that in mind.
I know we can easily look around you and find ways to convince ourselves that some of these points aren’t true. Usually, that starts when we haven’t gotten the first two points down deep. If that’s the case, I’d like to encourage you to start a conversation with your Father in heaven, wipe the slate clean if you need to, and start from the beginning. Jesus said of Himself, “My Father and I are one.” Notice that He didn’t say, “I only represent my Father’s ‘good’ side.” How often do we view the Father as a vengeful judge just waiting to unleash fury all the while we have poor Jesus is standing in front of us pleading him His Father to stop? That’s simply not what Jesus said.
So find the points that affect you the most and ask Him what He thinks about them. Then, ask Him what he thinks about you. Trust me, if you’re listening to the Father (and not something else), it’ll line up.
About the Author
Brad Crabtree is an executive pastor at DaySpring Church, Sydney, Australia. He is married to Amber and is father of 3 awesome kids. The best way to his heart is through an excellent cup of coffee or a solid trek through a jungle somewhere…preferably, both at the same time!