Happy Father’s Day, guys! I did a post like this for Mother’s Day. You can read it here. Now it’s time to hear from my wonderful man. Jon-Michael is a leader, loves Jesus, prioritizes our marriage, and is an intentional father. He has been a huge example to me and will hopefully encourage you too. If there was ever a time that we needed fathers to take their role seriously, it’s now. I asked my hubby to share his successes and failures in parenting and give us a piece of advice.
Jon-Michael is the Springdale Campus pastor for Keypoint Church in AR. He lives larger than life. He can preach like no body’s business and is passionate about seeing people encounter the Holy Spirit. He loves to eat good food. He makes bedtime take a million hours every night having tickle fights and playing with our girls! They don’t know this but he journals to each of them every week so that they have letters from their daddy that he will give them when they turn 18. He is the best dad I know. He is Dad to our two girls. He’s intentional, loud, and fun.
One of my successes as a father is that I constantly speak prophetically over my childrens’ lives. At the beginning of the year, our family sits down, and I lead us through a time of asking God to speak to us about our new year. Everyone gets a word. We speak those words over one another throughout the year.
Every night, before they go to bed, I declare Numbers 6:24-26 over them (I highly encourage you to try this!). It’s gotten to the point now where the come up to me at bed time and say, “Daddy- would you please bless us?” What father wouldn’t want to hear those words from his kids? My goodness! Speaking prophetically over my children, is probably my favorite part about being their dad.
One of my failures as a father (and there are many) is how I have handled stress. Too many times, I’ve carried the stress from work, the general pressures of life, and have taken it out on them. Not in a physical way mind you, but in the tone that I’ve used with them. If I’m not careful, that same tongue that is used to build them up, can also tear them down. Instead of affirmation and tenderness, was frustration and annoyance.
Just typing out those words pierce my heart. Like you, I would never want to do anything that would hurt my children in any way. And as an earthly father, I recognize the overwhelming truth that the way my girls see me, is the way they see their heavenly Father. How in the world am I supposed to measure up to Him? The weight of the disparity that lies between His divinity and my humanity feels crushing at times. Surely, He knows how daunting this task is. He must be fully aware of my faults and insecurities.
But then I’m reminded of the timeless words in Psalm 103:13-14: “He is like a father to us, tender and sympathetic to those who reverence him. For he knows we are but dust…” Okay. He does know how daunting the task is. He knows my weaknesses. He knows that I’m going to mess up. But He trusts me anyway and doesn’t expect me to do it on my own. And, if I have any questions, all I have to do is ask. Because He’s my Father. And do you know what? He’s your Father too.
So, my advice to all the dads out there: be gracious to yourself. Give yourself a break. God knew all the mistakes you were going to make, but He trusts you with those beautiful kids anyway. The ones that sleep safely underneath the roof you provide through your hard work. The ones who look to you, yes YOU, for strength, tenderness, affirmation, tickle fights, and piggy back rides. Cut yourself some slack dad- you’re doing a great job. Your Father is so proud of you and so are your kids.
Several years ago it occurred to me that God choose to share the name and responsibility of “Father” with earthly men. That is quite significant and not a small thing. Our God loves, provides for, and directs us. Fathers have been given the same responsibility. I have been incredibly blessed by the dads that God has placed in my life. They are world changers and deserve honor.
My dad is a very hard worker and treats his employees like his kids. I don’t know how many of my friends have called him dad. Fatherhood just kind of leaks out of him. His greatest joy is his family. He decided what kind of family he wanted to was intentional to build one that enjoyed being together. He did not miss one concert or sporting event for me or my siblings. He makes the world’s best fajitas and homemade salsa (seriously). He is consistent, faithful, and kind. I am beyond thankful that he is my dad.
“The same way a loving father feels toward his children—
that’s but a sample of your tender feelings toward us,
your beloved children, who live in awe of you,”
(Psalm 103:13 TPT).
Jon-Michael and I both picked this scripture out for this post without talking to each other about it. I decided to leave it in here twice in case someone really needed to read it. If you struggle on Father’s Day because your dad is hard to celebrate or because your dad has passed away, remember that you have a Heavenly Dad who is crazy about you.
Hopefully Jon-Michael helped you to see that even great daddies mess up and make mistakes. We just can not expect to handle the HUGE responsibility of parenting perfectly. We have to lean on the Lord for strength and wisdom. He is, after all, the only perfect parent. Praying for miracle babies to those of you who desire a family.
Happy Father’s Day!