The great joy of being a dad

Published 5:16 pm Friday, June 16, 2017

There are a lot of things about growing older that are less than desirable.  Among them is the struggle with weight control.  The days when I could eat whatever I wanted in whatever quantity I desired without being bothered with weight gain are a thing of the past. 

Now it is rather depressing to realize that the calories burned while working out for half an hour can be more than negated with the consumption of one good slice of pecan pie—which takes far less than thirty minutes to devour.  But to help a little bit with this dilemma Gale and I exercise at home with a video.  I admit that it is not something I look forward to and the instructor gets rather annoying talking so much, yet with determination and discipline I can force myself into this dreaded activity.

While doing our exercise routine this week Addyson showed up and decided to join in.  Since we were nearly finished when she started she asked Nana to let her do the whole thing by herself.  Gale got the video going and Addy went to work; what is a dread to me was fun to her.  Granted, she did not get every move down just right but she went through the process.  When she finished she suddenly took off to the bathroom where the scales are so she could weigh in.  She came back and reported that she had weighed before she started and she lost a little bit during that one work out.  Amazing what seventeen minutes of exercise can do!  As good as it sounds, it unfortunately just does not work that easily—but at almost seven years old she does not need to be bothered with all the inequalities of life.

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Addy’s response to that one exercise session brings to my mind the abundance of memories associated with being a dad, and now a grandfather.  There have been lots of ups and downs over the past decades but it has been a rich life that I could not have known without all the little ones in our lives.  Indeed God has blessed me greatly with my family and also entrusted me with a tremendous responsibility that I could not fulfill in my strength alone.  I am grateful that He has always been there to give the guidance and ability to meet all the challenges of life.

We are told in Proverbs 23:24 that “The father of a righteous man has great joy; he who has a wise son delights in him” (New International Version).  God blessed me with children and grandchildren but they are all girls, and we learned this week that our fourth grandchild that is due to arrive in October is thought to be a girl too.  Thankfully the principle of Proverbs 23 fits for all our children, girls and boys—it brings great joy when we see them walking the paths of righteousness and following the commands of God. 

In order to experience such joy we must also remember the tremendous responsibility of fatherhood that we are called to live up to in order to help our children choose to serve God.  In that same chapter of Proverbs we are advised to “Listen to your father, who gave you life” (verse 22). 

If our children are to heed what we say and receive benefit from it, we need to be very careful that we say the right things.  And we can only instruct them rightly if we ourselves are receiving guidance from God’s Word.

Happy Father’s Day to all dads!  And never forget, even during the challenging seasons of life, it will bring you joy to serve in this God-given role when you allow God to teach you and guide you so that you can convey the righteous ways of God to your children.