“That you may fear the Lord your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, you and your son and your grandson, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and you shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”
Deuteronomy 6:2, 5-7
My last blog post shared my heart about the important role of the father. My perspective initially came from the heart of my own childhood and growing up without the consistent father God intended I have in my life. I shared His faithfulness to me as He provided other father figures who had a huge impact on my life. I also shared how He demonstrated His amazing love for me by giving me a Godly husband who has been a strong and consistent Father in the lives of our girls, healing areas of my own heart caused by the lack of my father in my life.
My husband has demonstrated God’s grace and unconditional love over and over again as he has led our family. Now as grandparents, we are watching our daughters and their husbands train up their little ones with the same heart. I have asked our daughter, Mary, to share her perspectives of the important role of the father representing the next generation. She shares her thoughts below.
“Before our daughter was born, my husband and I spent hours talking about the kind of parents we wanted to be. We were simultaneously hopeful and apprehensive, but we prayed for the grace to handle the change well, to lean into this new season of parenthood with all its joys and challenges.
We didn’t know how becoming parents was going to change us. We knew change was inevitable and we hoped it would be for the better, but until a tiny human invades your life, you really don’t know how you’ll respond and adjust.
Our first night home, I was up with our baby girl until about 3am, and then her daddy came to our rescue, taking her out of my arms and sending me to sleep. I fell asleep to the sound of her crying and woke up a few hours later to peaceful quiet. I vividly remember walking out into the living room and seeing my husband and baby girl sound asleep on the couch. And that’s when I knew we were going to be okay. My husband had jumped in, without reservation, putting his own need for sleep aside, and provided what our little girl needed — her daddy’s strong arms to hold her while she slept.
Over the last year, I have watched my husband become the most incredible father. As a Soldier, he has been away often, but it has not kept him from embracing this new season full force. I tease him often that when he and our little girl are together I don’t even exist. And I wouldn’t want it to be any other way. His attentiveness, strength, care, love and prayers for our daughter are constantly felt in our home, and it has left me in awe of the man I married. And as I watch my husband love our little girl, I begin to understand a little more of the love my Heavenly Father has for me.
I am so thankful our daughter has been given the gift of such an amazing dad. My husband and I also had amazing dads growing up, and I know the difference it has made in our lives — practically, emotionally, and spiritually. We both have benefitted from the constant love of our fathers, and now our little girl has been given the same gift. I feel as though we are now part of building a spiritual legacy for our family. We both were given incredible parents, and now, by the grace of God, we get to continue to give that gift to the next generation.
My husband and my dad will always be the two best men I know and have the privilege to be loved by. I feel so incredibly blessed to be able to call them mine. Even more incredible to me is that these good, good men are simply reflections of my good, good Father. Their love is imperfect; His is perfection. They will fail, but He never will. Their patience may have an end, but His patience towards me is forever.
My husband is currently deployed, and our little girl is about to be one. Even with the distance, there is a connection between them. Evie crawls around the house, finding pictures of her daddy. She wakes up saying dada. She listens to his voice when he calls, and she comes as fast as she can when she hears him on FaceTime. Even though she is so young, she knows and loves her daddy.
We often talk about how Evie will never remember this time with her dad away because she is so young, and while that may be true, it hasn’t made it any easier. The hardest part has been hearing the ache in my husband’s voice as he talks about our little girl. She is growing and changing so quickly, and he is missing this time in her life. We trust the Lord has purpose for our family in this separation, but it still has been so, so difficult. I often find myself daydreaming about the day we get to pick my husband up from the airport upon his return. I think my heart will burst when he gets to see our little girl again after so much time apart. There will be joy and tears, and we will be together again — the way we are meant to be. And when I think about that reunion, I can’t help feeling that the way my husband longs to be here for his little girl is a reflection of the way our Father longs to be with us. He doesn’t want to miss a moment in our lives, and He longs to draw us near. He wants us to know Him as our Father, to embrace us and care for us in every moment. He also is waiting for a reunion — when He will come back and make all things new.
Dear ones, do you know your Heavenly Father? Do you know His love and care for you? If so, my prayer is for you to grow in “your depth and knowledge of His love,” and if you do not, my prayer is for you to know Him and His love for you. You are His precious son or daughter, and He is waiting to call you His own.”