Dear Dad: A Letter Of Encouragement

Dear Dad,

Take a deep breath this morning. You probably need to. Because if you’re like me, you have so much responsibility – like being the provider and protector for your family. That alone will wake you up in a cold sweat at night. The very weight of such a burden, when thoroughly considered, has brought many a grown manly-man to his knees.

Let’s be honest for a moment, the thought of being in charge of little tiny irrational, immature, and impossible versions of you doesn’t really excite you, does it? I mean, you don’t jump out of bed each morning excited to (for the most part) go twelve losing rounds with crazier versions of you, do you? Or do you particularly enjoy being brought to your end weekly, with lots of little moments where you are inches away from angry outbursts and where voice raising is almost commonplace? Let me guess, you enjoy questioning your sanity on a daily basis, don’t you?

Let it be said from the mountaintops this morning that fatherhood is humbling. Fatherhood is hard. And fatherhood is downright harrowing at times. For this reason, we need to look elsewhere (other than ourselves) to find hope. If we are left on this Father’s Day looking at our personal achievements as dads (no matter how good we may even think we’re doing or have done), we will quickly be brought to our failure as fathers. Truly, we need our heavenly Father this morning to give us insight on fatherhood in order for us to see the beauty and the blessing that it is. This is what God says:

“Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth.” Psalm 127:3-4

Dad, your children are first a foremost the Lord’s. They are His. You’re not even borrowing them. They are currently and eternally, His! So their souls will never hang in the balance of your success as a father. Hopefully that takes some pressure off. Secondly, they are a gift to you. They are a massive evidence of God’s grace and love in your lives. They are not to be viewed as a god or as a curse (both of these applications are equally tragic), but rather as one of the most incredible earthly gifts you have been given. And what are we supposed to do with the good gifts God gives us? We are to enjoy them!

Now, to enjoy them doesn’t mean to sit idly and hope they turn out okay. No, by the grace of God we will consistently and diligently labor over their development and discipleship. By the Spirit’s power, we will shoot out the greatest fruit of our most specific and intensive labor like arrows, wherever God will take them.

Dad, your children are a gift from God, they will be saved by God, matured by God, and sent out to this world to be used by God. And you, well you get to be a pretty integral piece in it all. You get to be the “warrior” that God chooses to shoot your little “arrows” straight to Jesus, the one whom they need more than anything else.

Please remember above all on this Father’s Day, dad, that you don’t need to do better and try harder. Nah. You only need to look to your Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus, who gives us more grace than we could ever dare imagine.

I love you dads! May you find great joy this Father’s Day because of Christ.