My first Father’s Day flooded me with many thoughts as I prepared to write a blog post. The musings I had overwhelmed the space for one post, so I wanted to take some of the other thoughts and break them out over a few weeks.
When I think of my dad, and his dad, one character trait that runs through is that of telling corny jokes. Already Ellie is learning to roll her eyes from her mom at the silly jokes I make. Yet I love that she grows more and more familiar with me as her dad and reacts when I come close.
As I reflected on the ways we interact, I found one overarching essential role I have as her father. I have the privilege to instill into my daughter a spiritual life that can carry her for the rest of her life. She will have her first glimpses of God through watching me live my life and teach her. She will likely refine me as I notice things I do that are less than worthy of her father. She will be a great mirror for me on my life as I aim to reflect the light of Jesus in my life to her.
Ellie already enjoys fixing her eyes on every move I make. I imagine she wonders what goofy thing will daddy do next, or how will he try to make me laugh now. When I have the opportunity to preach, she never takes her eyes off of me…well unless her stomach gets the best of her and she asks mommy for some milk. She watches me everyday.
Therefore, I want to set a godly example for my daughter. I know I won’t be perfect, so I hope to always be open and honest and ask for forgiveness. I desire that she sees a man who earnestly seeks after God. In the passions of my life and zest to enjoy life to the fullest, I want her to see a father who has passion for God above all. I am less concerned that she sees me do great things and more concerned that she sees me do things with great integrity.
As I look to imprint on her a life with God, we get to have times of prayer together every morning and evening. When she first came home from the hospital I enjoyed getting to listen to spring training baseball in the middle of the night as I held her or helped her fall back to sleep. Now, as she wakes up at a more regular routine each morning around 6 am, I take advantage of those quiet mornings and spend time praying with her. As we walk around the house, after changing her diapers and getting her dressed, we sing songs and pray for those that are close to us. As she wakes up and plays next to me, I take time to read scripture each day.
With Ellie, I am waking up with a purpose and delight as we press in to be with God together. I enjoy her smiles and the quiet times we have with God together.