Bridging the Gap
Fatherhood has no doubt been my favorite role in life so far. To hear the words "Dad" is a special honor. However, I discovered early the difference between my responsibilities as a Man and the need to operate as a Father. While there is some crossover, there truly is a distinct difference. Only intentional men bridge the gap between being a man and becoming a father. Let me explain in the comparisons below and through the wisdom of Proverbs:
1. Knows the Way vs. Shows the Way: A Man is known for knowing the way. This is why we don't ask for directions :). And if we don't, we'll figure it out. It is always difficult for a man to admit that they don't know how, can't do it, or when we discover we lost our way. However, knowing the way is not enough for a Father. A Father has to Show the Way. This is first done through living an example in front of your child, then subsequently expressed in leading you child(ren) in the way they should go as well.
Proverbs 22:6, " 6Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
2. Gives Life vs. Speaks Life: Most men can produce life through pregnancy. However, giving life does not make one a Father. A true father Speaks Life. There is a generation of children today (yours as well as other's kids) who need LIFE spoken over them. It may take the form of encouraging words, asking them about their day, or showing them how to throw a split-finger fast ball. Our culture is in desperate need of men who will begin to step up as "fathers" and speak life into others.
Proverbs 18:21, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit."
3. Provide For vs. Provision Over: At different times in life I have felt the pressure to provide financially for my children and family. Whether it is the necessities of life, or the extras... I've wanted to provide for my children. However, the wisdom of yester-year father's has become clear... "Money Doesn't Grow On Trees". There are often financial limitations. But, "Providing For" your children doesn't make you a father. This may sound redundant, but... "A father provides PROVISION OVER his children." This is more than shoes on their feet, food on the table, and a roof over their head. A father personally looks after their well being through emotional support, relational security, and spiritual investment. These can't be purchased at a store, and can't be found on Amazon.com. Only a Father figure can provide Provision Over their children. Check out what Proverbs says about this in the link below.
So this Father's Day, let's celebrate all the men who are fulfilling their roles as fathers. Make sure you say thank you to the father's in your life, and if you're a man, keep your eyes on the prize and fulfill your destiny in Christ. Let's close the gap, and become "fathers" to all those the Lord sends our way!