A Christian comedian once said, “We spend the first two years of our children’s lives teaching them to walk and talk. Then we spend the next sixteen years telling them to sit down and be quiet!” Though as a parent I am not there yet, some parents have told me that no truer words could have been spoken.
All kidding aside, the benefits of biblical parenthood (from what the Scripture states) far outweigh the burdens one may experience. The Bible tells us in Psalm 127 that “children are an heritage of the LORD… happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them…” They are not a bother; they are a blessing! I am truly thankful for the privilege of being a parent. But even more specifically, I am thankful to be a Dad.
Perhaps one of the greatest moments of fatherhood for me is when Anabelle first said the words, “Daddy.” You know how it is- mom and dad race to see who’s name the child will call first. Mom works at teaching the child while Daddy’s at work. Dad puts in the extra time when he gets home. But more times than not, according to an informal survey, the child says “Daddy” first.
Today, at 27 months, Anabelle still says “Daddy.” But now she attaches other words to it such as, “I love you,” “find me,” “more,” “come here,” “please,” “thank you,” and so much more. At age two, my daughter is a true chatterbox! Half the time I try to understand what she’s saying. The other half, I simply smile and nod.
But even now, with all the other words and phrases in the mix, I still love that she calls me “Daddy.” She’s even gotten to the point where she says, “My Daddy,” when she’s talking to others, as if to introduce me to them (or maybe she’s just claiming me as a territory).
On this Fathers’ Day, as we celebrate all the goodness our Dads have shown to us, as we recognize the impact they have had in our lives, as we realize how much of who we are has been because of who are Dad is- let’s not forget about our Heavenly Father.
As much as I enjoy hearing Anabelle say, “My Daddy,” I wonder how much God loves to hear that from us? I wonder how much God truly hears it from us?
When I listen to some people pray in public, it makes me sad to hear how they address God. Don’t get me wrong, they’re respectful and reverent about it but it sometimes sounds cold and rehearsed. When I talk to my Dad, I don’t say the same thing over and over again. I don’t rehearse what I’m going to say or change my voice when I speak to him. I just call him “Dad.”
I love what David said in Psalm 23, “The LORD is my Shepherd.” He didn’t just say it silently; he proclaimed it boldly! Our God wants to hear you call upon Him. Anabelle calls me “Daddy.” What do you call God?
“For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God…” Romans 8:15-16