On Being A Father

All biblical quotes are taken from the New International Version of the bible

I dedicate this page to my daughter June Melissa Michelle Downward

For as long as I can remember I have wanted to be a father. The joy and
privilage of bringing a new life into the world and then raising that child to
live a long and productive life has been a lure that called me from the moment I
first understood the process.

Becoming a Christian took that whole ideal and raised it to a new level. As it
is written in the book of Psalms:

Psalm 127:3-5

Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him. Like arrows in
the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose
quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with
the enemies in the gate.

Psalm 128:1-4

Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in his ways. You will eat the fruit
of your labour; blessings and prosperity will be yours. Your wife will be like
a fruitful vine within your house; your sons will be like olive shoots around
your table. Thus is a man blessed who fears the Lord.

Now some will claim that these quotes only refer to Sons. Within their
immediate contexts this could be said to be true. Within the larger Biblical
context of the Christian world view, however, this is not strictly accurate.

Genesis 1:27

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.

Galatians 3:28

There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you
are all one in Christ Jesus.

Both of these versus (and many others) point us to the fact that men and women
are equal in nature. Therefore, when we are speaking of the fundamental value
of one gender, we are speaking of both. The only split comes when we begin to
speak of that persons role. Here we see that men and women are called by God to
fullfill different functions, for which each is most suited by the very act of
creation.

It can be argued that the most important job anyone can ever have is that
of raising the next generation. Both science and common sense tells us that the
best possible environment in which this can be done is when there is both a
Loving Mother and a Loving Father actively raising them.

As a father I have taken much joy over the years just sitting down with my
daughter June to read her a story, tell her about something I think she should
know, or even lay on the floor as we play with Lego together. Then there are
those times when she comes with me to the store, to the park, to her
Grandparents, or just driving around on errands.

You see, it is not just enough to be the man who helped to give her life. Being
a Father must also include being the man who is an example to her. I recognize
that she is looking to me as the template of what a Godly man should be. If it
is God’s gift that she be married, I am the type of man she is most likely to
take as a husband. Even if it is God’s gift that she be single for her entire
life, I am the type of man she is most likely to have as a close friend, or even
business associate.

In the end I must recognize that my daughter will catch more things from
me than I will ever teach her.

It is an awesome, and even frightening task, but it is also one of the most
beautiful and fullfilling I have ever encountered.

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