One of the greatest privileges that I have ever had is to be a dad.
I have loved the Lord Jesus Christ since I was a child. I accepted the Lord Jesus as my Savior when I was only 7 years old. I felt that He had called me to His service when I was 11 years old. I began really being disciplined in the reading of my Bible when I was 15 or 16. Getting married was the next greatest event that happened in my life. Betty has been my best friend, my wife, my companion, and as they say in Spanish “mi vida” or my life. Marriage was wonderful but I can never explain what it was like when God gave us children.
When we found out we were going to have a baby I was scared to death! How was I going to pay the bills?! How were we going to raise a child?! But I can never explain the explosion that took place in my heart. We were a family! We thought that Chris wouldn’t change our lives but boy did he ever.
Then I thought that I could never love another child like I loved Chris. I told Betty when Stephanie was coming that I was afraid that I would never love the new baby like I had the first but boy was I wrong. Another explosion happened in my heart and I was in love at first sight with my little girl–I had not really wanted a girl–I thought that I only wanted boys so that they could be pastors or missionaries but was I ever wrong. Having a daughter is one of the most special things in the world.
God has given us 4 special children. Instead of having to spread my love around God just kept giving us more love. I thank God for Chris, Stephanie, Joy, and David. God has given us 4 wonderful children and 4 wonderful spouses for them. Now we have 10 grandchildren. They are all serving God. We didn’t do it but God was gracious to us and we did not deserve it. I could never tell you how to raise children except from what God’s Word says.
Tomorrow I am excited about what we are going to see from the Word of God. I will not be telling you about my wonderful successes rather I will tell you what the Bible says. As I have studied I have felt my own failures. I should have been so much more patient and encouraging. I should have been more understanding. I should have worried less about what others thought of my children and my child raising and more about spending time with my children.
Today I wish that I had known then what I know now. Children come to us and we are so unprepared for it. We discipline in anger or not at all. We get so busy that we forget our children and wife. We get frustrated because our children are children and not all grown up. We fail to enjoy the days that we have children and instead we get so busy making a life that we wake up one day and they are gone.
I wish that I had been a better dad. I want to help you learn things that I didn’t know or if I did I often failed to apply. I am excited about what is going to happen tomorrow. I look forward to seeing God do a work in our lives.
Invite someone to be with you. No man has a greater responsibility than that of being a father. No man has a greater privilege than that of having God trust him with the lives of little people. I look forward to seeing you tomorrow.