Written By: Andrew Burcham
Recently, my wife, Tayler, convinced me…I say convinced, but I don’t recall having a choice…anyways, she placed me on her “Dad Panel” for her MOPS group. I didn’t know what to expect, but at least we received some sample questions beforehand. It turned into a unique opportunity for three men to have a platform to share their perspective, and it was great!
One of the main topics of discussion was Mom Guilt, and if we have something similar, such as “Dad Guilt.” One of the other dads responded “No,” but coined the term “Provider Guilt.” He went on to explain that it’s not necessarily a “dad” thing, but as the provider for our specific families. We wonder if we are adequate (and, hopefully, better than adequate) to our family’s needs. As the provider, are we providing for our family, are we providing a safe home? What about the spiritual needs of our wife and kids? Not only food and shelter but everyone’s physical and emotional needs?
It’s more than just making money for the family. Being a parent is one of the highest callings in life you can have, but it’s not easy. I heard a sermon recently on the path to becoming a dad. There is a God-designed progression to the journey. As they say, “Anyone can become a father of a child, but it takes a real man to be a Dad.” First, you’re born and you are a boy, then progress in maturity to become a man through physical, emotional, and spiritual growth. Once you are a man you are ready to become a husband. You learn to be a husband, to care for your wife, to mature in your relationship with her. This can, eventually, lead to becoming a father.
Looking at the relationship between God and Jesus, Jesus calls God, “Abba,” which is sometimes translated as “papa” or “daddy,” but more accurately as a solemn and intimate “my father.” Your goal is to be your children’s father, their dad – in all aspects of life, forever. Doing any of these steps out of order can extremely complicate things for you, your spouse, and, worst of all, your children. I’m not saying that doing these in the correct order will make life easy, but it will make it easier.
Imagine going straight from a 16-year-old boy to father, although you are set up to fail, with a lot of work you can succeed. Even if you had adequate time to mature properly to become a man, going immediately from manhood to fatherhood can be tough because there is still so much to learn about being a husband (assuming you married the women you had a child with).
Granted, there is no perfect formula in life; even men who mature through God’s design can be terrible dads. Why set yourself up for failure, though? Why did God design sex for marriage? Not only does saving yourself for marriage spare you from the physical and emotional struggles of sin, but it also keeps you from compounding your sins into more difficult decisions affecting lives more than your own, especially your children. To be the provider, God has called you to be, set yourself up by God’s design. Create a plan for your life, God-breathed, to be one of the best things in life you can be…a dad.
Written By: Andrew Burcham