Psalm 127:3-4 “Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth”. The hand of the Lord has done beyond our capacity to imagine (Eph 3:20) in my family and that wonder ignites the continual mystery of walking with Him. The heart of fathering was never meant to be easy, rather to be fully dependent on the ultimate Abba Father who gives grace, wisdom, direction and victory through His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Dads, if you’re looking for perfection this post is not for you.
Dads, if you’re looking for a formula this post is not for you.
Dads, if you’re looking to be encouraged, inspired and mentored then this post is for you.
In two weeks, one of my earnest prayers for my family will unfold. I am struck with a fresh awe for the faithfulness of God as I reflect on each of my daughters. You see, in about two weeks, our family will be celebrating so many milestones all in one weekend. Looking back, I cannot begin to express my gratitude to God for calling us to homeschool years ago. God used our eleven years of homeschooling to lay solid foundation for the faith of our children. During those years, our family developed lifelong friendships that have blessed us as we watch our children blossom into young adults. Our main focus during our home schooling years was to pass on a legacy of faith in Christ Jesus, to lead and shepherd our daughters’ hearts; since we knew they were all academically gifted. God answered our prayers more than we could ever imagine for each of them.
In 2002, I wrote an article for the Texas Homeschool Coalition (if you’re planning on homeschooling, then you want to definitely connect with THSC). That was then, fast forward to now: I am unglued by the goodness of God just thinking about each of my daughters. My wife and I have been tremendously blessed to witness the contagious faith in Jesus Christ of each of our daughters. Their fire brand faith demolishing the kingdom of darkness daily through their stand, choices, and their lifestyles is nothing short of the hand of God. Lola is now 22 years old and will earn her masters degree in Strategic Communications from UNT in two weeks (Digital Portfolio). Lola is beginning her doctoral program this summer at the same institution. Layo is now 20 years old and in two weeks she will earn double major bachelors degree from Rice University in Biological Studies and French Studies in addition to been on her way to medical school and conducting research (Simple Chara) .Lade who is now 18 years old will complete her sophomore year at SMU on her way to graduate in 2015 with both Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering and Mathematics and Masters in System Engineering (SMU Adventures) . In two weeks, Lade is off to Bali and China for a second leg of summer internship abroad as a Boren scholar. To God be all the glory for all He has done in their lives and will continue to do.
In reality there is absolutely no how each of our beautiful daughters could be who they are today, without the love, dedication and sacrifice of my beautiful wife, Feyi. She is my exquisite Queen, my Good Thing, Love of my Life, Best Friend, Sister, Confidant, Co-Laborer, and my Sunshine. Not only did she teach our daughters but she lives daily the victorious life so they can catch what the ransomed life in Christ is all about. One would think my Queen will retire by now during our empty nest season. Rather she is following all God is calling her to and using her gifts to make a difference in the world of education (Eduflections).
As I reflect on the upcoming celebrations; I am reminded of three things that I believe God has used to breathe upon my family during our parenting journey. I share these things, not as one that has all the answers or attained, but as a father that is pressing on, that has proven God and seen His supernatural unleashed. My fervent prayer is that some or all of these things will encourage someone in their parenting journey and efforts to pursue and nurture a Godly family.
Prayer: Do not falter or slack with your family altar, keep the fire of prayer burning in your home. It is said that the family that prays together, stays together. Pray for your children daily. Pray with them every opportunity you get. Let them pray for you at any opportunity you have. As they grow older, it might be difficult getting everyone together, still pray with children at home. When my daughters went off to college, we devised a plan. I pray with each one at night when they have completed their assignments for that day. Sometimes, I have to stay up late even past midnight to talk, and debrief about their day, before praying for them individually. It is a worthy price to pay for their eternal well being.
Attention: Giving your children attention is spelled quality and quantity time. The more attention you give your daughters, the more secure they are in their identity. Dads, I am going to shock you here- your teenagers and young adult daughters need you more now than when they were younger. Giving them attention means you get the opportunity to coach and mentor them in all aspects of life. During my times with my daughters, I have learned so many things from them I would not have learned any other way. I count it a huge blessing that at their ages now, they love and want to spend time with me and their mom. They take us out on all kind of dates. These are priceless moments that I carry with me.
Listener: Be the listener whenever they need you to. They might need you right in the middle of a very important business meeting to bounce off some concerns or challenges they are facing. Dads, again, I will shock you here- when they need a listening ear that is exactly what they need. They are not asking for advice, or prayer at that point, or how to fix a problem. They just want you to listen. This can be difficult for men, develop the skill at all cost. It will pay off in your parenting and relationship with your children. When you listen the first time they come to you, they will keep coming back to share their deep thoughts with you because they know you will listen and not counsel or fix.
Being a father is a high calling that demands everything in you. My prayer for every father that reads this post is that God will strengthen you, encourage you, challenge you and guide you as you nurture your children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4.