As it is getting closer to the day that I marry my forever, I can’t help but think of the future. I think of the days that are coming and what they will mean to me, to us. I think of the experiences we will have and the time we will share. I think of what our life will be like in the coming years and where we might be and what our family will look like. I find myself wondering what type of father I will be…
Growing up, I looked up to my dad. He was my hero and I admired him. That’s not to say, I didn’t get upset with him or he with me, we did and we did often. Even at our worst together, I still had a sense of respect and admiration for this man who raised me and helped make me who I am today. The man I am today is a direct result of the man my father is, I am the result of his life and what he poured into me and I am still growing and learning from him.
I have been extremely fortunate to have a father who loves and cares for me, who has been an integral part of my life. Many are not as fortunate. They grow up without a father, without someone to teach them how to be a man, or how to be loved and valued.
When I think about what type of father I will be/want to be, I imagine my dad. I think of everything he has done for me, all the sacrifices he made for me, and I am overwhelmed with the feeling that if I can be half the man he is, I have nothing to worry about. But it is more than that. I don’t just want my kids to turn out okay, I don’t just want them to exist and have an appreciation for me and for their life. I want them to flourish and thrive. I want them to carry on the things my dad taught me, the things his father taught him, and the things I will teach them.
My job, as a father, will not be to just raise these children, but to express to them my love. I am a flawed person, always have been and always will be. In my own understanding, I cannot fathom what love is or should be. The only reason I know what love even looks like, is because I know and have a relationship with my Lord and Savior. Just like my earthly father, my heavenly father has taught me a lot. He has taught me, by example, what it means to love – what it means to lead. My job, as their dad, will be to lead by example, to love by example, to live by example. That my children, will know without a doubt, that I love because I was first loved!
I believe that is what we are called to do, to leave a lasting impression, a legacy, on the next generation. We are called to raise them up, to show them by example, just as Jesus did, our love for them. That by these actions, they will know our love and their Father’s love. In the future, when they are grown, that they will show that same love to their children and continue leaving a legacy that was started by my Father and my dad.
…you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates
– Deuteronomy 6:6-9
To my future children,
I promise you to always to be there for you. To be an example you can follow and be proud of. I promise to love you with the same love that has been given to me from my dad and my Father. That the love your mother and I will have for you will be the kind that will spur you on to want to become better than you were yesterday; that the love your mother and I have for each other will exemplify the love God has for you. I promise to grow in my faith and walk with my Savior so that you have an example to follow and a legacy to pass on to your kids one day as well. I don’t even know you yet, but know that I love you already and I am excited to one day meet you.