Fatherhood is important to me. It takes on special significance because my father was pretty much absent in my life so I had no particular road map.
What I knew was that I wanted to be a father. My dream was to have seven sons. That was a dream not shared by my wife!
My wife and I have been blessed to have three rather amazing sons, and when I think about where they are in life, it’s very clear to me that who they are and what they have become and are becoming is because of God’s grace.
As a father the first time around I remember thinking about this precious life growing on the inside of his mother. I was filled with a thousand questions and doubts, not quite knowing what it meant to be a father but determined that I was going to be a different father, a better father than my father had been to me.
I remember going with my wife for an ultra sound and seeing the image of the baby and that passage from Jeremiah popped into my head, “before you were conceived in your mother’s womb I knew you.”
Those words have become important words for me as a father because they help me to remember what a gift I am entrusted with as a father and this call of fatherhood means that I have been given a responsibility as a teacher, as a guide, as an encourager, as a listener, as a servant.
As my sons grew older I cherished those alone times that we shared together. I could see on their faces their delight when I would be present for one of their track events or a football game.
I was never afraid to be affectionate with them or to tell them that I loved them or to say to them, even though they are now adults, how very proud I am of them and not just of their accomplishments. I am proud of who they are as human beings.
I have certainly not been a perfect father, and for the mistakes that I made along the way I have asked their forgiveness. Sometimes that is a tough thing for men to do; it was tough for me to do, but I was determined that nothing would ever stand in the way of our relationship — no harsh words or bruises.
To be a good father means that you have to exercise humility and grace, and that is a strength that is better than harshness.
I have received a few honors along the way, but none as impressive or as meaningful as Kenneth, Eric or Harrision. I am honored to be their father.