31 Jul What is a dad?
This month’s update highlights a passage from our book, A Faithful Dad’s Guide to Legacy © 2016 by Travis L. Zimmerman, available on Amazon.com.
What is a dad?
…the LORD has sought out a man after his own heart. 1 Samuel 13:14 (NLT)
In my view, being a dad is God’s highest privilege to men. Being a dad encompasses so much of what God has created us to be. In fact, the prerequisite for being a faithful dad is first of all being a man of God.
Becoming a man of God isn’t necessarily a rite of passage, though there is certainly a degree of ceremony in it. I clearly remember turning 18 and my dad warning me that now I could both vote and die for my country. Yikes! No, simply turning a year older doesn’t make me a man of God. A man of God is someone who follows after God on a day-by-day basis, growing in devotion to Him. It is a sobering title for sure. The prophet Samuel, in speaking of young David, noted that David was a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14). That’s a high and admirable standard. It entails a desire to know about God, so that you can share Him with your family and others as you simultaneously grow in your relationship with Him.
When we call our parent, “Dad”, there is a warmth, a sense of love, an almost higher calling. “Dad” suggests the relationship between parent and child has grown in intimacy. My own father was a man of steel, tough on the exterior and respected by nearly everyone, but when he got home he was “Dad” to my brother and me. And as tough as Dad was to everyone else outside of our family, he showed his softer side when his grandkids doubled down on this term of endearment, calling him “Dad-Dad.” No, in becoming a dad there’s isn’t an unwritten requirement to get gushy and love-dovey, but there’s certainly a recognition of the tender quality of being a dad.
So struck was I by my own dad’s love and tenderness that at age five I came to a realization, which I proudly announced to him: “I want to be a dad when I grow up!” It’s really all I ever aspired to be. It’s not that I didn’t have educational nor occupational aspirations (I certainly did), it’s just that being a dad seemed grown-up, so critical, so valuable. Little did I know then how on-target that little five-year-old boy was, and I thank God for placing that desire in my heart when I was so young.
But apparently there’s a downside to being a dad, too. In recounting to my kids this story of my lifelong dream of being a dad, my then-eight-year-old son Grant dryly quipped, “You know, Dad, being a dad doesn’t pay so well.” Ha! In truth, I was muddling through my second unemployment, so money must have been on my lips if it had been on Grant’s mind. But, while being a dad indeed may not pay well monetarily, there are certainly uncountable joys on earth and treasures in heaven for us dads who savor fatherhood!
On behalf of our board and praising Jesus with you,
Travis L. Zimmerman