Happy Father’s Day! I like to think of today as not just a day for dads everywhere, but specifically for Happy Fathers.
I am a father myself; I am ridiculously proud of my two little boys. I’m one of those guys you actively avoid for fear I will show you more iPhone snaps of their amazingness. In my opinion, being a dad is The Best Thing Ever™.
I am having a fantastic time being a parent, but I am also acutely aware of my shortfalls. I am a noob-dad. Just like my eldest boy recently learning to walk, I feel like I only manage a few steps in the right direction before I lose my balance – it’s a big learning curve.
I have often looked to my own dad, someone I consider a verified expert, as my example.
Dad (Tony) will soon be 68, has got 10 kids, and he and mum have been married for 35+ years. He runs his own business, has worked hard all his life and is unquestionably one of the Happiest Fathers I know.
What is it that makes him happy? He’s told me himself: it’s the Gospel of change.
It’s the fact that he can look back at his life and see that he has gotten more of the fruits of the Spirit that are written about in Galatians 5:22-23, and has become free from so much of the sin in his nature.
Dad has often told me that Anxiety was a major thing for him. He had to wrestle with it, almost physically battling to come to peace. Now he is one of the most peaceful, happy people I know.
There’s that word again: Happy.
Hebrews 1:9 talks about God anointing them with the Oil of Gladness, because they had “loved righteousness and hated lawlessness,” and in 1 John 3:4 we learn that to sin is to transgress God’s law. I know my dad has hated sin all his life – not least the sin that he finds in his own nature – because he has told me that, and that is how I have experienced him. I also know because he is brimming, bubbling and overflowing with gladness. It radiates from him whenever I see him, along with the sense of peace and confidence in God.
To me, it’s totally obvious what I need to do if I want the same experience. I need to follow my dad’s example and hate sin, condemning it in my body rather than letting it come out, and love righteousness with all my heart. Losing my temper with my kids is just not acceptable. Stressing about the future, worrying about my career – none of these things fit in with my decision.
I am promised the same results – anointing with the Oil of Gladness. Then I can join the ranks of the Happiest Fathers, on this Happy Father’s Day!