Eyes of a Father

I’ve been a Dad for thirteen years and seven months. It’s quite strange to be where I am now and glance backward through time to when it all started. Nothing can truly prepare you for one of life’s greatest responsibilities. No guide books or pamphlets can capture the feelings of excitement, joy, marvel, panic, and failure that are encountered along the journey. It’s a road littered with mistakes, a plethora of questions, and moments of pure victory. As with most things in life, it takes hard work and continual effort in order to be a successful father.

But what defines a successful father anyway? If our children grow up to become doctors or lawyers, does that mean we did something right? If a child ends up in prison for jacking cars, is that an indication that we failed? What we pour into our kids while they are young is vital, but ultimately, when they reach adulthood, the decisions they make are their own. I often wonder if my Dad felt like a successful parent with raising me. He passed away in 2008, and I never asked him that question. I hadn’t even considered the thought until now.

From my perspective, he was a wonderful parent, teacher, and daddy. His father was none of those things to him, so I consider it an extreme privilege to have had such a great man as the authority in my life. He was gentle, kind, but firm when the situation required discipline. Having him spank me for doing something wrong wasn’t exactly fun, but I look back now and smile. Why? Because I know he punished me out of love. He was teaching me the differences between right and wrong. And he did it all because he was concerned about my future.

With the craziness of life, I’ve never stepped back and thought about my goals as a father. We experience life in each moment, and deal with situations as they arise, but what is the ultimate outcome I desire for my children and how they view me as a parent? Here are some things I came up with.

  • I want them to know that they are loved. No matter what they do, what they say, or how they react to something, I want them to always know I love them. My love for them is without condition. No expectations. No strings.
  • I want them to always trust me. Trust is the foundation of any relationship, and it applies to our roles as parents. Yes, we discipline and correct our children, but we also need to develop a deep relationship.
  • I want them to talk to me. I have three girls, and as we all know, life can be very hard. It’s a struggle. I want them to know I will always be there for them. Provide a shoulder for crying on. Be the protector when someone desires their heart. A rock they will always be able to stand upon for strength.
  • I want them to smile when they remember me. When they are grown and have their own children, I hope they can look back, as I am now, and smile when they think of their childhood and how they were raised.
  • I want to always see them through the eyes of a father. No matter what age they are, nothing can change the fact that they are forever my little girls. Sure, they will eventually have kids of their own, but I will see them as daughters I held, cried with, celebrated with, praised, disciplined, and fought for.

These are just a handful of items I thought about before writing this article. I hope and pray I have done these well over the past thirteen years. Ultimately, I want to be the same kind of father that God is to His children. If you study the Bible, you will see the role He modeled for all of us as parents. Loving. Firm. Corrective. Protector. Provider. The list could go on for quite a while. We’re human, so we aren’t always going to get it right. We will screw things up with our children, and be forced to reconcile the relationship. That is just a normal part of life. It happens.

The eyes of this father will always see pigtails, awkward first steps, first birthday chocolate pudding all over the place, cutely mispronounced words like mirk and moont, a brief terror of bare feet, little hands clenched around my finger, walking through the door and greeted with arms reaching up, stitches and boo boos, leaky diapers, fear of dogs, crayon on the walls, bedtime hugs and kisses, and the moment I looked them in the eyes for the first time.


Categories: Life in Christ, Parenting

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

31 replies

  1. Reblogged this on Forget the Viagra, Pass Me a Carrot and commented:
    We are used to reading in the paper about feckless parenting. It was always thus and always will be! Every generation since time began has no doubt had those parents who gain attention. Unfortunately it is the nature of our media that we only hear about the handful rather than the majority of responsible, loving and committed mothers and fathers. None of us our perfect but this post will give you plenty of uplifting moments.

  2. Lovely post and so nice to see a Dad who enjoys his children, thanks for the follow. :)

  3. Great post. Lovely. To me, love is key. I know I’m a grouchy Mum but if McMini knows he is loved, that I care, that he can always talk to me, that’s what matters. Like you, I really look up to my folks and if I can do half the job on my lad that they did on me I’ll be proud.



  4. Well-written and touching, Chris. I’m a dad of two daughters (ages 21 and 24) and your comments were right on. Thanks for writing!
    - Calvin

  5. Chris, the article is beautiful. I read that each person has 3 virtues: the protective power of the sovereign, the compassionate love of the parent and the guiding wisdom of the teacher. This article reverberates with that thought! It also made me so grateful for my father who has been my rock, my friend, a fellow student, an amazing teacher, the ideal man and the source of so much laughter in my life for my nearly 26 years of living. Thank you!

  6. That was absolutely beautiful! You’re a great father!

  7. Reblogged this on Finding Fatherhood and commented:
    Great article about fatherhood! I love this.

  8. I just wanted to let you know that I nominated you for a Versatile Blogger Award. Thanks for all your contributions, and for the entertaining reads.

  9. From what I have read you are a true Dad and friend to your children. Other people should learn from you and be inspired. True words of wisdom.

  10. I am not a parent yet however, I agree with you when you said God is model Father for all parents. He ultimately is the Grand Father. Even when I think about some of the areas where my own parents have messed up bad, I remember that I was really just loaned to them as they have been loaned to me. But God calls us His sons and daughters so I feel blessed knowing I’m modeled after a wonderful God no matter what.

  11. From a man that lost his young family due to stupidity, selfishness and alcoholism….
    Cherish each breath, each second….each child.
    Because sooner than we know….They will be grown.
    The true success of being a parent, and mind you I have longed for my own lost years, would be when they come back to visit and eat all the food from the fridge and leave their dirty clothes everywhere and wipe their feet before they go into mom’s kitchen.

    It’s funny what we miss……

    Its worse when we miss them.

    So be great parents and make sure they want to come home every once in a while and visit “the folks”.

  12. Living in a house of three girls as a father I can relate well two now the other is at University now

  13. That’s truly lovely and inspiring, it brought a tear to my eye. Thanks.

  14. Chris, this is a wonderful piece! It really touched my heart. Your daughters are very fortunate indeed to have you for a Dad, just as you were blessed to have the Dad you had.

  15. What a blessing to have such a mindful father! It truly shows the love of our Heavenly Father in a way they can grasp. Well done, Chris!

  16. It sounds like your children are blessed to have you as their Father. Raising children is one of the hardest and most rewarding things you can do! Keep enjoying it because it continues to fly by!

  17. “Life’s a mess, dude,

    but we’re all just doing
    the best we can, you know.

    You, and me, and Samantha,

    we’re just doing what we can.

    So, if I hurt you or if I lied to you,
    all I can tell you is I’m sorry,

    and I will try to do better.

    Maybe I will do better
    or maybe I’ll do even worse. I don’t know.

    I screw up all the time
    because that’s what people do.” – from the movie Terri (2011)

  18. Reblogged this on RomeoMilea and commented:
    “Life’s a mess, dude,

    but we’re all just doing
    the best we can, you know.

    You, and me, and Samantha,

    we’re just doing what we can.

    So, if I hurt you or if I lied to you,
    all I can tell you is I’m sorry,

    and I will try to do better.

    Maybe I will do better
    or maybe I’ll do even worse. I don’t know.

    I screw up all the time
    because that’s what people do.” – from the movie Terri (2011)

  19. I can’t say whether or not your Dad felt like a successful father; as parents we always feel we could do better. But I can assure you, he was proud of his son and loved you more than life itself. You and your father had a bond that few people experience and I’m so very thankful to Jesus for that. You are a good father too, and you remind me of your Dad in so many ways. Continue to look to your Heavenly Father, and you will continue to be the blessing to your girls that you are. This was a very touching post, and beautifully written!! Love you, Mom

  20. Great goals. As the father of daughters as well, this post blessed me. Thanks

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