Fatherhood has been such a blessing for me. There aren’t a lot of things in this world which have given me joy and satisfaction as much as being a father to my three wonderful kids.
One unexpected blessing has been how much I have gotten to know more about God by being a father.
I remember telling a friend once that this whole fatherhood thing has been like an extended retreat for me. It’s not that I have gotten to know NEW things about God. It’s more how I’ve started understanding Him more on the AFFECT level.
Fatherhood has allowed me to see things more from His eyes, and feel things more with His heart, even for just a bit.
TRUE LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT
This was the biggie. When my first child Joaquin was born, it was the very first time in my life that I felt unconditional love for someone.
After my wife Pauline gave birth, I remember following the nurses as they started cleaning him in the adjacent room. During one moment, they gave him to me to hold. And then I held my son for the first time.
I felt tears well up my eyes and a burst of love in my heart. This small person never did anything for me, and in fact, it was the first time we ever met.
I have never felt that much for love for anyone I met for the first time.
He was mine.
Feeling that then, feeling that NOW, I get a glimpse as to how God loves me. I get a glimpse as to how He beholds me.
I am His.
He loves me unconditionally. Just like how I love my children. More.
For the first time, I felt how that was like.
MULTIPLICATION OF THE LOVES
When Pauline was pregnant with my daughter Reese, I was a bit scared.
I knew how greatly I loved Joaquin and how much I poured into loving him. What was I afraid of?
I was afraid I wouldn’t have enough love for the two of them. In my mind, it was like a zero-sum game.
Say, if I loved Joaquin with 100 love points, and then Reese would come, would I then love Joaquin with 50 points and Reese with 50 points?
I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to love both of them enough. How could I muster even more love within me?
Yet, when Reese was born and I held her for the first time, I felt the SAME love for her. And the SAME love for my firstborn son. Somehow, my love multiplied.
When my third child Siena was born, I felt a bit of the same fear. Yet my love again multiplied. Somehow, my heart managed to muster the same intense love for each of them.
We always say, “God loves everyone.”
It’s a bit hard to comprehend considering there are 7 BILLION people on earth. But this experience of my own love multiplying again gives me a small glimpse.
God loves everyone. Intensely. Uniquely.
THE LOVE BEHIND SAYING NO
In my life, I’ve asked a whole lot of things from God.
There are a large number of times I’ve been disappointed and saddened because they weren’t granted.
The last few years, my kids have asked for a whole lot of things from me.
There are a large number of times doing this has disappointed and saddened them.
As a father, I know sometimes it breaks my heart to say no to my children. Yet, I know I have to for the very simple fact that I love them and I know saying yes would not be good for them.
Growing up as a Christian, I know and I’ve been taught this – that not all prayers and requests will be granted because not everything will be good for me.
But after experiencing this with my own children, the difference is that now, I suddenly feel the LOVE behind the no’s, whereas before I would just justify it in my mind.
Fatherhood is such a blessing, such a privilege. Through fatherhood, I really feel the role as His partner and co-creator. I look forward to knowing more and more about Him through fatherhood.