On May 26th, I joined the "Dad Club" as we welcomed our firstborn daughter, Maisie, into the world. Throughout Rachelle's pregnancy, I didn't always feel like a father—it felt abstract and theoretical. When she was born, everything changed. It's true what they say; when I finally held her for the first time, the emotions that flooded my heart were incomprehensible.
She's been with us for three weeks, and I already feel the immense pressure of being a dad. Did you know the average person spends almost 80 percent of their time worrying about mistakes, regrets and the future? What a waste. For me, this verse has come to mind early in my "dad career"
"Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love." 1 Corinthians 16:13-14
Be on guard: We don't need to look that hard to see the chaos around us. Jesus said, "If the blind guide the blind, both will fall into a pit" (Matt. 15:14). As I look ahead to the fatherhood journey ahead of me, I have recognized that I need to commit myself to be "on guard" for my family. To be attentive to their condition. To pray for my family and be aware of the spiritual battle.
Stand firm in the faith: This means to "persist." Keep standing on, remembering the Truth of what we have believed, the Truth of what has set us free. When my wife and daughter look at me, do they see a reflection of God? Am I becoming like Jesus? When Maisie was born, I prayed she would be light in a dark place. That she would look for lonely people, listen, and love unconditionally. Although this is my prayer for her, I know this will come to pass if she sees that modeled in my life.
Be courageous & strong: Our world needs fathers willing to walk courageously, filled and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Jesus does not just give us strength; He is our strength. Despite what some men think...being strong isn't about bench pressing 300lbs. It's about owning our weaknesses and being strong in the Spirit.
Do everything in love: That pretty much sums it all up. Our calling. Our purpose in this life. Everything we do, all that we say, should be done in love. What would our communities look like if every dad committed to doing everything in love? I believe in the leadership given uniquely to men by God to lead their families in the way of Jesus - and at the very core of discipleship is love.
Dad - whatever life looks like right now, whatever challenges or fears you face, keep 1 Corinthians 16 in your mind this weekend.
Maybe Father's Day is challenging for you. Perhaps you've lost your dad or don't have a relationship with him. You're not unseen this weekend. Rachelle lost her dad in 2014, and we know from experience that grief is a journey and milestone days and holidays are always emotional to some extent.
Can I encourage you to lean on your church family if this day is hard for you? That's the beauty of this whole thing called the Church. People from different walks of life and experiences, united under the power of the Gospel and the family of God. A group of people with commonality in Christ committed to walking alongside and lifting up those around them in love and prayer. If Father's Day is hard for you, you are not alone. You are a child of God! You have a heavenly Father who is with you at all times. He made you just the way you are and delights in you. He wants you to know He is proud of you and who you are becoming.
Pastor Bryce Lefebvre