Our youngest and, Lord willing, last child celebrates his fifth birthday tomorrow. It’s also the date of my spiritual birthday (I was baptized June 23, 2000). So while Joshua is celebrating five years in this world, I’m celebrating twenty years in the kingdom of Heaven.

Yesterday was also father’s day, so it’s fair to say there’s been a good deal with reflection and thinking about the years I’ve been a dad along with the years I’ve been a Christian, and how those two things entwine.

It’s impossible to appreciate the feelings that come with being told “I love you” and “you are the best” until they are attached to the word “dad” (or “mom”) at the end of it. It reminds me of the heavy responsibility I have as a father and of the fact that every lesson I’ve ever learned about how to BE a father I learned from my Heavenly Father…

Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.

(John 5:19-20)

My Master imitated His Father in Heaven and I must do likewise. In turn, when my sons imitate me, they will be imitating God in Heaven. That’s the responsibility I carry as a Christian and a dad, and as I think back on the past twenty years as a Christian and fourteen years as a dad, I continue to be amazed at the great blessings both God and my children have given me.

~ Matthew