With Father’s Day fast approaching, I’ve been reflecting on how my sweet husband has wholeheartedly dedicated himself to being a daddy. One thing that moved me greatly was observing the awe with which Daryl looked at our newborn son when he was born. The wonderment on his face as he studied and held this tiny gift, the love and mercy and grace of God bundled up in a swaddle blanket. I won’t ever forget those four days in the hospital and the inexpressible joy on Daryl’s face at every sight, sound, and movement of our little boy. He was taken by him, so completely and gloriously captivated by his very existence. While those first few weeks were by far the most exhausting of our lives, he would still always say, “I love this,” and I could see the delight on his face. While pondering those precious moments and treasuring them in my heart, I am reminded of the way our Heavenly Father delights in us.
The thing that really amazes me is that Daryl’s sense of wonder with Jacob hasn’t faded at all over these past four months. He doesn’t take any less delight in our son now than he did on the day he was born. Sure, he’s not surprised by the same things, but every day brings new challenges and triumphs, small victories and learning experiences that only help us to know and love our son better. Even the hard days seem to inspire my husband to rejoice more, be grateful always, and love more deeply. How blessed we are that our heavenly Father doesn’t base His love for us on our successes. His sense of wonder at the sights, sounds, and movements of His children remains even when our faith falters. He rejoices over us. Us. It’s easy for me to imagine Him rejoicing over me when I’m fully committed and excelling in all that He’s called me to do. But try as I might, I fail. I fail Him every day. But that doesn’t cause Him to delight in me any less, and that’s the unparalleled beauty of His heart.
I was raised by a man who embodied the heart of God. I could, and still can, see the fingerprints of God all over him. In his decisions, in his actions, in the way he cherishes my mother and raised two daughters to know and love The Lord. Ultimately, he taught me what to look for in a husband, the man with whom to raise my children. In the nearly 18 years I lived at home, he rejoiced in me every day. Whether it was a good day or a hard day, whether I’d succeeded or failed, he celebrated me and delighted in me without fail. And years later, even though I’m a wife and a mother now, he still does. I can’t think of a more perfect picture of The Lord. Our Father, who lovingly cares for us through the thick and thin of this crazy life, our God who left His throne on high just to be with us, the Savior who bore our cross so we wouldn’t be shamed, the Abba Daddy who reaches down from heaven to hold us and carry us. The God who enables you to stand on the heights is the same One who heals your heart when its broken. He’s the One who sees you and delights in you and rejoices over you. Like a father to his child, He calls you by name, and He paid for you with His own life.
The selfless, infinite, unconditional love of God manifests on earth in godly daddies. Fathers who sacrifice and die to themselves on a daily basis if it means something better for their children. Men who refuse to take part in what society says about parenthood but take seriously the calling to raise up the next generation. When I watch my husband stare in adoration at our son, I can’t help but be brought to my knees by the vastness of this kind of love. That the Creator of the universe treasures us in this way; that He rejoices over us regardless of our failures and that He saw fit to give us a tangible example of His heart in the form of godly dads. I can’t thank Him enough for my father and for the father Daryl is to Jacob, but my soul is overwhelmed with gratitude. Whether you were raised by a man like this or are married to a man like this, take to heart the blessing that he is. And consider him a daily reminder of our heavenly Father, Who is a Daddy worth celebrating on this day and always.