Being a Dad


A while back, I was getting re-acquainted with a young coach who had recently married. I said something about how great it would be to have children of his own. He barked back that “there’d be no kids.”

I was stunned. I stammered something forgettable and our conversation quickly ended. We’ve not spoken since, as he’s pointedly avoided me. Such hurt in his heart.

I understand that not everyone wants to be a parent but encountering it with someone I knew was hard to accept

Moving away, but never beyond our thoughts of one another.

. For me, being a dad is one of the best things of my life. From the times our daughter and two sons were small, I’ve absolutely thrilled at interacting with them. Seeing their amazement upon their discovery of living things, their affection for their pets, the revelation of God in their lives, and watching them enter adulthood has brought a sense of wonder to my own life. Sure, we’ve had conflicts, disappointments, and have hurt each other at times. (Thankfully, their mom helped me be a more sensitive—listening—dad.) The joys of seeing them overcome obstacles and then cheering their successes can’t be measured.

No doubt, I revel in being a dad because I know the pain of not having a father. I know what I’ve meant to my kids because they have me. Sixty-one years ago today, we buried my dad. The lives of my mom, my two brothers and I changed forever. God prepared me through my loss to contribute to the lives of our own offspring. My memories of life without my father caused me to be even more diligent and deliberate in being a dad to Allison, Loren, and Ethan.

As I get older, I realize I’ve lost sight of many aspects of being young. Fatherhood has brought me back to many of the simple pleasures I had forgotten. Likewise, nothing touches my heart like seeing a young child or adolescent hurting, without a mom or dad to love them.

Every time we close a phone call or bid them good-bye, I tell my kids I love them. Then I get a hug and that same affirmation. Such a blessing.

I imagine how pleased our Heavenly Father is as we, his children, try to please him, as we honor others, and show the love of the Father to others.

What’s been your greatest joy in being a dad?

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About samuelehall

A follower of Jesus, husband, father of 3 adult children, writer and learner.
This entry was posted in Families, For Parents and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Being a Dad

  1. Doug Bolton says:

    Sam,

    My greatest joy on this earth has been being a father to my three children. They have grown up and started their own lives. This Father’s Day has reminded me how precious they are. I was able to interact with all three of my children by either phone, or in person. They took their time to connect with me and tell me how much they loved me. All three of my children are Christians, and they all married Christian spouses. All of the granchildren are also Christian. You would think my job is done here, but just the opposite. I still need to nurture and love my children more than ever. We are only on this earthly path once, and the path we take needs to include our children, no matter what their age.

    • samuelehall says:

      Doug, it’s truly satisfying to have a loving, appreciative relationship with your adult children. Sadly, that’s not the case in every family. I hope these blog postings will inspire families that are struggling or are alienated from one another–that it doesn’t have to stay that way.

  2. Julia Sumrall says:

    Sam, I am so thankful God allowed me the opportunity to be a parent. It is not always a smooth path but with God’s help and guidance is so rewarding. With two adopted children ‘parenting’ comes in many different forms. The rewards are countless. I am thankful I have watched my five children grow to be wonderful parents themselves. I also remember your wonderful Mother as a strong influence. God bless you.

    • samuelehall says:

      Thanks, Julia Faye. You’ve lifted my spirits by your mention of Mom. It was 11 years ago this month that she went to be with the Lord.
      Always good to hear someone else say they were blessed to be a parent–that you enjoyed your kids as they were growing up, and now that they’re adults, to listen to their excitement about new things they’re doing. Allison, our oldest, is doing a mini triathlon next month! I wonder what her grandmother would say about that … The part that still astounds me–they LISTEN to us! Of course, that’s if I keep my counsel brief.

  3. Beth Vice says:

    Hi Sam, I can’t respond to favorite memories of being a dad, but I am certainly thankful for the wonderful father and husband I have. Our pastor preached yesterday on the 5 qualities of manhood from 1 Cor. 16:13-14: be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong; do everything in love. Both these guys strive to be this kind of man. I have so many memories from childhood and now as a wife when I have benefited from these strong and loving men in my life. Fathers are so important! I am glad you take the calling seriously and pray more and more men will enjoy being a parent or mentor as you do, taking advantage of every opportunity God gives them.

    • samuelehall says:

      Beth, in your ready smile and upbeat demeanor, people will see the positive qualities of those who’ve impacted you–like your father and husband.
      Thanks for sharing.

  4. Les Stobbe says:

    A truly special joy has been seeing our son become an active servant as deacon in his church and as board member, then chairman of the board, of a girls camp that needed clear-eyed leadership. And also to see our daughter take her mothering and nursing skills to Uganda on a missions trip to help build an orphanage, vaccinate children, etc. My wife and I rejoice at God’s blessing on them, their mates, and the grandchildren.
    Les

  5. Sam, your story is so “right on” for parenting today. I am sorry for your loss of Dad so young but am so pleased to read how God used that loss to bring a real appreciation for fatherhood. What a precious story for parents and grandparents to read. Thank you for writing from the heart.

    • samuelehall says:

      Maxine, from your own ministry to those in need, I’m sure you see God’s handiwork thru the difficult times that came your way. You wouldn’t have been prepared–or even motivated to serve in your unique way, had God not allowed hardship to “knock off the rough edges.” As someone said about hard times: they make you bitter or better.

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