And He shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse. Malachi 4:6
As Father’s Day approaches, I am reflective. I think on how my father’s life has shaped my own, and how I, as a father, shape my sons’.
My dad is a quiet man. He is a man who values hard work, family, and is constantly concerned about the well-being of those around him. He is not a demonstrative man, but he loves through providing stability and support even for endeavors he would not choose himself. He has shared his home with many – his mother in law, his nephew, his niece, his children, and his grandchildren, just to mention a few (and that does not include the pets my sister and I as young adults both ended up leaving with him) — whether he has had much or little, he has willingly shared with family. I honor this man whose quiet strength has provided a home for many.
In my sons I see bits of myself and my father:
My oldest Josh loves the unexpected and relishes in capturing glimpses of the unseen in both word and art. His creativity inspires me – his ability to bring humor into the ordinary is truly a gift. His heart for the Lord gives him eyes for the unseen, the hopeless, and the forgotten. He is able to speak life into dark situations and believe God for the miraculous. That gift comes straight from His Heavenly Father. Likewise, I cannot claim his creative gifts; however, the premium on laughter and the unexpected — that trait I can trace back to both my father and myself.
My middle son Jacob has a heart for justice. His passion for righteous government and desire for things to be made right has united his love for God to his passion for politics. As he interns this summer in DC and daily walks the halls of the Capitol, he carries the dreams of his father. His faithful walk with the Lord opens doors beyond his sphere of influence. His desire for truth and righteousness connects the generations.
My youngest Jonathan carries a gift for joy. He lives life to the fullest and never wants to miss out on any activity, especially family gatherings. He begrudges sleep as a necessary interruption, but often wishes it could be skipped. His love for detail and all things football fuels many a conversation with those around him. His quick wit and humor captures the heart of others, especially his granddad and dad.
As I treasure these reflections on my dad and my sons, I am humbled by the incredible blessings I have been given. Living in a time when many relationships between fathers and sons are fractured, I long for the day when godly examples of fatherhood will be the norm. Someone recently asked me what does revival look like? I replied, “Malachi 4:6 – generations being restored, hearts being turned, and God’s mercy flowing.”
This Father’s Day I want to pray a Malachi blessing over my father, my sons, and this present generation. May they know the fullness of a heart in right relationship with the Father, may their hearts be turned not only to their earthly dads but their Heavenly Father whose mercy is new every morning and whose love never ends. Happy Father’s Day!