Before I knew Will Toburen as a dad I knew him as the guy who performed my friend Alex’s wedding. Before the bride came in, the music stopped and Will addressed alex. He charged him to be the man God calls men to be. I loved it. LOVED it. Because it resonated with what we pray for the men in our church. I instantly went to work on a version of my own. It is a vision for manhood, for husbandhood, and for fatherhood, right out of the gate. As I think about the 25 or so men I’ve now done this for I am praying today they are living this calling out.
Being a dad is awesome. My 4 have created memories for me sweeter than I ever knew could exist this side of heaven. But whoa. This is hard. I have never, even in marriage never, had to die to self so much. They are selfish little humans (mine are all 6 & under) who by and large are not concerned about my feelings. Well, Zeke is just starting to care a little (the 6 yr old). I die to myself by the minute. I DONT WANT TO CHANGE ANOTHER DIAPER!!! So I die to self. I DON’T WANT TO READ THAT BOOK..AGAIN!!!! So I die to self. TIE YOUR OWN SHOES OMG!!! So I die to self. WHY WOULD YOU DRAW ON THE WALLS!!!!! THERE IS PLENTY OF PAPER!!! Don’t yell, explain paper…again…die to self. YOUR BED IS IN YOUR ROOM LEAVE ME ALONE!!!! Die to self, help return child to his own bed, again.
Dads, no one will leave a deeper, more lasting impression on your child the rest of your life than you. That’s just what it is. You are, whether you act like it or not, the most formative spiritual force in their lives. But God is so good to us dads. So good, that he chooses to relate to us as our father. We get to watch him, then do what he does to us to our own kids. In other words, he’s already designed the play, we are called to run it. The Love of God for us, that’s the dad play. Which is why the gospel is not just an intro to christianity. It’s how I get through every minute. The play God ran: DIE TO SELF, that his children might live. Why did he do it? “Before the joy set before him” endured the cross….We are his joy. Love your children well men. Die to self, that your children might live. And most importantly, that they might see Christ in you as they hear christ from you. It is an honor to serve in this role called dad.
Oh, and in case you are interested here is the charge I gave yesterday at the wedding I did. Thank you for the inspiration Will Toburen. A Dad and Friend I hope I can be like one day.
Camden this is a pretty awesome day and its going to be a big celebration. In just a moment your bride is about to come through the door. At this moment I need to talk to you man to man. Camden the call to lead a family is no small matter. If you treat it right, It is the biggest, most challenging commitment you will make your whole life I promise. Camden this family over here is about to hand the leadership of their daughter over to you. You are going to be her primary family & provider after today, not them. Camden this is no small matter. In light of the biblical call of a man I charge you to reject passivity, accept responsibility, and lead courageously as the head of your home. You will not abdicate your role as leader but instead you will lead in decisions on everything from date night to career moves. You will accept responsibility for your actions and for those of your family. You will not run from conflict within your home but instead lead your wife through it with all grace and humility. You will lead your family like a gentle warrior who knows when to rise up and fight and when to be patient. Courage will define the leader of the Adams home. Camden do you accept this call? Then Camden, behold your bride as she comes.