Today, we’re bringing you an article in (belated) honor of Father’s Day.
The birth of Kathy Watson officially ushered me into fatherhood, and I couldn’t have been happier. I can still remember marching through the house with my new little bundle of joy in my arms saying to nobody in particular, “I’m Kathy’s daddy, I’m Kathy’s daddy!”
Some years later, after the birth of our son, Michael, we started a nightly ritual of reading stories together. Being an educator by profession, I understood the importance of using illustrations to explain difficult concepts we often encountered, especially with Bible stories.
One particular night, the theme happened to be on the topic of mercy. So I reminded my daughter of an incident from earlier in the week when she happened to get her little hands on a pair of scissors. And, to her credit, she had readily confessed to the “crime” of shredding her bedroom curtains.
So I asked her, “Did you deserve to be punished?”
“Yes, daddy,” she said.
“And did I punish you?”
“No, daddy, you didn’t.”
“Well, that’s mercy!”
“Oh, now I get it!” she said.
I’ll never forget what happened when I put the kids to bed later that evening. As I kissed Kathy goodnight, she looked up at me with her big brown eyes and said, “Daddy — tell me another story about mercy!”
Those wonderful years of fatherhood went by all too fast. And, honestly, in some ways, I think I learned as many lessons from my children as they did from me.
I reflect on the many times that I, too, found myself acknowledging my faults before the Lord, knowing that I didn’t deserve His forgiveness. But, oh, the joy when I would feel His loving arms around me.
But the real lesson of being a father is that, while it’s wonderful to be on the receiving end of God’s mercy and grace, the real blessing comes from extending it to others. Even when we may not think they deserve it.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.