Kinsley had her little hand wrapped around my finger as I sat with her in the back seat. We were on our way to the airport to fly home. Our friend was in the driver’s seat talking to Jeff when he pulled out a thick, leather bound bible. He handed it over to Jeff, and as Jeff flipped through it, there were notes written all throughout the sides of the bible.
“I’m reading through the bible in a year, and every time I come across a verse or chapter that speaks to my heart, or that I can pray through, I write a note to my 2 yr. old son on the side. When he’s 18 I’m going to give him this bible, with the hope that it’ll be completely full of my notes to him throughout his life.”
“That’s awesome!” Jeff says.
He grabs a box and hands it over to Jeff.
“Here’s the same bible for you. I want to challenge you to do the same thing with Kinsley; to write notes and prayers to her throughout her life, and then give it to her when she’s older.”
As I watched this all unfold from the back seat, I was choking back tears. Before me sat two men who loved Jesus with their whole hearts, who were leaders and teachers and visionaries. Young dads. Faithful husbands. Both having grown up without much of their own dads in their lives.
But they were starting a new legacy.
They were embarking on new territory. They were a part of God’s kingdom coming to earth -- of restoration, redemption, of making all things new.
Fatherhood is a lost art in our culture today. So many kids grow up without their dads in their lives -- whether they’re physically absent or emotionally absent. Not available. Not truly present; not engaging.
But with Jesus, that can flip upside down. There is a new rhythm in His Kingdom. A new standard. One way God has chosen to reveal Himself to us is through fathers. He is our Heavenly Father. He has a Father’s heart and is all about restoring the family to what He originally designed.
For fathers to:
Guard their children’s hearts.
Teach them about Jesus, responsibility, and how to be men.
Show them faithfulness.
Set a standard for their daughters in what to look for in a man.
Live out forgiveness, mercy and grace.
Speak truth over them.
To reflect God’s heart for their children.
As I sit here writing this, I see the leather bound bible on our coffee table-brand new and waiting for prayers and life to be infused onto its pages. What a powerful gift this will one day be for Kinsley. Can you imagine the beauty of the moment when she’s handed this very bible, and finds out that her dad has been praying scripture over her for all these years? To thumb through the pages, and remember that during a specific season of her life when she was going through this, her dad prayed that, and see how God answered!
How thankful I am for friends that challenge, that lead, that show us how to parent. How thankful I am for Jesus and redemption and restoration.
And for fathers -- for Jeff as a father to our sweet Kinsley, and my father who started a new legacy in our family and taught me all about Jesus and protected my heart -- who pointed me to my Heavenly Father.