For those of you who know me and for those getting to know me, I am and have always been passionate about my kids. Within the first couple of days introducing myself and this concept to the ‘general public,’ Paul (The Unexpected Dad) reached out to me and asked, “What can I do?” I immediately asked for him to provide some insights from a different perspective. Below is what I hope to be ‘the first of many’ contributions from The Unexpected Dad.
What do I have to be thankful for? When things are going well in my life that can be easy to answer: I’m thankful for my job, my house, my family, etc. But what about when things aren’t going so well, can I be thankful then? The Apostle Paul tells us in his letter to the Ephesians to *always* give thanks for *everything*.
“Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:19b-20, NIV
I am on my second marriage and my wife is amazing, however my first marriage was filled with angst and difficulties. How could I possibly be thankful for my first marriage? In hindsight that is actually fairly easy too; I can see how God moved me forward in my life and blessed me far beyond what I would have expected. I can see that now, but what about when I’m actually living those difficult times in the moment?
“…give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18, NIV
Yikes, in all circumstances? Even when things seem to be falling apart? How can I be thankful for that, and even more important, how can I pass that thankfulness along to my children? This is where faith comes in; we must trust that God has the perfect plan for our lives and for our children’s lives. God actually uses difficult situations to draw us closer to Him and build our faith in Him; we can be thankful for our relationship with God and our increasing faith.
The Apostle Paul had a very difficult life once he started following Jesus. He was beaten, tortured and imprisoned, so one must ask: What was it that kept him going?
“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:11-13, NIV
Ah ha! Paul gives us the key here. We can only have the faith, then in turn joy and thankfulness with the strength of God. So how do we apply this in every-day life and have it rub off on our kids? First and foremost ask God for His strength and then be thankful to God in front of your kids, be overtly thankful; in prayer time and in normal conversations with each other.
Next, be thankful to each other and in front of each other; be thankful for the big things and the small things. Be thankful to others. Be thankful for what God has done, is doing and what He will do in the future. And the hard part: Be thankful for where God has placed you right now whatever the circumstances, He has a reason for it.
The Unexpected Dad
My wife and I married late in life and although we weren’t against the idea of having children, we both thought that it was probably not in the cards for us. I had planned on early retirement and a kid just wasn’t in the plan, but things change.
I am a forty-something dad with an incredibly cute toddler daughter and an amazing wife. I live in beautiful Colorado Springs, Colorado and enjoy outdoor activities, music, Bible study, church and hanging out with my family. Pizza, coffee, and most desserts are awesome!