It’s pretty standard knowledge amongst Christians: sow into the deeds of the flesh and reap of the flesh; sow into the Spirit and reap the fruits of the Spirit. Unfortunately, the words if I had known then what I know now don’t help much once certain actions have come full circle. Such was the case of my journey into fatherhood. I was not a Christian when I met my daughter’s mom and through a relationship based strictly on the flesh, my daughter was born out of wedlock. Her mom and I never gained a stable relationship and things only grew worse between us as time went on.
Today I still live with some of the consequences from the decisions I made back then. Please don’t get me wrong: my daughter’s birth is one of the greatest moments of my life and she and I have a wonderful relationship–though I often have to endure some of the pain from not having her within the protection of marriage. This includes:
- Not being able to see or call my daughter whenever I want
- Difficulties because I am not able to co-parent effectively with her mom
- All of the dynamics that come with my daughter having a stepfather
- Trying to parent from a distance, often having to jump through hoops to stay involved with school and doctor’s appointments
- Having to say goodbye to her after a concert or game as she goes one way with her mom and I go the other way
And so on…
However, I can also make a very strong case that things may not be what they are today if God had not walked me through these trials like He has. After giving my life to Christ when my daughter was very young, I now sow into His Kingdom instead of my own. A few of those fruits being reaped are:
- Not taking my time with my daughter for granted
- Learning to forgive myself
- Blessing and praying for those who make life difficult at times–especially when I don’t want to or when I feel they don’t deserve it
- Being more intentional about her schooling and interests
- And most importantly: bringing her up in Christ. Generational curses have now become generational blessings. God has poured abundant grace over my family, as my daughter gave her life to Jesus a several years ago!
Yes, it still hurts sometimes to go through the things I do; but it also keeps me from becoming complacent in my walk and to continue to rely on God above everything else for the sake of my family.
Sow with a view to righteousness, reap in accordance to kindness; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the LORD until He comes to rain righteousness on you. —Hosea 10:12 (NASB)
Are you allowing past mistakes to dictate your family’s current path, or are you sowing new seeds of righteousness instead?