Today this daddy celebrates a son’s life. On this day five years ago, his time was up on this earth. He walked into the presence of His Heavenly Father who loves him and now cares for him even better than his earthly dad did while he was “loaned to us” for 26 years.
Reflecting on 5 Years Without My Son
Ben was a blessing and joy to our family and so many others across the country. He had such a good heart. He cared deeply about others. He loved the underdog, the downcast, and those considered less than the rest. He was humble, kind, and loved so deeply. He was also extremely creative and talented.
He designed the Fatherhood Commission logo for me over 10 years ago. He was just a teenager. We started this ministry to help champion and celebrate Dads. His work, the logo he created from his heart, is now seen all over the world. He lives on through that visual representation of what being a dad means—fathers who open their hearts to their children. It continues to communicate our mission to help dads and families.
I celebrate him today though I also grieve deeply. I grieve deeply because this dad loved him so deeply. But I also celebrate his life, his heart, his successes, and even his struggles. I celebrate the fact that God gave him to me for a quarter of a century.
Dads, if I can give you any advice today—it’s this—celebrate the lives of your children no matter what. Celebrate while you have them. Even when they make mistakes and struggle with life or make bad choices, thank God for the struggles. It’s in the struggles, losses, and fire of life that God their Heavenly father shapes our children and us dads. God is using the struggles to shape us into the kind of souls He celebrates, smiles over, and one day welcomes home.
Don’t let the challenges our sons or daughters face be the focus of how we see them. They often become how we see them. If we see them as unreliable, irresponsible, or immature, that is often the very thing they become. Yes, recognize, deal with their choices and struggles appropriately—but do it without exasperating them (Eph. 6:4).
Most of all, learn to see them as their creator and Heavenly father sees them…as his beautiful child—a Child of the King. Sure, they are flawed, sinful, and selfish by nature, so are we. But God sees them as His beautiful creation—full of goodness and hope. Please, for today, learn to celebrate the good in your kids—while their Heavenly Father allows us to love, lead, and then one day, let them go.