As of March 20, 2009, I am officially a dad. It hasn't completely hit me yet, mainly because my son is on the other side of the world. I'm sure it will all sink in once the first diaper needs to be changed by daddy. Meanwhile, I can't help but wonder if I will be a good dad. I know it's customary to tell the new father "you're gonna be a great dad". And of course I've heard it many times already. But seriously, what makes a good dad?
One thing that usually helps is having a good dad. It's a lot easier to do the right thing when you've seen it done by someone else all your life. Unfortunately I haven't had that priviledge. My dad was for the most part out of the picture by the time I was about 8. I did however have a great mom. Still I know I missed out on those very valuable principles you can only learn from a good dad.
I've really tried hard to keep track of those things I wish I had, so I can make sure I provide those things for my son, and future children. For instance, one thing I know I missed out on was Fatherly Affirmation. There's something very empowering about hearing your dad tell you you can do it. It is a natural confidence-builder. I'm going to make every effort every day to tell my son that he can do it, whatever it is. I can tell by the look in his eyes that he is already a confident little guy, but he still needs to hear it from me.
There are many other things I want to be sure to teach my son - the power of prayer, the truth of God's Word, the love of Jesus, but honestly, I'm totally reliant on the Lord to show me the right way. Growing up without a dad, I struggled through life and made a lot of mistakes. I was stubborn, hard-headed and foolish, and I take full responsibility for my actions. But not having a dad in my life clearly had a negative effect on me. When I got things right with God though, one of the unexpected consequences was that I had a Father. And He's the best Father. Now, it's His voice I hear telling me I can do it, He believes in me, and I'm special.
So, to answer my own question, will I be a good dad? The answer is, I will do my best. And if I truly do my best, then yes.