Posts tagged: fatherhood
My father is not perfect. By no means. In fact, by his own admission he is just "practically perfect" (please bear with the family inside joke here). However, he is a man who loves Jesus more than anything else. He is a man who changed the Welch family’s history, trajectory and background.
He broke the string of alcoholics and apathy. He was the first Christian father in his family. He had no model of what it looked like to be a Godly father and man. What he did have, however, was a changed and restored heart, empowered by the Spirit to become the man God wired him to be.
My father changed the trajectory of our family, of my life, by saying yes to Jesus and vowing that He would not be like his father.
Today, I sit here, writing, after Father’s Day, reflecting on this. I am grateful my dad said yes to Jesus. Without this, it scares me to think of what it would be like.
He had no example of a Godly father until he met my mother and became close to her father. I wish I could have met this man - because of the ways he influence my dad - unfortunately, he passed away before I was born. I’m told all the time how much my grandpa and I would have got a long. I never met him, but I miss him. One thing I want to do, if he still was alive, would be to go up to my grandpa, hug him and say "Thank you for unleashing my father to be the man God called him to be."
This is the grandpa I never met. He is already with Jesus. I will see him again. Yet, he influenced and prepared my dad to leave the legacy he is leaving. My dad’s father however, is the opposite of that.
I see the differences. I am caught in the tension. I live in the grey. Has my grandfather hardened his heart? Is it too late? Has his years of alcoholism blocked the way of the Spirit to move? Do I stop praying? Do I cry when he passes away? I have no relationship with the man.
Legacy matters. My mom’s dad left behind a legacy so strong it influenced and shaped his daughter’s husband - my dad. My dad’s dad will leave behind a legacy of apathy and booze.
My father has equipped me in ways his dad never could. He has prepared me to be a man. I am 25 and I was ready to become a man. He was even able to look me in the eyes soon after 18 and bestow upon me my masculinity. His legacy is one of equipping and empowerment.
I am a disciple of Jesus because of my father.
I am a leader becasue my father.
I am a pastor because of my father.
I am on the journey I am on because of my father.
God blessed and used my father to make me who I am and who I will be. I am thankful for God granting my father with the ability to leave a legacy.
Legacy. This is a word I’ve been marinating on for a while. What will your legacy be?
My memory is pretty blank on what happened July 5, 2006.
There are all kinds of things to be posted of what happened between July 4 and July 17. This day and the days to come, were full of tests, prayer, tears and so much I could not dream of describing. Today was the beginning of a new routine - prayer, tests, prayer, blood work, prayer, MRI, prayer. July 5, at this stage in the game, was a day of life - which meant there was hope.
More time to pray. More time seek. More time for tests. More time for care. More time to allow God to heal. More time to ask for a miracle.
What I do remember, comes from the night of July 5, I was out of it (medicine and a temperature of 105 will do that). But, at some point in the night, I awoke to a sight I will never forget. I can count on one hand the amount of times I have ever seen this sight. Up until this point, I thought everything was fine and all would be simple and good - because I knew God had a plan. What I witnessed though, while I didn’t know what it meant, showed me something big was up. It would not be as simple as my childlike faith would lead me to believe.
I woke up to the sight of my father, sitting over me and weeping.
He knew I was dying.
He knew there was nothing he could do but pray.
He knew the doctors were clueless and confused.
He knew God had to move and heal.
He knew God had to save.
Realizing his son might not make it through the night.
So, he was weeping.
I can only imagine the conversation my dad had with me/God during the night.
Thankfully, in what turned out to only be a few short days (but felt like months, and lead to months of reocovery) - those prayers were answered.
Tears were turned to laughter.
Sorrow turned to celebration.
For, July 5, 2006, showed that Jonathon was still here.
God was moving. God was saving. God was near.
His presence was known and felt, but the journey was nowhere close to being finished…
My name is Jonathon Welch. For 24 years, I have had this name. For each one of these years, my father has been Steve. Every day during these 24 years, since I’ve learned to talk, I have been granted the honor of calling him my father.
Today, I get to sit, reflect, rejoice, celebrate and thank God for my father.
He is not a perfect man - by no means. He himself would admit that. Yet, my father is more then a very good man - he is a great man.
Over the course of my 24 years of life, I have seen him faithfully love my mother, my siblings and myself. I have seen him go to work and provide for his family, while fully trusting God to lead his family. During my 24 years, he has faithfully and responsibly volunteered, served and lead God’s people while working a job. He has spent his time at work, not just working or bringing home a paycheck, but getting to know his co-workers, living missionally, showing and telling them about Jesus. He never missed a single one of my little league games - while doing everything else that God has asked him to do.
In this 21st century world, many of peers and brothers have father wounds. Let me be the first to tell you how much this breaks my heart. Thankfully, I do not. Whenever I have needed my father, he has been there for me. He has poured into me and made me the man I am today.
My father is a mentor, pastor, friend and father. Most importantly, my father is a patriarch. He is a man who, like many of my generation, did not have the best relationship with his own father. Yet, he sought out men around him, particularly, my mother’s father, and gave his life to Jesus.
By doing this, he severed the chain of father wounds.
Men, it is possible. My father is proof. You can change your family’s history.
Steve Welch, thank you.
Happy Father’s Day.
Tonight I finally got around to watching the movie Taken starring Liam Neeson. I love him; he is an actor who makes me happy.
The movie, personally, I think is an interesting cultural snapshot. But it is one that is not easy to watch. For those of you who wonder, it is an action movie with lots of action. But, it centers around the sex trade industry in Europe.
This movie, pulls off two things well -1) It brings attention to one of the biggest problems our world faces today - the sex trade industry or sex trafficking and 2) Fatherhood and Masculinity.
In this movie, his daughter is kidnapped and pulled into a sex trafficking ring and he refuses to stop short until he gets his daughter back. This hit me on so many levels. It made me wonder. It made me think. It touched me
First, the thought of my future daughter getting kidnapped alone is a scary thought - getting pulled into this type of ring is more terrifying. Second, As I was watching this movie, I was wondering what it must be like to be one of these women and how we as the Church can help change this. Third, it made me think of the way God pursues us no matter whats and loves us unconditionally as He longs to save us from evil and sin itself. The Bible says we can call God “Abba”, which means Father. This picture of fatherhood that Taken showed us hit me.
Do I think the violence was justified? I don’t know. But what I do know is that the way Liam Neeson pursued his daughter is the way God pursues us.
Men, are you willing to be this type of Father? Will you relentlessly pursue your children and wife, as you sacrifice and protect them?