It will be the easiest chapter to write because I have no greater clarity about anything in my life than my personal faith journey. That's not because it's always been a beautiful journey - in fact most of it has not been - or a journey that will make perfect sense to others, but one I look back on and recognize just how much it has influenced my role as a father.
It's the hardest chapter to write because I'm a Christian. In today's culture Christians are often regarded as a group of people more interested in shoving their faith than sharing it. I've witnessed enough social media conversations and political and cultural debates to understand where that perception comes from. But on the other hand, I know too many Christians sharing their faith by unconditionally serving and loving others to call it a completely fair one. But fair or not, I realize the truth. When some of you following along see a chapter called "Pray" in my book your first thought will be here comes Christianity's version of bait and switch. I lure you in with a promise to share my thoughts on being a good dad, only to start shoving Jesus down your throat once I gain your attention.
So before I present the next chapter, Pray, I feel the need to disclaim that particular notion.
I'm including the chapter pray for two reasons. First and foremost, without my faith in God I couldn't be the father I long to be. I couldn't be the picture of the dad the Book of Dadverbs will ultimately paint. That alone makes it an impossible chapter for me to leave out. Second, a majority of the folks who responded to my original request for Dadverbs included a faith component.
With that said, though, I need you the reader to know this. As much as I know I couldn't be the dad I long to be without the strength and guidance I get from having Christ in my life, I don't presume that or have a need for that to be true of you. My faith provides me strength and guidance; maybe you'll draw yours from elsewhere. What I do know is there are millions upon millions of young boys and girls yearning for a dad in their life. The sole purpose of this book is to point dads toward them. If after reading this book you decided to be a dad that is more active and influential in your child's life, but feel completely unmoved by the God who has worked miracles in mine, I'm going to celebrate with you and your child. There will be no disappointment.
So over the next two weeks I'm going to cover the chapter Pray in 3 parts:
- Me of Little Faith
- An Awakening
- I Finally Get It
I hope you'll follow along. I hope you'll feel like I'm sharing my story and not shoving it. More than anything, I hope a child will be one chapter closer to having the kind of dad they want and need.