In a lot of ways, becoming a father-to-be is both an exciting and nerve-wracking experience. On one hand is the joy of expecting a gift from God, and on the other, the anxiety that follows that. Having children gives us an undeniable responsibility that cannot be neglected.
Becoming parents had to be one of the biggest challenges me and my wife faced. But it wasn't because our daughter was a burden. Sometimes God can bring challenges in our lives not to burden us but to cause us to grow more in certain areas—faith being one of the most important.
James 1:2 urges us to "count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds."
Expecting a child can be a challenge, yes, but it is one that will cause joy and growth in the area of faith if handled and viewed well.
Here are five areas of faith soon-to-be fathers can and need to grow in.
1. Faith for finances
It's no secret that raising a child is costly. Diapers, formula milk, vaccinations, clothes, toys, education, medications, and the long list of obligations can get overwhelming. But instead of responding in fear and worry, we can instead choose to respond in faith.
2. Faith to be guided in wisdom
As men, we have wisdom of our own but at many points that wisdom, knowledge or strategy can and will fail. When our earthly wisdom fails, the Holy Spirit allows us to access His all-encompassing wisdom. Proverbs 2:6 says this: "For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding."
3. Faith for spiritual fervour
Much of parenting will involve depending on our intimacy with God. A hunger for God's Word and for prayer has the ability to protect us from burnout, frustration and desperation. If there's anything we must believe God intensely for, it's for more spiritual fervour so that we may allow that fervour to trickle down into our families.
4. Faith for a firm affirmation
One cannot give what he doesn't receive. As a father, one of the greatest gifts we can give to our children at any age is a powerful affirmation that they are loved and secure. But as we release affirmation, where do we draw out our personal source of affirmation? There is no source greater that Jesus and the cross.
5. Faith for greater purpose
Becoming a parent is not just a responsibility. It's a calling. Much is on the line when our children come into our world, and for that we need clearer direction. Thankfully God is always one who directs. As fathers-to-be, let us learn to pray Psalm 25:4 regularly saying, "Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths."