Carter and his pregnant girlfriend came in to begin our prenatal education class. At the end of their first session, we gave Carter our traditional “new dad” gift. It’s a small bag that contains a Mr. Goodbar chocolate bar and the booklet called You Have What It Takes: What Every Father Needs to Know by John Eldredge.
Carter looked in the bag and he said, “I like the candy bar,” but then he mumbled something about not being able to read very well. “I won’t be reading this booklet,” he said on his way out.
Fast forward to when they showed up for class two weeks later. The first thing Carter said was, “Well, I read the whole thing!” He explained, “The words I didn’t know I looked up in the dictionary.” Our volunteer noticed that Carter was an entirely different guy that night—he was just so engaged in the parenting lessons and very eager to learn.
It’s important to provide practical encouragement to the young dads we serve, because strong dads today can positively impact their own families and also their offspring for generations to come. Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12: “For you know how, like a father with his children, we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.” We encourage young fathers in righteousness, and as they grow, they encourage their children in righteousness. And on and on it can go. This builds the kingdom of God – which is good for everyone – and brings God great glory, as He deserves. We have all been created for Him.