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FIRST-PERSON: A father’s love

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–It hit me somewhere along the way … it may have been our fifth, sixth or seventh son, but one day I realized it: the power I have as a father is truly amazing. By joining in union with my wife, Angie, we can actually create an eternal living soul. There is no human achievement that can rival this. It is an exclusive privilege given to the human race. And as fathers of eternal living beings, our privilege and responsibility is of utmost importance.

I remember when my first son, Tyler, was born — the feeling of awe and wonder, accompanied by the very real sense that I was in over my head. I had never done this before. How in the world do you raise a kid? What will we do? Then gently and consistently my Father in heaven reassured me that He would provide and guide, and that He was happy with me for creating a son of my own. Don’t get me wrong — I know he was a gift from God, but we chose to have him. The power to procreate was put in our hands.

Since then, Angie and I have had seven more children — making a total of seven boys and one girl, ranging in age from 4 to 18. Father’s Day is a special day, and always has been. We have all been influenced by our fathers. My father passed down to me a love for people. He was a pastor — the real good kind — who loved those in his congregation from the nursery to the grave and spent his life’s energy caring for them every way he could. I am very thankful to have had a father who knew and passed on to me the importance of people and their lives — their stories.

As with most fathers, I am always concerned with the wellbeing of my wife and children. It can be an overwhelming task at times, but I am often reminded that the most important thing I can give them is to stay with them and to love them. I believe they are very forgiving and resilient; they just need to know that as long as we are breathing, we will be there — to listen, comfort, provide, guide and care for them. We make mistakes in our parenting journeys, but for them to know that we aren’t going to leave them covers a multitude of shortcomings.

My prayer for us as fathers is that we are able to adjust our mindsets and priorities to reflect what truly matters in life — the important things, not necessarily the urgent things. It’s curious to me how the urgent is usually so loud, while the important often waits quietly for our attention. May we slow down, adjust our pace, and just eat a meal or play with our children this Father’s Day — and many of the days to follow.
Guy Penrod was a member of The Gaither Vocal Band for 14 years, before stepping away in 2009 to pursue a solo career. His debut recording, “Breathe Deep,” released earlier this year. He and his wife Angie homeschool their eight children and live on a farm outside Nashville.

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  • Guy Penrod