THE SECRET POWER of DAD
by Bill Herried
Published on November 26, 2022

The Secret Power of Dad

By Bill Herried

Fathers, do you ever feel like your contribution to the family is neutral—at best? Never underestimate the Secret Power of Dad.

I remember when our first child, Josiah, arrived. My wife, Erin, had some health complications and the doctor decided to induce labor a month early. She was only at the 8th month of gestation.

Her labor was a long process, as her body wasn’t quite ready for delivery at 8 months.

I still remember being in the delivery room, encouraging Erin as I witnessed Josiah’s entrance into the world unfold. After he was born, the doctor handed him to me and I was unprepared for the emotions that poured over me. Awestruck, thoughts flooded my mind as parenting just got real. I remember thoughts coming in rapid succession: “We have a boy!” “I can’t believe it!!” “I am responsible for this life.” “Where do I even begin?” “Is there a user’s manual?” “I have no idea what I’m doing.”

I walked away from the hospital that night with the deep realization that, along with this child was born a whole new level of responsibility.

I walked away from the hospital that night with the deep realization that, along with this child was born a whole new level of responsibility.

Because he was premature, Erin and he stayed in the hospital for an additional 5 days—so the doctor could monitor his progress. I remember driving home each night from work to the hospital, looking forward to seeing Erin and our new son!

As the years passed, we had two beautiful girls as well, and—thankfully—their births were much easier. They were released from the hospital the same day. And with each new birth, that sense of love and care for these gifts multiplied.

How quickly the time has passed, and now all three are adults making their way in the world.

But at every birth, I was reminded that I was entrusted with these lives for a short time. Erin and I—with the help of some great grandparents, and the CenterPoint family—did our best in helping them to see God’s goodness.

They say hindsight is 20/20. Now, as I look back, I believe the one area I underestimated was my role: the Secret Power of Dad. Sure, I was involved, but I wasn’t aware of how my words, my presence and my influence would help shape them.

The Secret Power of Dad is easy to miss. Because it isn’t in strength. It’s not in dominance or demanding respect. The Secret Power of Dad is in relationship. And this relational strength is the life-blood of families. After your children are grown and gone, relational influence is the only influence you will have as they navigate life. The sooner you begin building this relationship the better.

The Secret Power of Dad is easy to miss. Because it isn’t in strength. It’s not in dominance or demanding respect. The Secret Power of Dad is in relationship.

Can I speak for a moment to the Dads? If you’re like me, you may think, “I’m just a dad.” or “I’m only a step-father.” or “I’m only a grandfather.” But the truth is, you are like Superman to these children. Dad, you have far more influence in your children’s life than you can imagine.

As I look back, here are a few things I would like to have seen clearer in the middle of raising a family:

  1. Don’t wait. Every season of child raising is gold: don’t wait until they reach a certain age to be involved. Kids spell “Love”: T-I-M-E. Carpe Diem. Seize the day. The little things you do today will be remembered in the decades to come.
  2. The Time is Short. You will have the opportunity to shape their young lives for only a season. So be intentional. No one arrives anywhere successful by mistake. It will take intentionality on your part.
  3. Love Your Spouse. The best investment you can make in your children’s emotional well-being is to love your wife. Love her with everything in you. And in those moments of frustration with each other, remember what brought you together in the first place, looking to your Heavenly Father whose resources go beyond anything we can imagine.
  4. Feeling Exhausted? In those moments that you feel your life has been hijacked by your child/children, remember this: It is only a season. One day you’ll get to sleep again. One day you’ll get back to your hobbies. One day the home will be quiet and you will long for the sound of small feet in the hallway or on the stairs.

One day your home will be quiet and you will long for the sound of small feet in the hallway or on the stairs.

We’ve been given a sacred trust. No one else in the world can be a Dad to your child but you. Never underestimate your role. Your time is key.

And, if you feel like I felt—totally unprepared to be the dad—remember the best thing you can do for them, for your spouse and for yourself is to follow Christ. They are looking for a model. Be that model: Trust Christ with all your heart. Don’t lean on your own understanding. In every way allow him to make you more like him, and he will direct your path—as well as the paths of your children in the generations to come. 

Let it start with you. Now. Today. Seize the day.

Bill Herried is lead pastor at CenterPoint Christian Fellowship in Tacoma, Washington. He has an undergraduate degree from the University of Washington in Seattle, and Master of Divinity from Corban University in Salem, Oregon. He is married to the most extraordinary woman on the planet. Together they have 3 adult children and 4 grandchildren, and loves a good biryani. Bill welcomes you to learn more on Your Daily Encouragement

Image by melindarmacaronikidcom from Pixabay

3 Comments

  1. Becky Olsen

    Excellent article! Dad’s surely do have a great influence on the family.

    Reply
    • Bill Herried

      Thank you Becky. You are an encourager! Thank you too CGM for sharing!

      Reply

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