My name is Peter Rothlisberger, and I am the proud father of Elias (7), Isabella (5) and Chloé (3). I honour you in your role as a father and celebrate who you are and what you do for this and the future generations!
Today I would love to share with you a reflection on Psalm 127:3-5 (ESV) that speaks to us fathers. It says:
“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.”
The first part of these verses reminds me that my children are a gift, a heritage, a reward, from the giver of good gifts. And I don’t know about you, but I need to be reminded about this regularly. When I have just spent what feels like an hour resolving yet another conflict, I need to be reminded about this again. Yes, my children are a big responsibility and yes, they will daily be demanding of my time whether I want it or not. But above all that, the reality is they are a gift given to me for my benefit.
So, I have made the conscious decision to recognize my children as a source of joy in my life, a reward that the Lord has given me, and not a source of pressure or frustration. This doesn’t mean that every interaction or interruption is a joy (or at least not yet it isn’t), but at the core it is a reality that I’m determined to recognize and make the most of.
Every time that I slow down and take the time to be fully present and engaged with my children is a time that I can enjoy. Whether it is when picking them up from school, in the moments of discipline and instruction, or in getting everyone in bed. This present enjoyment is so good for my soul, and is certainly good for theirs also!
The second part speaks to me of a longer-term reward:
“Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!”
If I take the time and effort to invest in my children today while they (and I) are still young, then both of us will reap a benefit from that in the future. Proverbs 29:17 says,
“Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart.”
Disciplining and teaching our children in love and grace and truth is going to be a long and daily process, and it is totally worth it in the long run. The fruit of your fatherhood today will extend to far beyond one generation!
“Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers”
— Proverbs 17:6 (ESV)
I would like to share with you one last thing that I am reminded to do as I go about my role as a beginner father. The Apostle Peter prompts the church to “Cast all your worries and cares on God, because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). As fathers we can stop right now and take a moment to give to our heavenly Father all of our hopes and fears for the future, the concerns and questions we have about raising our children, our frustration of today. We get to be fathers that rely on God himself to help and guide us to do the incredible work that he has invited us to do. Blessed are you, fathers, who are filling your quivers with the children of your youth!
Happy Father’s Day.