Challenging “Father” Moments

One of the classic statements on parenthood was made many years ago by James Dobson when he penned, “Parenting Isn’t For Cowards.” That is true for both moms and dads, but since we are bearing down on Father’s Day, we will think about it from a father’s perspective.

It is not that a crisis arrives every minute, but the older our kids get, the more often challenging decisions seem to come around. One dad kind of brushed off the importance of these tough calls by saying, “At least you have a 50-50 chance of getting it right.” But I do not believe that most dads are happy to simply play the odds.


Looking back on the growing-up years of our kids, let me tell you a challenging father moment that involved my second son. When he was only nine-years-old he had to be admitted to the hospital due to continuous vomiting which led to throwing up blood. He was weak and dehydrated and had that “helpless look” that all parents understand.


In order to stop the nausea the doctor decided that a tube needed to be inserted through his nose into his stomach. The thought of that sent my son into panic mode! Immediately he begged me to not let them do it. It was a difficult moment for me, because I had to quickly decide if the procedure was worth the distress to my son. I decided to allow it.


When the nurses came in to do the procedure, his fear accelerated- - and I had to leave the room! All the way to the elevator I could hear my son crying, “Dad make them stop! Dad, please make them stop!”


It seemed that everything within me urged me to go back and make them stop! But I didn’t. Why? Because I believed the eventual outcome would be worth the present pain. And thanks be to God it was the right decision, because he is a healthy man today!


Every time I think of that incident I think about the Heavenly Father looking down at His Son who cried, “Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me” (Matthew 26:39). But He allowed Him to be crucified. Why? Because He knew the outcome would be worth the present pain! And thankfully we can stand spiritually whole today because of a loving Father who endured a challenging Father moment (cf. Matthew 27:46).


Maybe this will bring greater appreciation to the words we know so well, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).