Faith Journey

A Step In My Faith Journey

Written by
Joey Christianson

As I was thinking about the way my faith has changed the most in the last three years, the only thing I could think of was becoming a father for the first time.

Growing into a New Role Gains a New Perspective

As I was thinking about the way my faith has changed the most in the last three years, the only thing I could think of was becoming a father for the first time.

I’ve been in church for almost thirty years, have sang the songs about “Good Good Father” and “How He Loves” etc, and I even felt like there were times I had an understanding of what that meant and of His love for me.

After I became a parent in April of 2020 and over the next several months, a significant shift happened in my own heart. For the first time, I had a viewpoint of what it meant to be a father: of the lengths I would go to care for my son and the things I would do to protect him and to make sure he knows I love him.

Parenting is not for everyone, but for me it has given me a glimpse of how God the Father cares about me--his son. A glimmer of insight into the lengths that He DID and DOES go to in order to preserve a right relationship with us.

Now when I sing those songs, hear those verses, or read the narrative of the Bible and God’s journey to stay in relationship with His children, I have a small, yet more full picture that allows me to relate with a sliver of understanding.

Holding this viewpoint has had an impact on my relationship with my boys and what I want them to hear, what I want them to know is true, and how I want them to remember being treated by me, their father.

Psalm 145:8 says, “The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love”.

That’s the kind of father I want to be and that’s the kind of Father I believe in.

Walking in These New Shoes

It’s easy to say, but how does it play out in my day to day? Well, I believe that the overflow of my heart is what people will experience in their interactions with me, so each day I need to fill my heart up with words that are true about who I am and about who God is.  I need to draw near to Him.

For me, this means I need to fill myself up with worship of the Father before I enter situations. This looks like listening to worship music in the car on the way home instead of sports radio. This looks like finding five minutes in the morning to center myself. When I do those things, it helps me show grace, compassion, and patience for my kids. It helps me respond in love and understanding as their father.

That’s just how I imagine our Father responds to us: patiently with love and understanding.

As the weather is warming and schedules are changing, (sometimes creating more time at home with family or around people that can test your patience), try spending time centering yourself before you encounter those situations. Just see what happens in your life when you fill yourself with the Father’s love and grace for you and how much easier you can reflect that back into the world.

For more stories of faith and of Jesus working in the lives of people, make sure to check out our sermons series, This is Jesus.

About the Author

Joey Christianson is the Pastor of Next Gen at Grace Fishers. He and his wife Jess have two little boys.