Women of Reverence welcomes Smart Sabola as a guest blogger for Fathers Day Month
Smart Sabola is pastor at Tabernacle of Worship Church, in Harare Zimbabwe and he serves in the NCMI Global Apostolic Team. He is a husband to Jillian and together they are blessed with a beautiful daughter, Hailey Sabola .
He works for an online publication called The Christian Post Zw. He is passionate about teaching the Word of God from the pulpit and daily intentional discipleship. He enjoys watching sport and soccer is the top game to watch !
When my wife broke the news that she was pregnant, it was one of the most magical moments of my life.
Throughout the pregnancy, those moments continued to be stacked one on top of the other: going for the scan, knowing the gender of the baby, buying baby clothes… the list went on as the date of birth drew nearer. However, it was not always the joy of expecting that engulfed us, but somedays we had to stare at the fear of losing the pregnancy. We were coming from an experience where we had lost a pregnancy before, so at that stage, the devil started to throw “what if” scenarios into our heads. As days drew closer to the birth of our baby, our prayers became more desperate and panicky, despite the doctors telling us everything was going to be alright. Finally, after days of labour for my wife, our little princess arrived on earth’s shores. Aptly, without realizing it, all the agony of waiting and the apprehension was quickly forgotten and turned into joy.
However, that journey was just the beginning. Oh wait, did I miss the memo? Being a father is not a passing phase – it’s a life-long commitment. So what does a person in my shoes do with this God-given blessing; where do I even start? It’s a great question and I bet many new dads have had to deal with this at some stage in their lives. When I started to look around, I was not far away from an answer. God has blessed me with role models, men that I look up to that are great husbands and fathers. Thank God for such people because I had people to emulate and talk to. I didn’t have to look any further than my own dad, who is like superman to me. He’s not perfect, but he’s a great man. As I continued to ponder through all this, I felt two important things that God impressed upon my heart during that life-changing moment.
Learning from the perfect Father
Being a parent is a huge honour and privilege but wrapped inside this beautiful gift called a baby are also responsibilities. It doesn’t take much to realise that, as a dad, you need the help of the Heavenly Father. The best way to go about it is to learn from the perfect Father. One of Jesus’ aims during his time on earth was to do what He saw His father doing. John 5:19 – ‘Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.’
Not all people have had the privilege of having Godly fathers. Many have been let down by their fathers in varying ways – in some instances through sin and things like adultery, divorce, alcoholism, sexual abuse or attitudes of disinterest and this has resulted in betrayal of relationships. In some cases, it’s simply been the mere fact that fathers did not understand what was expected of them.
The good news to all fathers and father figures is that for all you are dealing with and what you face on a daily basis, there is another who also deals with it at an even larger scale: God the Father. He is also familiar with screaming babies and naughty children. We need to understand that God as Father is the perfect Father. He eagerly desires that we rely on Him for care and provision, in even the most practical matters of food and clothing, protection and all good things.
What we have to do is to spend time with the Heavenly Father; He will teach us and guide us through His Spirit. I am a work in progress and these days I have often found myself praying this prayer: “Lord, show me how to be a great father.”
Partnering with the perfect Father
Being a father is something that happens by divine favour and grace. The story of Jeremiah 1:5 reads, ‘Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”’
When God said, ‘I knew you before you were formed in your mother’s womb’ God is saying, by implication, that people exist in this world by divine design and plan, not by choice or ability of parent. As a father, I quickly realised that what I have is the privilege to partner with God in His divine plan in the life of a little girl called Hailey. I am simply a steward. It is a chilling feeling to know that God knew our children before we ever dreamed of having them, God loved them before we did and God intends to care for them more than we ever could.
No matter how good we may think we are as parents, God will always outdo us in all departments, whether to love, or to provide, or to protect. Matthew 7:11 says: “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” This might be a difficult truth to accept but God is as committed to the success and well-being our children as we are – and even more. That’s why it’s important to understand that God the Father is with us in this.