Thank you, Rev. Michael Mohr, for helping us see how God can give us the vocation of parenthood even in our barrenness:
Last month, I was attending a youth conference with one of the young men from our joint youth group. One of the break-out sections he wanted to attend was on Biblical manhood. As we sat there listening, my heart was saddened. Much of the presentation was about the Biblical role of rearing boys into men – fathers leading sons away from their mothers to grow into manhood. This was something I would never have, I thought. As my singleness has left me barren, I would have no son to lead through the steps to manhood. This is something I have earnestly desired (or, as the King James translation puts it – coveted), even to the point of idolatrous envy (i.e. covetousness). There are so many miserable fathers out there. Surely I could do a better job than they are doing. Why am I left sonless? The sadness was beginning to turn to anger and bitterness.
As the presentation ended, my young charge turned to me and asked, “Were you thinking what I was thinking?” I wasn’t about to admit my guilt right there on the spot – especially since I highly doubted he was pondering my barrenness. “What’s that, Jason?” I asked. “About us, how you kind of father me – like on this trip.”
Out of the mouths of babes! How could I have been so blind as to not see the great gift of God that was before me? To mentor youth, to take an active role in their lives, to express love and care for them is to fulfill the plan God has for me. This is the gift I covet, and He has been giving it to me all along.
The other day, we were traveling to a workshop and Jason asked to make a side trip to pick something up from his girlfriend’s house. As I dutifully waited in the car (“so as not to embarrass him,” I thought), he brought her out to the car and introduced me – “This is Pastor Mohr, my second dad.” I almost cried. I thank God for all of the young men I have thought of as sons, that God has permitted me to shape and mold for a time. I thank God that He has fulfilled His plan of how I should father those He has sent into my life.