It’s almost unfair how much influence I wield as a father to my young children. My wife spends more time with them, sacrifices more for them, yet the moment I step through the door I am greeted with, “Daddy’s home!” and am showered with adulation. All the love I invested in them as babies and toddlers are now being returned a hundredfold! They love me wholeheartedly with every fibre of their being. I can scold them fiercely until they are in tears, then not 10 minutes later explain that Daddy disciplines because I love them -- they collapse in my arms, restored and relieved. I know this kind of relationship is for this precious season, so I am unhurriedly savouring it.
I am convinced that this adoring early season of fathering is God’s gift, because I am immensely enjoying guiding my son and daughter. “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Prv 22:6). In this season of childhood, if I am willing to invest time, it easy to love, embrace, bond, and thus guide and train my children. I need to dig my foundations deep now, because I know the environment of fathering will get more difficult in coming years. When my son finds his wings, I want him to depart from my arms and my home, yet not depart from the ways of God and the Scripture I am teaching him now.
MoneySmart and Asian Parent recently estimated the cost of raising one child in Singapore until completing secondary school at $280,000-$340,000. While pragmatists wonder whether parenting is worth it, I am encouraged by the new generation of fathers I see. We have heeded the research about the importance of fathers, we know love is spelled T.I.M.E., and we have bathed, fed, told stories, and played with our children. We know that materialism is fleeting, and we are listening to the advice of involved fathers and spiritual leaders we respect. We are not doing this with gritted teeth, because we have already tasted the joys of fatherhood. The wisdom of Scripture and godly advice is already blessing me as I obey.
What is my reflection on the price of children this Father's Day? $340,000 is a bargain for the return I am getting. I'll take two please.