Hands-on Dad

A hands-on mom is always expected. I have never encountered a mother who have not changed the diapers, gave a bath, or fed her little one. But a dad who isn’t hands-on is very common in our society. Perhaps the weight of responsibility for security and financial provision is already enough burden for fathers, that child-rearing is left in the hands of the mother. My husband told me few years ago that I will never understand (or fathom) the weight of such responsibility (to provide), the same way as he will never understand the pain of giving birth. I may understand, but not fully, not in the magnitude that he does. Clearly, my husband was simply stating the God-given roles and responsibilities of a dad and a mom. Nevertheless, we both agreed that parenting is a partnership.

Technically, I spend more time with our children since my husband has a full-time job while I only work once or twice a week. But I am blessed that when I am away, my husband can handle and take good care of the kids. He can practically do anything to our newborns then, even midnight feeding, except giving a bath. He feels that babies are too delicate and slippery to handle when bathing but once they hit 1 year old and can stand on their own, he does. He changes diapers but still cringes at the smell of poop, teaches them to walk, spoon-feeds them, changes their clothes, wipes the snot on their faces, tickles them, wrestles, bites and kisses them playfully, puts them to sleep. I guess it helps me to see that we are co-laborers in raising our kids. Also, these moments became opportunities for my husband to bond with our children since dads didn’t have that breastfeed-bonding.

Last week, my husband shared to me something that he learned from a particular training. They were studying the book of Genesis and their teacher discussed how God is illustrated to be hands-on.

Genesis 3:21 And the LORD God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.

It is possible that the word “made” meant (in His majesty) that He literally killed the animals (foreshadowing Christ as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins) and made coverings of skin with His hands; and that the word “clothed” displayed His affection, as when clothing a person looks like embracing him/her.

Personally, what I see is a picture of restoration and acceptance, after the fall of man which shattered not only us, but our relationship with God.

As we look at New Testament, accounts of Jesus can be observed when He used His hands. One instance was when Jesus healed a man born blind.

Genesis 9:6,7 …he spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing.

He literally formed mud with his hands, touched the man’s eyes and healed him.

God is a very personal, hands-on Father. He forms, makes, clothes, washes, touches, anoints, covers. His hands are upon His children, for protection, security, provision, healing, covering. He formed us in the womb. He extends graciously to those who are in need.

Isaiah 59:1 Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save.

May you be reminded, especially in times of pressing situations, that His hands are involved. He saves. He is a hands-on Dad.