(Excerpt from the book)
"Are you ready?" Dr. Medders said, as he joined my wife, Jill, and me in our hospital labor and delivery room. He was our OB/GYN doctor. Jill had been in labor for the past 18 hours and she was ready to push this baby out.
He looked at me with a smile and said, "Ed, You are about to become a father." He reached out his hand and grabbed mine; his hands were huge, perfectly designed to catch newborn babies. He said, "Your baby is ready to come. Do you want to deliver your son?"
“Me?” I asked.
He said, “Yes!”
I had recruited my dear mother-in-love, Nancy, to do the nurturing and handholding. I was trying to give Jill my best pregame locker-room football speech. She rolled her eyes as if she was saying, "Oh boy, here he goes again."
Our nurse helped me put on the blue hospital garment and the surgical gloves. Dr. Medders said, "Ed, he's coming. Get in there!"
I sat on a rolling stool to move into the place where the doctor usually sat. I remember the sound of the wheels rolling on the floor and the smell of the Betadine disinfectant still in the air.
I will never forget my wife’s last push, as she transferred her first son, who we named Edward, into my hands as I caught him. He was slippery and beautiful at the same time. I had just become a father! I held Edward up, like Mustafa holding Simba, his firstborn, in The Lion King, with tears in my eyes, dedicating him to the Lord.
The doctor grabbed him, looked him over, and said, "Ten toes, ten fingers, he looks perfect.” The nurse swaddled him in a blue baby blanket and handed him to Jill. We were both filled with a joy that was bigger than words could say. I was just given one of God's greatest gifts and callings. I was becoming a father.
The doctor's invitation to "get in there" was not only for me; it’s also for every man who loves a woman and makes a baby. If you are a husband and a father, you are the perfect man to get in there and make a difference. There is no one who can replace you, no matter how you started your family. You might not have been able to be there for the birth of your children, but it is never too late for you to get in there to make a difference.
I wrote this book to give men hope that, in Christ, we can become the husband and father our families need. I might have been there at the birth of all my children, but I struggled with becoming a good father after they were born. My biological father died a military hero before I was born, and my stepfather, also in the military, traveled most of my childhood serving our country. He knew how to push me to overcome my fears but struggled to understand how to be a present father. I have always known that he loved me, but like many dads, he pushed me toward my dreams without knowing how to build a healthy relationship with me. My stepfather struggled to be a dad because his father didn't know how to be a good father to him.
I meet men like me every day who want to become good husbands and fathers but have never been shown how to do it. I will share with you some of those secrets I have learned from the life of Jesus that have transformed my relationship with my wife and children, and they will transform your life too.
I have witnessed tens of thousands of men encounter Jesus for themselves and receive the love and blessing of God the Father. When a man is fathered by God, the same way Jesus was, he understands who God has made him to be and how he can become the man, husband, and father his family needs.
We live in a world where Satan wants to destroy men and their God-given roles so that he can unravel their families and destroy their children. God made men to be the foundation of blessing for their families. If you want to destroy a marriage and a child, get rid of that husband and father.
But God has a plan! He promises,
Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction. (Mal. 4:5–6)
Families will heal when a father's heart is turned back toward his children. I have met men all over the world who have built their careers but lost their children. I believe God is turning the hearts of fathers to their children. You are reading this book because you want to become the best husband and father you can be!
I wrote this book to help you understand the process of how to become the husband and father your family needs. Here’s the good news: the same God who formed you in your mother’s womb and knew you before you were born has called you to be an incredible man, husband, and father. You can do it because God has called you to do it. You can do it because God will give you everything you need to do it. You can do it because the Holy Spirit will empower you to do it. It doesn’t matter where you’ve been or what you’ve done; it’s never too late to become the husband and father your family needs.
Fortunately for me and my family, through an amazing encounter with Jesus, I discovered that God wanted to be my Father. God has made us to be fathered and blessed by Him. The blessing from God, the Father, started healing the man I was so that I could become the husband and father my family needed me to be. The Father's love changed my life forever. If He can transform a broken-down ex-professional football player into a good husband and father, then He can do it for you too.
This book is a collection of the best practices I have learned over thirty years of relationship with God the Father, through His Son, Jesus, regarding how to become the husband and father a family needs.
Are you ready to become the husband and father your family needs?
Get in there!