THE INCREASE: Abba Father - Adam Wainwright

My wife and I try to love each other in such a way that there is no room for the kids to doubt that mom and dad love each other — that what we have is deeper than a physical attraction. And we try to love our kids in the same exact way; we try to love them as Christ loves us.

When I come home from a road trip, my wife gets the first kiss and then come my four daughters. These girls are the greatest little servants toward their daddy. When I come home they want to spend as much time as they can with me and I love that so much.

Every night as I sit down with my daughters, we read a Bible story together and talk about what we each have learned from it, then we get down on our knees by our beds and pray together out loud. I think that as my kids get older and we look back at these times, we’re going to see these moments — moments that we spent together with Christ — as the greatest times of their youth. I wouldn’t trade this for the world.

When I look back at my own childhood, I’m motivated even more so to be an excellent father because my father left when I was only three years old. My brother, who was seven years older than me, adopted the role of father for me. He taught me how to play baseball, hunt, and camp. Meanwhile, my mom worked two jobs to provide for us. As hard as it was for me to grow up without a dad, it drives me to be the very best dad that I can be to my daughters.

When I look back at my life, I don’t think that I’ll ever say, “I wish I had worked more; I wish I had spent more time away from my kids.” I want to make sure that they look back and say, “I need to marry someone who loves me as much as my daddy loves me.” I have to say, that’s going to be hard; they have their work cut out for them to find someone like that.

A lot of times I want to go out and play sports with my daughters, but they want to play Barbies. While this is a challenge for me to understand, I never want to become impatient with them. Instead, I want to embrace who they are, so I’ll play Barbies and color with them. Though this can be a challenge, it’s also a pleasure to see them grow to be the individuals that God created them to be.

Being a father opened my eyes up to the depth of love that our Heavenly Father has for us, His children. I can still remember after we had our first daughter, Baylie Grace, I was telling my agent (who also is a mentor to me) about the crazy love that I have for this little baby who couldn’t even talk, walk, or move. I couldn’t get over how much I loved her simply because she was mine. He responded to me saying, “Just think about how much you love your daughter, then think about how God loves you even more than that.” That was so eye-opening for me; it almost blew me away because I couldn’t even imagine that. He’s the ultimate, loving Father. He is Abba Father.

“Because you are His sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.’” — Galatians 4:6

Adam Wainwright, St. Louis Cardinals pitcher

**Editor’s note: The term, “Abba,” is found three times in the New Testament when Christ refers to the Almighty God as His Father. This specific title implies a warm affection and dependency of a son towards his father.**

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