Broadcast Date: June 14, 2013

Being an Intentional Dad

As we begin Father’s Day weekend, John Fuller, author of First Time Dad, co-host and Vice President of Focus on the Family joins Dr. Randy Carlson today. Discover what it means to be an intentional dad!

Today’s Guest

John Fuller, Focus on the Family

profile-john-fuller.ashxJohn Fuller is vice president of Focus on the Family’s Audio division, leading the team that creates and produces more than a dozen audio programs. These features are syndicated on thousands of radio affiliates worldwide and many are available online at Fuller is the co-host of the Daily Broadcast with Focus President Jim Daly and Dr. Juli Slattery, reaching millions of global listeners each week.
He is also host of the national “Weekend Magazine” broadcast.

John’s Book is First Time Dad—The Stuff You Really Need to Know

An Excerpt from John Fuller’s Book:

Great Expectations

On a recent Saturday morning, I found myself facing a tedious chore. After too many years, it was time to weed out the files in our home office. I’m not sure what I expected to find, but in a matter of minutes, I found myself awash in wonderful memories.

My wife, Dena, had saved physician records going back twenty years, and am I glad she did. The documents tracked our struggle to become parents and recorded her numerous visits, early in our marriage, with the obstetrician-gynecologist. We were anxious to have kids, but conception eluded us time and again.

Our season of infertility spanned nearly two years. That’s relatively brief compared to the anguish many couples face when trying to conceive, but it was still a painful season for us. At the time, it consumed us. But now, two decades and six children later, I realized how the years had softened the memories of that emotional time. I had forgotten the difficulties and disappointments, the months of tears and sorrow as we faced another door closing on our hopes to become parents.

My mind wandered back as I read the doctor’s notes, and I smiled as I remembered that day when, after years of waiting, we finally had a positive pregnancy test! It was almost unbelievable. Really? Yes, the test is positive! What joy—we were (finally!) going to be parents!

Now What?

As the news began to sink in, our heads began to swirl. We knew we were headed for changes. Big changes! But we didn’t know what those changes might be—or how we would weather them. We knew just enough to know that you don’t know what you don’t know.

On the positive side, we were confident we had a strong marriage and that this next stage of life—parenting—was something we were ready to experience. Despite our many questions, we expected it would be a pretty easy progression—a transition we believed we were prepared to handle and succeed at.

Those expectations would soon meet reality.

For the next six or seven months, much of what we did together and talked about was centered on the “Little Fuller” we’d be welcoming into the world. We were excited! All was right with our world—or at least there was nothing wrong that our new child couldn’t make right.

Little did we know that in only a few months we’d be stretched so tight and worn so thin we’d feel as if we would break. I could never have imagined we’d be arguing over the baby—and all kinds of things that now seem silly. I couldn’t know how little sleep I’d learn to operate on. There was no way to prepare for the doubts and insecurities I would feel as a new dad. But fatigue, as Abraham Lincoln said, makes cowards of men.

But wait! We were in love. We got along famously! How could a baby pull us apart? And parenting—it can’t be that hard; what’s there to know? The answers to those questions are the inspiration for this book. It’s never easy being a father—it’s even more difficult being a first-time father. And keeping your marriage strong while you learn, on the job, takes a lot of effort.

Looking back over those old medical records, I came to a stark realization. Although I didn’t know it at the time, I was sitting on a fault line, oblivious to the seismic changes coming our way.


Excerpted from First Time Dad by JOHN FULLER with PAUL BATURA Copyright © 2011 by John Fuller. Excerpted by permission of Moody Publishers. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Today’s Featured Intentional Living Center Resource

10 Commandments for the Family

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