Father to Father is a weekly Q&A column with a godly Christian father. This week Reforming Fatherhood is interviewing Pastor Andrew Dionne (check out his blog). If you like John Frame (as I do), you should love Pastor Dionne. He is the man behind the unusually helpful Frame-Poythress website.
Introduce yourself to my readers.
I’m the pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Spartanburg, South Carolina. I was an associate pastor at Christ the Word Church in Toledo, OH for just over seven years and, before that, a pastoral intern at the church formerly known as Church of the Good Shepherd in Bloomington, IN.
How long have you been married?
Sarah and I have been married for 14 years.
What is a breakdown on your children (ages & sex)?
Anna, 10, female
Ezekiel, 8, male
Thomas, 6, male
Esther, 4, female
Magdalene, 2, female
What is your vocation?
Pastor, Trinity Presbyterian Church.
Anything else you want to say?
Ephesians 3:14-15. The first Father has imprinted fatherhood everywhere on His creation. Remember that.
I was sad to hear that you lost a child to miscarriage last November. As you know, I had a stillborn daughter last year. The experience really opened my eyes to the prevalence of miscarriages and stillbirths. Overall miscarriage rates are estimated to be somewhere around 17-22%. That being said, there is very little written to help guide and instruct the fathers of miscarried babies. What counsel do you have for a man who finds himself in a situation similar to yours?
Sometimes bad examples teach better than good examples. So, perhaps I can be some help here. My counsel would be to be a better husband to your wife than I was. The miscarriage occurred right after we came through some extreme difficulties in the church that had me wondering how much longer God would have me pastoring in my current position. So, when the miscarriage came, I was more focused on it being another blow to me rather than a deep sadness to my wife, who had carried the baby in her womb (she miscarried about six weeks into the pregnancy). My wife is generally very “low maintenance,” being hardy stock from Wisconsin, but I have banked on that too many times. If we could go back to that time, I would have spent more time with Sarah helping her through her grief. Also, what we discovered was what a wonderful balm our five children were to us during this time. Continue reading