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MenWantability
By Jay Cookingham

To me, fatherhood is all about discovery. Discovering our approach to fathering, and how well we study our kids. Each finding, each new nugget of revelation, involves the "Wantability Factor."

Wantability (WA for short) is how I describe the mixture of the desire to obey the Father and the complete surrender to Him in the midst of any situation. Choice and decision intrinsically wrapped together – that's Wantability. Jesus had gallons of that stuff, sloshing around inside, spilling over and pouring out. With every step closer to the cross, He changed lives…

"A man with leprosy came and knelt before him [Jesus] and said, ‘Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.’ Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. ‘I am willing,’ he said. ‘Be clean!’ Immediately he was cured of his leprosy." (Matthew 8:2-3 NIV)

Wow! That's ultimate Wantability, and the Holy Spirit has filled us with the same stuff, drawing us to the Father with it. Stoking it until it boils over in us and causes us to throw ourselves on the altar of His love. Consumed by Holy fire, purified, empowered to choice and decision for His kingdom – that's the stuff of fathers.

What I have discovered about fathering is just how far reaching WA is. Every WA immersion and overflowing has tremendous ripple effects; not only in me but also in the lives of my family.

Now, some have questioned the WA in the desire to have a large family (or should I say the sanity) as I have (we have seven children), but I consider it just a small nation to "make disciples" out of.

My wife and I often get asked, "Are these all yours?" (No sir, I have a jelly donut stuck in my pocket and they are just following me to see if I might drop it) and, "You're not gonna have more are you?" (Why, do you want some?)

Now, we really don't reply in that manner, but there are times when we are tempted. It takes a lot of WA to not say anything and that is a perfect segue back to the subject at hand.

"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." (Ephesians 2:10 NKJV)

Fathering is more about His ability to change us and our Wantability to be changed. Father God's workmanship supercharges us to walk in paths already prepared for us. Surrendering our purposes for His, gives birth to Wantability in our lives and enables us to be the fathers we need to be.

Then my children exercise their own WA in their desire to be like me (and ultimately like their Heavenly Father) and they begin to affect the society around them.

The well of WA goes deep in the heritage of a Godly man and it overflows with the power of a life-changing Savior. Wanting to be, choosing to be, allowing the Lord to be all we need in our fathering; these are all the elements of Wantability. Together they form a commitment born straight from the heart of the Heavenly Father. To me, that's just like the spirit of adoption – the willingness to give all unconditionally, to point His children to Him.

"God doesn't call people who are qualified. He calls people who are willing, and then He qualifies them." (Richard Parker)
Jay Cookingham is a freelance writer who is featured on several websites, including fatherville.com, ibelieve.com, christianwriters.com and crossmap.com. His article, "Seven Promises from Your Husband", was featured on two separate occasions on Ken Canfield’s syndicated radio program "Today’s Father". He also writes a monthly email newsletter geared towards men. A father of seven, Jay Cookingham has been happily married to his wife Christine for 22 years.

LIFE LESSONS FROM 2004:
I learned that when drug dealers and trashy people move into a quiet little unpretentious neighborhood, screaming in and out all night, sometimes as many as 50 cars, loud music and fighting, drinking and partying and spewing filthy language; that I am capable of extreme RIGHTOUS INDIGNATION, and after praying for guidance, putting on the full armor, taking a legion or two of angels with me, I can charge outside and send them all running for cover. It was NOT barefoot me who ran them off. I believe I had some unseen assistance. (Linda Germain)

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