parenthood

A Lesson in Daddyhood

Photo courtesy:  Eric Hanson

Photo courtesy: Eric Hanson

I still can't believe I'm a Daddy. I know it's something I've looked forward to for a long time now, but it's surreal to actually sit back and think about my new role and responsibilities as a Father. Talk about a wee bit of pressure. I'm still in the early stages, but I've already learned a few lessons that I'd like to pass along to other new dads and those about ready to become one. 

  1. Grace: Don't think you'll do things perfect. Just as your relationship with the Lord involves God extending grace to you, you need to extend grace to yourself, your wife and the rest of your family. As a man, I often think I need to have it together and do things with perfection, and that's not realistic or healthy.
  2. Patience: I will admit, I struggle with patience. It just doesn't come naturally for me. One example is putting Caleb to sleep. I think to myself, why doesn't he just fall asleep? It's easy!  I often read examples from the Bible about patience. Jesus has plenty to say about it and his charge for us to be patient is pretty high on his priority list. Having children of your own can refine you or bring out the worst in you. My prayer is to be refined!
  3. Selfishness: Aren't we all selfish to some degree? I remember my single days when every minute was my own. I decided, what to do and when to do it. I think back to my summer days as a teenager and complaining because I had to do a household chore or mow the lawn. Oh pity me, an hour of my week isn't mine? As I grew older, thankfully I matured some, got married and found that my selfishness level was starting to decrease. There is something sacred that happens when you get married. When you exchange vows and commit your lives to one another before God, that's kind of a big deal! if you allow God to continue his work in you, you'll find that he uses your spouse to continue the refining process. Suddenly, mowing the lawn isn't that big of a deal, or spending an afternoon or entire day doing something special for your spouse is exciting to you. Then, of course when you have a child and your world is flipped. The decision to be selfish is confronted with the reality of a child's dependence on you or vying for your attention with gentle coos. It's impossible to resist that. One of my daily prayers is asking God to help me die more to myself, not only for me, but for my family that he's blessed me with.
  4. Love: I saved the best for last. Until I had my first child, I didn't know I could love someone so deep. There is such a unique bond between a parent and a child. I'm not the most emotional person (more so now than before, thanks to my Noelle), but when I think about this little creation I've been blessed with, there is something so incredibly deep that is triggered in me that loves so much. 

I love being a Dad. And I can't wait to be a Dad to a few more!