I am a dad. Even though that has been true for over 11 years now, it is still hard for me to believe. It is hard to believe that I have been entrusted with caring for and raising 3 precious little people.
In many ways I still feel like an irresponsible 20 year old (not that all 20 year olds are irresponsible, but I was) who is still fumbling his way through life. But, now I have a wife of 16 years, an 11 yr old, 8 yr old, and 3 yr old child along for the fumbling.
I have done all kinds of fumbling.
There was that time I fumbled my way through having Emily and James brush their teeth when they were very young. I had just finished bathing them and put the toothpaste on the toothbrush. I told them, “brush your teeth!” As they began, they immediately complained about the taste of the toothpaste. In a tone that was a little too harsh, I said, “It’s just a new flavor! Brush!” They kept complaining. So I grabbed the toothpaste only to notice it wasn’t toothpaste but cortisone cream. Oops. At least, their teeth didn’t itch anymore….
There was also a couple of days ago while fumbling through the potty training my 3 yr old that I grabbed the wrong wipes. Who knew there was difference between flushable baby wipes and bleach disinfectant wipes? Well, I know now and so does Andy.
I have made much bigger fumbles than these for sure! These just make me laugh.
I am a dad.
There are a lot of thing about being a dad that makes me nervous and they all fit under the heading of,
“I wonder how badly I am messing up my children.”
That sounds so negative! But, I am assuming that since I am an imperfect person that my imperfections will be fumbled down to my kids in some way.
I know I could be a much worse dad, but I also know that I am a far from perfect dad. I wonder, when my kids are grown, what they will look back on and say (good and bad) “I learned that from my dad.”
When they get married one day, what good or bad baggage will they carry from me into their understanding of marriage?
When they have kids of their own, what good or bad baggage will they carry from me into their lives as parents?
What will they think about God because of me?
Who knows? But, I know I am the dad that will affect all of those things and many more.
Here are a few things I hope for that I hope are the right things to hope for.
1) That they will see their dad as someone who loves God and walks deeply with Him.
2) That they will see what it looks like to live by faith.
3) That they will see what it looks like to admit you’re wrong and ask for forgiveness.
4) That they will know that their dad is a place of security and peace.
5) That they know they can safely ask their dad anything about anything.
6) That they know that their dad cherishes their mom more than anyone else on the planet.
7) That they will see the joy in life.
8) That they know, even when they are in trouble, that I am never against them.
9) That they know I believe in them.
10)That they know I am genuinely interested in them as people.
I pray that all of those things aren’t just things they see but things that are increasingly true about me, the dad.
One of my favorite passages of Scripture about parenting is Hebrews 11:23,
“By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.”
It may seem like an odd passage but I love what it implies. It shows that Moses’ dad and mom had great faith as parents. They believed so much in the possibility of God for their son that they were willing to do anything, even risk their own lives for sake of Moses’ future. I want that kind of faith in God and belief for my kids.
I am a dad. And, I want to be that kind of dad.