I thought the above picture best illustrated how I am feeling these days about being a father. It is such a joy to have four healthy boys to parent, but wow, what a responsibility.
God has continued to provide for our family through many different avenues, but now comes the ultimate request: please Lord, give me wisdom.
Up to this point, parenting has really amounted to changing diapers, feeding babies, keeping up with normal house chores, keeping a healthy marriage, and trying to get some sleep. In my opinion, in the first six months, the damage you can do to your child when you make mistakes is pretty minimal. (reasonable mistakes anyway)
But, going forward from here, I am beginning to see understanding on the faces of my children. When I say something sternly to them, it actually brings a reaction from them. (even if it is laughing sometimes, Brooks) When I enthusiastically say “good job!!” to them when they are eating, they smile proudly sometimes. This is really exciting to see, but it is also scary.
This means that from now on, any sinful behavior on my part
may ….ok, will have an impact on my children. And, with each passing month, that impact will be deeper and longer lasting. In a few months, if I make an unkind comment about someone in front of my children, it could teach them that it is ok to tear others down. If I am impatient with Jen and harsh with her, it could begin to teach them that this is how you treat your spouse.
I know I will make mistakes, but as I think about these boys, I am seeing more and more things about myself that I want to change to avoid passing them on to them. I SO want my boys to some day be men of integrity, honor, and good character. Church will help with this, friends and family can help with this, but ultimately, it is mine and Jen’s responsibility to get these boys headed down a path of correct living. Obviously a huge part of that responsibility is pointing them to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. And, I cannot do this successfully without first living out these principles in our home in front of my children.
That being said, it is also an incredible joy to be given this responsibility by our God. For some reason, God gave me four wonderful children, and a great, encouraging wife to go through this journey with. As difficult as the past year has been, I have never been so happy in my life.
Would you pray for Jen and I as we seek to glorify the Lord with how we parent our children? Thank you all for keeping up with us on this journey, it is really fun sharing it with all of you!
Brad, Jen, Henry, Brooks, Clark, and Isaac