Being a father is an incredible journey to embark upon. I’ve learned and observed some pretty interesting things. Some things were expected, some things were unexpected, and some caused me to question my sanity. Here are some of the things I’ve learned in the first (almost) 3 months of parenthood:
- Servant-hood is not for the faint of heart. My wife and I both live to serve our son’s every need. She does far more than I do, and on far less sleep than I get. I am in complete awe of how she does it. On more than one day, I’ve felt sleep deprived without getting up (or even waking up) to take care of our son. She does it every day, nonstop. She does not get to call in sick, give up, slow down, or take a holiday or vacation.
- Life is not about you. I was sick recently; like really sick. I had bronchitis and a stomach virus. Also, at the same time we happened to have company. I quarantined myself to the bedroom, and was only allowed to leave to see the doctor. For some strange reason, I expected my wife to take me to the doctor, but was disappointed when she strongly alluded to the fact that I needed to drive myself. While I was at the doctor, my wife and her friend went to one of my favorite restaurants. Roberta’s reasoning for not taking me to the doctor was this, “I am not going to expose our son to your illness, and expose him to other people’s illnesses in the waiting room.” Fair is fair.
- Our world is not set up for parents to raise their children to love and fear God. I am fairly careful about what I watch on TV. We don’t have cable so we automatically stay away from some of the risqué channels, but I still like to be vigilant about what I put into my mind and spirit. With a baby around I know he is receiving messages even at his age. I am establishing patterns for his life already, and now I have become even more aware of everything I watch. To be perfectly honest, some of it is just plain garbage. I am in the process of changing my TV watching habits as a result. What would you change in your TV watching habits if your 3-5 year old child were watching with you?
- I am a role model. Baby Z watches everything I do when I am home. I hope that he is watching positive behavior and learning to model it. The way I talk to Roberta is the same way he will be talking to his wife one day. I hope Baby Z’s words are uplifting to his future wife. One day he’ll treat his family as I treat mine. I hope he makes me proud.
- Dependence. Our son is 100% dependant on Roberta and I. He can’t even get his own food aside from us picking him up and feeding him. As Baby Z is dependent on us, we are also 100% dependant on God. Yes, technically I provide for my family, but God is ultimately the One who is providing for us. This is especially true in my line of work. Since I’m a pastor, my salary is dependent upon people responding to God and giving to the church. However, this is really true of everyone. God is the provider for all of us; both in ministry roles and secular roles.
Being a father is awesome, and I love every minute of it. I look forward to many more things to learn from my son, and his friends!