I am so grateful to have a loving, supportive, and encouraging husband. He is an amazing dad and already has such a special relationship with our daughter. I love watching them together and hearing them in the other room giggling and playing. It continues to amaze me that God provided such an amazing partner with whom I get to walk through this life.
I’m excited to shine the parenting spotlight on my husband this week. Interviewing him was a total blast and gave me additional insight into him as a parent. I know you’ll be encouraged by his words; I sure was!
How has being a parent changed you?
I definitely value the family unit more. For example, before becoming a dad, if I saw a story on the news about parents who have lost a child or kids who are losing their parents, I’d just think it was sad. Now, it affects me deeply. I think about how this wonderful little bond that our family shares, is being destroyed for these people. Granted, not every family situation is as nice as ours, but it’s still tragic. I’ve just become more aware of and value the family core more.
What do you love about being a dad?
I love watching our daughter grow and change so much in a short period of time. I love it when she’s excited to see me when I come home from work. I like going and doing daddy-daughter things with her, like taking her to new places and watching her excitement about what she’s seeing and exploring. I also like it when we just sit out on the back porch, watching her run around, climb on things, and talk to us. I enjoy bath time because she’s so funny. Talk about an evolution! She used to just splash a little, but now she jumps in the air, lands on her bottom, and I get drenched. But we both laugh a lot and have fun.
What’s tough about being a dad?
It’s stressful and scary knowing that the responsibility is in our hands to provide a good environment for our daughter, so that she will grow up to be a godly woman. That’s daunting to me. Add to that knowing about all the new things around for our daughter that we didn’t even deal with as kids, like the internet. Just having an email address, attracts all sorts of nasty emails even. Even without seeking information like that, you get it delivered right to your inbox. It’s also tough knowing that we will have countless, tough conversations that end with her being really hacked off at me.
So, how do you handle those tough parts of being a dad?
1) Certainly, I need to pray.
2) I am intentional to communicate with my spouse about how I’m feeling.
3) I look at some of the tough stuff in context, and find the blessing in it. For example, dealing with the sleep stuff (our daughter still doesn’t sleep well at two years) has been hard because we’ve felt so alone in that issue. It helps me to think back and remember sleep is the only major issue we’ve had with her, and we don’t sleep a lot anyway. In some ways, this could be a blessing.
4) I’ll prepare in advance. We haven’t had to have any of those “tough conversations” with our daughter yet, but for me it will help to think about beforehand how we’re going to answer those tough questions. Discussing our answers will help me ensure I’m clear on the point I want to get across so I can focus on conveying it (not what I’m trying to say). Plus, it helps me make sure I completely agree with what I think the answer should be.
What makes parenting a high calling?
It’s one of the biggest tasks God has given us to do. He has entrusted us with this little person that we totally shape and prepare for life. When you boil it down, the way we interact with her is going to form the basis for all of her experiences and how she lives her life. We must be willing and intentional to talk to her about Christ, what He did, and what that means. How we model our spiritual walks will influence hers. We must also be willing to talk about drugs, boys, and all those other tough issues. The way we interact as a married couple and parents will impact the way she sees relationships, who she dates, and the type of parent she’ll be. It’s a big responsibility.
How do we live up to that high calling?
The only way is to rely on God. That said, we provide the best example we can by living in the most Christ-like manner possible. We have to model that for our children. Secondly, we should be very involved with our children. When they’re in school, we should find out who their friends are, know what they have coming up in classes, study with them, attend their games or activities, and ask them how they are doing. Growing up, my mom studied with me all the time, and I can specifically remember thinking that she was sacrificing whatever she might want to do at that moment just so she could be with me and help me do my best in school.
What has being a parent taught you about your relationship with God?
It’s made me more aware of how big a sacrifice it is to give up your child. I mean, next to losing you (my wife), giving up our daughter would be the worst thing I could imagine. Parenthood gives me a greater appreciation and deeper gratitude for God’s sacrifice of His only son. It provides me with insight into the enormity of what He did for us.
Thanks, babe. You’re one amazing father who teaches me about our heavenly Father all the time.
To read the interviews in this series, click here.
For more insight and inspiration, check out High Calling Blogs.