And no, that doesn’t mean I just bought a new amp.
(I mean, I did, but that is not what this post is about.)
My wife gave birth two months ago to a very healthy (and incredibly strong…was lifting his head up on day one…vegan power, baby) baby boy. He is awesome. And he was born at the most inopportune time imaginable. We had just restarted our lives on faith alone (read: not on money…at all), and suddenly we have three to feed. I mean, technically Jesus did say that you can eat faith, but I’m still trying to figure that one out. And yet…we are still here. The three of us, pretty much just surviving on God’s grace and an upbringing that thankfully stressed dogged hard work as a matter of Christian integrity. As such, I haven’t had much time to write, or even think thoughts other than please let this diaper hold. But tonight I find myself waxing poetic……
First off, I haven’t had the experience that everyone said I would have. Namely, that becoming a father finally helps you understand God’s love for us. Nope, I still don’t understand the Creator giving His life for mine. Super thankful for it, but don’t understand it. What I have felt is the very real instinctual desire to take care of my son and keep him alive at all costs. But to love him…in the Christian (Christ-ian) way…is definitely a choice. I could definitely walk out that door, away from the new responsibilities, and continue to live a much more free life. My instincts might war against it. But I can feel the sinful, selfish desires just as I can with every other temptation. I’m learning that integrity is never instinctual…integrity is a choice.
Secondly, I realize with crashing ferocity the effect that every act I make will have upon him. Not just the decisions for his life and well-being…but how much he will emulate and look up to or not look up to the things I do. Once again, there is no price or substitute for integrity. My son will ask me why I do the things I do. And I want to have an answer for him. My son will imitate the things I do. And I want to have an example for him. I’ll of course make mistakes, and mess up his psyche in my own special way; but I want him to have the example of following God and not man, even when it hurts and hurts bad. In that way, I realize he may have been born at the absolute perfect time. Because I spent a good deal of time pleasing man while telling myself I was trying to please God. I’ve been aware of that for about two years, and living the correction for about one now. It’s a tough road…but we were never promised anything other.
And thirdly, I used to get down on parents who just had to keep their child’s bedtime at all costs. I was always like, “Come on, the kid can handle a few extra hours up.” And I realize now that yes, the kid can handle a few extra hours up. It’s us parents that can’t.
Sleep well tonight, little man. We choose to love you with our lives, which is all we can give. To be a better man than your father is what I can hope.