Children, husbands, and fathers
For those of us who have had small children or have small children, we know the difficulties and hardships. The constant needs. The constant holding. The constant screaming. The constant pulling, poking, and pushing. The constant mess. The constant attention.
Having 4 babies in 29 months has taught me a lot about myself and God.
First, it has taught me I have been in “coast” mode in my marriage. I haven’t been loving my wife as Christ loved his church. I wasn’t sacrificing my time, energy, thoughts, and efforts into edifying my wife. If we look at the life of Christ, His mission was clear: Die for the Church. Every step, every bead of sweat, every word, and every act of compassion was for the church. Looking at Ephesians 5:25-29, I fail everyday. Throwing babies in the mix pointed out how selfish to the core that I really am. I wasn’t only not sacrificing for my wife, I was thinking she should be sacrificing more for me.
It also taught me of the inconceivable patience and love of God. These are things we “know”, but some things we know aren’t always treated like we know them. I had a good head knowledge of God’s love, but being a father has put it into a different and greater perspective. My children, at times, are very annoying. They wear me out daily. They frustrate me. They anger me. They don’t know any better, but I do. Late at night while warming up a bottle for a screaming infant who just woke up half of Sweeny cemetery, I think to myself how angry I am that she won’t just do what is easy and best for everyone in the entire house: shut up. At these points I have been reminded how much worse of a child I am to God. I didn’t choose Emma, God chose me. Emma doesn’t know any better, I do. Ephesians 2 and Romans 8 remind me how unstoppable God’s love is for me. How deep His love is for His son which He chose and which He knew would mess up daily. At this, how can I justify my petty anger towards an infant when God doesn’t even regret saving me?
God is the ultimate example of a husband and father. The only example I must strive to be.