Fatherhood is one of the most challenging and rewarding undertakings in life. Before children, I supposed that parenting looked easy. I thought to myself, "I will never be the parent that yells at their kid in Wal-Mart." Most of the time, I was right. Occasionally, I exhibit the behaviors that I once swore against. If you don't yet have children, just wait. You'll understand soon enough. Fortunately, my two children are old enough to remind me that their young lives are speeding along. It seemed like only yesterday that we welcomed our son into the world and now he and his little sister will leave the shelter of their home to walk the halls of our nearby elementary school this fall. In the words of Hootie & his blowfish friends, time is walking by.
So what is a parent to do?
Thank God for the days that we have with our children. In scripture, children are compared to arrows in the bow of a skilled archer, and blessed is the man who has a quiver full. When my children were infants, they would throw the biggest tantrums. Many times in public at the climax of these fits, we would tell people that children are a blessing, and cast a crooked smile with our tongue-in-cheek. To the parents of infants and toddlers, hold on, your season will change soon. Pretty soon those arrows will be feeding themselves and insist on picking out their own clothes. I'm learning to enjoy the current season. I'm actually realizing that coaching my son in baseball and loving the children and parents that we share the field with each week may just be the most important "job" I ever have in life.
Parent, you are a temporary manager of a young life. Your child is not your child. Your child belongs to God and you and I have the privilege of raising them during some of the most formative years of their lives. Make good use of the time you have been given and fight the urge to sit passively on the sideline. Your children are looking to you for answers to the questions that consume them. If they are anything like mine, your children parade your halls dressed in your clothes as a way of imitating the person that they admire most in this world. Let me encourage you to point them to a better Father. Let them know that although you love them more than anything in the world, they have a Heavenly Father whose love makes yours look tiny. Your children have a daddy and he will never raise his voice or lose his temper. He is patient, loving, and kind even when they are not. He loves your children despite their tantrums and he feels the same way about you.
Happy Father's Day. May God bless your efforts.