While this is a bit late, these are some of the thoughts I had after reflecting on this holiday where I found myself blessed beyond measure.
The following are three things I have learned since becoming a parent.
- We aren’t perfect.
- We are often idolized by our kids.
- We can’t make it on our own.
I forget every once and a while and I change my behavior, although something always happens to remind me that no matter what I can’t escape the truth in the three statements above. Sometimes I wish they weren’t true, but then I am reminded that it is important that I submit again and again to the truth found in these statements.
We aren’t perfect.
While I could probably go on and on about how we are completely depraved, and off on a tangent about the fact that we all fall short of the glory of God, and are desperately in need of a savior, which is true, but I want to point out how this is accentuated when I look at my life as a father.
There are times when I let my son watch too much television. There are times when I don’t discipline correctly. There are times when I don’t say, “no.” There are times when I am less than my potential.
I have the most darling little boy in the world, admittedly I am biased, but he does something every once and a while to get on my last nerve. I lose patience and sometimes my cool. I fail.
Wow. I am so far from perfection.
I am the greatest thing in the eyes of my child.
I can’t explain it. It must be that form of special blessing that God gives us when we have children. He looks to me for approval, for guidance, and for love. Despite my failings listed above, he still views me through the rosiest colored glasses.
There is a great responsibility that goes along with being idolized in this way. He will go onto learn my actions, and imitate them. Unfortunately, my failings have the chance of being carried on by him. Therefore the responsibility to be perfect is present, so that the errors in my character can end with me, but this can only be a striving as long as I realize that I am not currently perfect.
This leads to the fact that…
I can’t do this alone.
The community that surrounds us is a great guide so that we may strive toward perfection. They help show us examples of how to parent, and help us see our own imperfections. The partners in crime (other parent/grandparents/aunts and uncles) help give us voice, support, love, and breaks that we sometimes need. This all helps to strengthen our resolve, teach us in other methods, get support in our methods, and show us that we aren’t perfect, but that we can be loving and be a wonderful example of love. The community establishes values, and affirms that the child is loved, and surrounded by people that love them. However, most of all I am instructed by the overwhelming love of the Almighty, and that the love of the Father shows me that the perfect love is sacrificial.
I thank my father, and my community for teaching me that I need them, and that I need God to grow as a better parent.