I will never forget the day my daughter, Christine, was born. When I saw her for the first time, I thought, “How will I care for her?” Until then, I hadn’t thought much about the responsibilities of being a dad or how it would change me as a person. But thanks to that little baby girl and the woman she is today, my life changed for the better.
Whether they are biological, adopted or stepchildren, our kids have a profound impact on our lives. When we begin the journey of parenting, we only know what we have learned from observing our parents. In some cases this serves us well and in others it does not. When a child enters the world, he or she doesn’t come with a parenting manual. Yes, there are many books and articles about raising, disciplining and teaching children, but we truly learn what it means to be a parent on our own. No book or article can fully prepare us for the many seasons of life; we must learn as we go.
As our children grow, we learn that our words and actions matter. The best way to raise a child is to lead by positive example. They are always watching and learning from us. We are on display 24/7. And while we may not always be right in our actions, we must try for our children’s sake. Most importantly, we must always remember to express our love for them. Yes, we must tell our children we love them, but if our actions don’t align with our words, then our love has no power.
Parenting also shapes our character. With children, life is no longer just about us. Our children are now an important part of the equation that requires time, sacrifice and resources as well as physical, emotional and spiritual care. The role of being a parent deepens our character and teaches us humility, patience, perseverance, courage and joy.
The responsibilities of being a parent are significant and taxing at times, but the joys outweigh the challenges. As parents, we never stop growing and learning no matter what age our children are. I like to thank both of my children for making me a better person and wish my daughter, Christine, a wonderful birthday. What is it about being a parent that you love most? Please share with us.
Lord, thank you for bringing children into our lives and allowing us to be better because of them.