So this is birth month for our first child, Hazel Grace. We’re at maximum excitement and anxiety about the journey ahead.
Two things I’ve read scare me to death about bringing this precious girl into the world under my stewardship:
1. A girl’s father is the most important person in her life.
2. Parenting is largely who you are and what you do as a person; not what you do or what you say as a parent.
Talk about pressure! The Lord created this beautiful soul and body inside Amanda’s womb and he’s entrusting her to my leadership (thankfully, with Amanda’s help). And that leadership isn’t as much something I learn from a book/lecture/class as it is an outgrowth of who I am as a person.
I am humbled the Lord trusts me and Amanda to raise Hazel to know him. But I also recognize his trust has little-to-nothing to do with my ability to earn or deserve it. I want to please the Lord more than anything, but boy do I fall short sometimes (cf. Rom. 3:23)! My laziness, fearfulness, apathy, complacency, anger, jealousy, and judging rise to the surface more often than my ability to control them.
So I’m a little anxious I’ll raise a lazy, scared, disinterested, entitled, mad, jealous, judgmental little girl. Overreaction? Possibly. But I still have doubts about my ability to consistently be the man of God she needs in her life.
But there’s one statement that continues to blow up these doubts.
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:10)
Paul had every reason to believe he was unworthy to preach the gospel and serve as an apostle. But he recognized God’s loving mercy and grace allowed him and empowered him to do just that.
I am so thankful Jesus came to extend God’s grace over my sin. And I’m thankful that as I grow daily in His grace, my daughter can see not how great I am, but how awesome God is.
While I want to be the perfect dad for Hazel, I’m thankful that she gets to see the perfect Father working through an imperfect one. And that she can learn she has the same hope in Him.