Growing up immersed in the teachings of the church, I often found myself drifting away when it came to lessons about parenting. I mean, those sermons just didn’t resonate with my teenage spirit, grappling with its own challenges of growing up (remember Timothy 4:12?). But God’s timing is truly impeccable. As the sands of time have shifted, I’m at the threshold of embracing fatherhood, joining the 58% of millennial women who stepped into the world of parenting in 2018.
My wife and I are eagerly awaiting the arrival of our firstborn, a precious son, in a few months. And while our hearts swell with joy, we’re constantly reminded of one immutable truth: Everything will change. More nighttime lullabies, fewer late-night dates; more baby giggles, fewer uninterrupted sleeps.
But through this anticipated whirlwind of changes, the words of King Solomon around us. “Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.” (Psalm 127:3). As we prepare to embark on this divine journey, there are a few lessons that God, in His wisdom, is revealing to us:
- The Shock of the Divine Blessing. Even after years of anticipation, the moment my wife shared the news of her pregnancy, I was speechless. Though momentarily paralyzed by the enormity of becoming a parent, Isaiah’s words reminded me, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (41:10). We may fear the unknown, but God’s presence is a perpetual comfort.
- Advice Everywhere, But God’s Voice is Clear. As soon-to-be parents, there’s no shortage of advice. Everything from the baby’s sleep patterns to the choice of nursery colors. Amidst this ocean of opinions, the steadfast love and support of a spouse, as Paul mentions in Ephesians 5:25, becomes our guiding light, helping us discern the voice of God.
- Friendships Might Waver, but Bonds Don’t Break. The joy of a child, while boundless, does require sacrifices. Time, once freely available, becomes a luxury. Yet, it’s essential to remember the wisdom from Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Relationships evolve, but true connections withstand the test of time.
- Spousal Love is Central. Parenthood will test the bonds of marriage in myriad ways. Fatigue, anxiety, and worries might become constant companions. Yet, the vows we made stand testament to our unwavering commitment. As Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 reminds us, in unity, there’s strength and solace.
- Raising Tomorrow’s Pillars of Faith. As we delve deeper into God’s design for parenting, one truth shines brightly. Our mission is not just raising a child, but nurturing an independent adult, rooted firmly in the teachings of Christ. As Paul says in I Corinthians 13:11, growing up entails leaving behind the ways of childhood. Our prayer? That our child walks the path of righteousness, reflecting God’s love and wisdom.
Closing with Robert Fulghum’s potent reminder, “Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.” As parents, our actions will preach louder than our words. May we embody Micah 6:8, walking humbly, loving mercy, and acting justly, guided by our loving Father every step of the way?