Over the past few months I’ve been in a constant learning process as a new dad. Being a parent has taught me many lessons so far – some about myself, my marriage, my values in life and even about the unconditional love of God. With that said, I want to share a few of those learned lessons with the world – 5 of them in particular.
If you’re already a parent feel free to silently “amen” these points… if you’re about to be a parent then you might want to remember some of these… and if you’ve already walked down the road of parenthood then feel free to laugh at my expense as I try to figure out this whole parenting thing.
1. Babies are messy
Along with a new baby comes new messes. On one occasion Asher managed to poop, spit-up and pee on a total of 3 different outfits in a 10 minute span of time. I’m pretty sure God is allowing me to practice patience through these trials and I’m also pretty sure I’m going to have start packing extra clothes or just accept the occasional baby induced stain as part of my wardrobe.
2. Sleep and coffee are more valuable when you become a parent
There was once a day I scoffed at people for going to bed at any hour before 11PM. I would think, “what a boring life they must live to desire to go to sleep at such an early time in the night”. However, as a new parent you come to the startling realization that sleep is not just the boring thing you do at night when the day is over. Rather, it’s actually a deeply satisfying, physical requirement necessary for being a functioning human being/parent… And coffee? Well coffee is life.
3. My parents deserve an award for raising me
Sleepless nights, 2am feedings, toxic diapers, 4am walmart runs – it’s only been a little over a month but if my parents invested the time and effort we are investing (and they did) then I owe them a huge thank you… and probably a large sum of money.
4. Fear loves to invade the spaces where love belongs
There is truly nothing else in life that prepares you for the experience of having a child. The unconditional love that was placed in my heart was placed there by the very hand of God, that I am certain of. However, I’m also learning that fear loves to take the place of love. At times, instead of spending my time thanking God for trusting me to be a dad, I find myself fearing that I will fail as a dad. Now, more than ever, I’m trying to always remember that perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18). If I don’t allow love to take over, fear will.
5. God is near to new parents
At times, I’ve felt overwhelmed and overcome by the difficulty of being a parent to a newborn baby. However, I’ve also felt the overwhelming presence of God on our family. As I held Asher for the very first time I could feel the weight of the responsibilty that I now had, but at the same time I could feel the unmistakable closeness and support of the Holy Spirit. So many things continue to reveal His closesness – the unconditional love that He’s put into our hearts… the patience He’s given us… and the beauty He’s allowed us to experience. I have no doubt that God is with us and I couldn’t be more thankful.