As a new father of only five months, I have already come to learn the value and necessity of having a son in my life. Before he was born, I thought I had life all figured out.
I was told by some of my close friends that life would change. But not having gone though it yet, I thought they were just trying to scare me.
I was wrong.
At first it appeared life had changed for the worse—waking up in the middle of the night over and over again, a crying baby that I had no idea how to help and a sometimes-frustrated wife who didn’t want my help. I thought to myself, “What did I get myself into?” As time passed, my wife and I continued to work together, and we were soon lean, mean, baby problem-solving machines. Well, maybe not quite that ...
In the aftermath of my wonderful first Father’s Day, I came up with my top 10 things I have learned from fatherhood—or top 10 things I have improved in my life. Word it however you like.
1. Love. My parents taught me about love, my wife showed me how to love, but my son has taught me about the strong bond of love. When it took months for me to realize I loved my wife, it took “first sight” to love my son. My love continues to grow for him each day, and I pray daily that God would help me maintain that love for him and my wife (1 Cor. 16:14).
2. Value of Time. I can’t count the times people have asked if the baby was sleeping well or if we’ve slept at all in the last week. I also wonder what my wife and I did with our time before we had our little guy. From late nights to early mornings to staying at home a lot more, I have learned that my time is passing and I want to spend it loving my wife and son to the best of my ability. It’s a daily prayer to make sure I am not overly distracted.
3. Necessity of patience. I really like to think I was a patient man before our little guy, but after about a month of frustrating occurrences and small battles with my wife, I had to dig real deep and pray for more patience. God is always good and has helped me to become a more patient man. And don’t think this is just at home; this patience shines in all that I do now (Gal. 5:22-23).
4. Great communication with my wife. My wife and I were fortunate to be blessed with many years of marriage before our son arrived. Through many ups and downs, we were able to establish a strong sense of communication with each other. We discussed many times before our son was born that we were going to have to take this to the next level, and we have. My wife is a wonderful mother to our son, and we pray daily that God would help us be the very best parents we can be for our son (Eph. 5:22-25).
5. Strong protector. Being the protector of my family already fell into my role when I became married to my beautiful wife, but with a son it has become an even stronger trait I try to possess. From making sure he stays safe and comfortable at home to making sure he is properly fed and then spending quality time with him when I am home, I want my wife and him to know that they are in safe hands and that I will do everything to protect them. I pray daily, especially when I leave them alone, that God would protect our family (Phil. 4:13).
6. Selflessness. Many of us can admit we were selfish and self-indulgent before a child came into our life. The weekends revolved around the wife and me. The dogs were no trouble when thrown in the kennel, and we did what we pleased with our time. These days our schedule revolves around our little guy, and because of our deep love for him, this is not a problem and we are glad to it. This might be one that I need to pray about more (James 4:6).
7. I am blessed. Knowing that I have a great wife and a happy son, I am fully aware that I am blessed. As I seek prayer in each of the areas listed in this top 10, I make sure I let God know how thankful I am for what He has blessed me with in my life. I have to stay aware that all of this could change at any moment and that I must continue to seek and rely on my God.
8. Teamwork. As the time approached to have our baby, we knew we were going to need the support of friends and family. God has blessed us with some amazing people from our church in our life, and they were more than willing to help us out. I suppose through this I learned to put a bigger value on their friendship and do a better job at making myself available and to honor the relationship more consistently.
9. Fatherly maturity. The story of Manturity continues to progress as I add the role of fatherhood to my life résumé. The last few years have taught me the value and strength of having God in my life and maintaining a strong and healthy marriage, but fatherhood makes me want to know more about maturity. I firmly believe every man must mature, and the path is very similar for all men. I pray that I can be the mature father my son needs me to be (Prov. 22:6).
10. God’s love. Our church recently ran a series about God’s love, and I think it came at the perfect time in my life. As I could feel that I loved my wife and son more, I still wanted to know more about God’s love and what it meant in my life. The verse at the end of this paragraph says that God is love and that we must love as well if we are to know God. I can’t say everything about this verse now, but knowing that God commands us to love makes me want to be a better man, greater husband and stronger father (1 John 4:8)!
I would love to hear what fatherhood has taught you over your years. Share in the comments below. For the original article, visit manturity.com.
Manturity is a blog built on establishing spiritual maturity in today’s man. The goal is to assist men in building better marriages, help men in grow in maturity and explore different aspects of manhood. Manturity.com features new weekly blog posts, daily social media updates and a powerful resources page. Stay up to date with the Manturity blog communities on Facebook and Twitter.