Friday, December 3, 2010

Papa Bear

Thanks to Christmas season, its been much longer than I had planned between posts. I'm intending to blog more frequently. Feel free to FB or Tweet me to keep me going!

I do not have a perfect dad.

This was a tough realization to come to. As you probably know, Cassie and I are expecting a baby soon, little Harper Kendall. I, of course, want him to grow up to love God, his mom, and sports, and to be a strong man who stands up for what he believes in.
With those goals in mind, I need to start my journey of fatherhood now with intentions to arrive at that point: a boy becomes a man who loves God, his mom (and future spouse), and stands up for his beliefs.
So I'm thinking, "How do I start being the perfect father now, so that HK will be what I want him to be in the end?"
It is best not to head into the unknown until you first investigate the known. So I started by reflecting on my dad and my relationship with him.

Growing up, Dad was always a hard worker. He was always a pretty large man, barrel chested, so I found it weird that he was on submarines when I was small. After he got out of the Navy, he worked night shift from my 2nd grade year into my high schooling. He would go off to work around 10 pm and return every day between 6 and 9 am, sleep for a few hours, and wake up around 2 to greet the three of us kids and start on dinner.

I can remember many times that Dad was, in our minds, harsh, short, and somewhat moody. He and I had numerous strains in our relationship, most (probably all) coming from me acting out, which I know can be a surprise. He was continuously sleep-deprived, something I was too self-centered to notice until I was older.

My dad is not a perfect dad.
The thought hit me like a gut shot from Mike Tyson (who still has it, by the way).

God has given me the chance now to look back and critically view my life, my relationship with my father, and how his job of raising three kids has panned out.

I believe my dad's goals were similar to mine: raise godly adults who love God, their mom (and future spouses), and who stand up for their beliefs.

I'm the middle child. I get to look up at Ben as he is grown and out on his own. I get to look down to Sara and see her at LSU pursuing her degree. I see two individuals who love God, their mom, and stand up for their beliefs. And when I look in the mirror I know a few things: I love God with all that I am, love my wife second, love my mother, and will forever stand up for my beliefs.

My dad is successful.

"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6

I'm going to be harsh with Harper. Many times I'm going to be short and I am often moody. And I will never be the perfect dad. I will never be the Father-of-the-Year. I will make mistakes, hurt his feelings, break his confidence, and shatter his trust in me. And by God's grace, I will reconcile myself to my family and love them like Christ loves the Church and like Benjamin Black loved each of us (see Ephesians 5). And I will do whatever it takes to make sure each of my children love God, their mom and spouse, and stand up for their beliefs.

I have seen parenting success. I am the evidence of it.

My dad is not perfect, but he is successful.

And I want to be just like him.

Let the conversation begin.

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