Becoming a Father/Becoming a Child

Thursday, November 13, 2008

In about seven weeks, my wife will give birth to our first child. Which means, in less than two months, I’ll have some new names; Daddy, Father, Dad, Papa ect… From the moment our baby girl is born, I’ll instantly become a father. ::blink:: Just like that. It’s hard to believe my own words. Being a father is a huge responsibility and it will happen to me so quickly.

What does that mean for me exactly? Do I start to dress differently? Do I buy a minivan? Should I grow a
mustache like my dad's? Do I instantly have all the answers to life’s toughest questions? (“Why do you and mommy wrestle at night?”)

The answer, thankfully, is NO. (Although a mustache would be pretty cool.) Just because my name may change from Chris to Daddy, doesn’t mean I instantly become the world’s greatest one. It doesn’t mean I instantly receive all of life’s knowledge to pass on to my child. If that were true, the path of fatherhood would end pretty quickly. The birth of my first child is, on the other hand, the beginning of a new season in my life as a father. I now have the opportunity to mature and grow into that role. I have the opportunity to learn something new about fatherhood every single day. I now have the opportunity to learn more about my daughter and who she’ll become. The journey of fatherhood will never end as long as I’m living. It is such a relief to know that I’m not expected to instantly know everything about being a dad the day I become one.

That same relief came when I realized I was a child of Jesus Christ and I realized it was okay to trust Him without knowing everything about Him. Sometimes becoming a believer is daunting to someone who doesn’t fully understand the concept of God's grace. There are questions like: Should I dress differently as a Christian?, Am I supposed to memorize the Bible from the cover to the cover, including the maps?, Are there certain churchy words that I’m supposed to use such as “sanctification”?, What is “intercessory prayer”?, and Should I grow a mustache? (Ok, all but that one.)

Thankfully, when we become believers in Christ, we don't have to instantly know everything there is to know about being a Christian. It's just the beginning. It is a new life. It is an opportunity to grow and mature as a believer. It is an opportunity to get to know everything about our heavenly Father and who He truly is. It is a journey that never ends.