Life is full of change. It’s honestly amazing how fast life can change. Tell me two summers ago i’d be a husband and a dad within two years, and i probably would have laughed in your face. “Yeah right!”
But enough about that for now. It’ll come back, but let’s get there slowly.
In November 2012, i released a song with the following lyrics:
I wish I could look eight years down the road to see what I’ll be doing at that point in time will I still be rapping and spitting my rhymes Or will I be preaching Your word to Your people, Yahweh Thinking these thoughts makes my mind go insane But will I have a wife who’s way more than sane . . . By then will I have a son or daughter that’s mine Who I can cherish and hold and praise and adore Who calls me daddy and waits at the door For me to get home and answers the phone When I call to tell my darling wife I’ll be there soon Only You know if it will but I hope all that can be But I don’t know yet so I’ll just wait and see What the omniscient You has in store just for me
And then, in April 2016, i released a song that went as follows:
God, keep me planted by Your living streams So that when I meet the woman of my dreams I can know that she’s planted right next to me And together we can live guilt free Since nothing can grow without water or light I ask that I can stay in the light Stay in the light—His name is Jesus Christ Again, centered on Him, keep my sight Back to the wife, I pray that together we raise Children who are filled with awe at Your name Let them know true fear—so they can have none Cuz love for the Son frees me up when I come To His throne of grace in time of need Help my children learn this fruitful deed Cuz if my wife and I are planted by Your living stream Our children most likely won’t fall far from that tree
Two years ago, i never would have guessed that i’d now be back in seminary, actively pursuing pastoral ministry. Two years ago, i never would have imagined that i’d be proposing to my wife (the one mentioned in the songs above) this past Friday–last year. Two years ago, i never would have guessed that i’d be a father within two and a half years.
About nine days before Thanksgiving 2019, I told my wife (then just a friend) that i was interested in pursuing her for marriage. I told her specifically that i expected our relationship status together to look different within 9-18 months. We were married less than twelve months later. And this weekend marks about 18 months from that fateful day.
And within 6 months, our son will be born.
If you ask me how i’m feeling about being a dad, it’s complicated. There’s so many thoughts in my head regarding this topic. I don’t want my son to make the same mistakes i did. I don’t want my son to get caught in the same patterns i did. I hope he respects me more growing up than i respected my parents.
(I think there’s a reason i’ve been writing Switched ever since the weekend before my wife and i started talking. It’s essentially me confronting my fears regarding marriage and parenting–though also a whole lot more!)
I hope my son enjoys the same things i enjoy. Music. Baseball. LEGOs. Writing.
But, even more important than all of those things, i hope he grows up to love the LORD. My prayer for at least the past five years is that God would write my children’s names in His book. My prayer since marrying my wife is that our kids would grow up to love the LORD. And my prayer since finding out that we were expecting is that this child would grow up to love the LORD. And my prayer for the past two weeks (since learning gender) is that God would write his name in His book.
My hope for our son is summed up in the following passage from the book of Jeremiah:
This is what the Lord says:
The wise man must not boast in his wisdom;Jeremiah 9:23-24
the strong man must not boast in his strength;
the wealthy man must not boast in his wealth.
But the one who boasts should boast in this,
that he understands and knows Me —
that I am Yahweh, showing faithful love,
justice, and righteousness on the earth,
for I delight in these things.
This is the Lord’s declaration.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with wisdom. I hope our son grows up to be wise. There’s nothing inherently wrong with strength. I hope our son grows up to be strong. There’s nothing inherently wrong with wealth. I hope our son grows up to be wealthy. The wrongness of each of those things comes if our son decides to pursue those things to the exclusion of everything else. When wisdom, strength, and wealth become idols, that is when it’s a problem. I want to encourage my son to be wise, strong, and wealthy (read: successful).
But the most important thing is that our son grows up to love God with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength, and his neighbor as himself (cf. Mark 12:29-31). He should boast in the fact that he is loved by God. And the hope is that the more he feels loved by God, the more he will love God and be transformed by God–reflecting the very nature of God to those he comes into contact with.
I want my son to show others faithful love as a result of his connection to God.
I want my son to pursue justice for others. True justice (cf. Proverbs 31:8-9). Not the stuff that passes for justice in our day.
I want my son to practice righteousness. This is an inherent character trait of God.
If the world is going to come to see God as beautiful, it will be as a result of His people representing Him well. Pursuing sin on one hand and claiming to belong to God on the other hand will never lead anyone to say, “Jesus is worth pursuing.”
This starts with me. I can’t expect any of this of my son if i’m not practicing what i preach.
And this is probably the most terrifying thing about being a dad.
I don’t want to fumble this.
Life has changed over the past year (and will change even more). I look forward to seeing what changes are in store for my family by this time next year.
In this with you.
Soli Deo Gloria
thanks for reading.