Fatherhood (Parenthood, really)

Monday, June 2, 2014
posted by elizabeth @ 4:37 PM

Being a father is full of gifts as well as responsibility.  I might have missed out on these great things had I not changed my mind about kids.  I grew up in a house with 4 kids.  It was bedlam, mayhem, controlled chaos, wild and wooly whatever you want to call it.  My experiences growing up in a home full of kids led me to believe early in my life that I did not want kids.  I would proclaim to the world I am never having kids.  Too much responsibility.  Too much work.  Too much sacrifice.  Too much insanity. 

Somewhere along the road of life the Lord changed my mind.  How he did it is still a mystery to me.  But, I am thankful he changed my outlook on kids and family.  My wife and I have four kids and each is a unique and wonderful gift.  Their personalities are all different just like their taste in toys, clothes and food.

Each child is a gift. And the relationship with them provides more gifts than I can count.  The gifts are often small and simple.  They come in many sizes, shapes and packages.  One of the gifts is the first time you come home from work, and subsequently thereafter, your toddler throws her arms open with a giant smile and says “daddy daddy glad you’re home.”  Another gift is seeing them grow.  This is the gift of seeing them start a season off in a sport and getting better with every game.  It is seeing them set a goal to be on dance team and working diligently, practicing and pushing to make it and the excitement they show when that work pays off and they make the team.  Another gift is walking through the parking lot of the grocery store holding that hands of your twin boys and all three of you have a balloon you got when shopping.  It is going on a hunt with your daughter, not picking up a gun to shoot anything, instead you watch her shoot something for the first time.  The gift is seeing the excitement she experiences on the hunt.

Along with the gifts of fatherhood comes responsibility.  It is knowing that you have young men and women whom you have the opportunity to teach and mold.  Two of my greatest responsibilities are teaching my boys how to grow up and be men and modeling behavior for my daughters that shows them the kind of man they should marry.  When it comes to the boys becoming men thing I don’t mean get a job and all of that stuff.  I mean teaching them to be accountable for their choices.  It is teaching them to make good choices.  It is teaching them that it is still cheating when nobody is looking.  It also means teaching them to treat women with the utmost respect.  For my daughters I must model behavior that shows them I am accountable to and respect my wife.  I must show them that I am accountable to my family.  I must listen to them.  I must teach them right from wrong and how to make good choices.  I must try to understand them.  This last part is often difficult for dad’s who have daughters enter their teens.  Oh, let me tell you how difficult that can be. 

Life goes fast. As we get older it only seems to pass more quickly. As fathers we have a short window of time to appreciate the gifts that parenting brings.  We also have a short window of time to teach and mold our children.  Don’t let that window of time slip away.

-Andrew Biar

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