Yesterday was a great day to think about being a father. I haven’t been a dad long, but I’m loving every minute of it. My older daughter is approaching 3 and my younger daughter is 9 months. As you would imagine, they are both super cute.
I used to wonder if I would be a good father. I have a great dad and a great father-in-law. Am I as good a dad as these godly men who have proven themselves as fathers? I used to think about fatherhood as though it were a trait inherent in a person. As though some guys are just born to be good dads and some are not.
But I’m beginning to realize that it isn’t a once for all kind of a thing. It doesn’t just happen, and you don’t just have it. Being a good dad is about the little decisions I make every day.
For example, I can’t make a one-time decision to spend quality time with my daughters. That’s a decision that must be made every single day. I can’t just decide to be solid yet loving in disciplining my kids. That’s a hard won balance that comes through loving my girls (which I’m finding looks different in different situations), loving wisdom (which I’m always needing to grow in), and loving God.
My dad isn’t good by default. He is a good dad because he sees his fatherhood as a stewardship given to him by God and he consistently makes sacrifices to love and support his children for the glory of God.
If we are not careful, we can develop a cavalier attitude toward things like parenting, as if having a strong opinion about parenting automatically makes you great at it. But the battle to be a good father is won or lost every day. And probably no one battle will be decisive, though some will have a bigger impact than others.
It’s a learning process. And I’m loving what I’m learning. As the father of two young girls, I’m certain that my most difficult days lie ahead. But I don’t want to get so caught up in the concept of being a good father that I miss those ever-passing moments that make up fatherhood.
Life slips by if we’re not careful. This can happen in any area of life. Far too many people mistakenly think that being opinionated about the Christian life is a substitute for actually living it. But just like being a good dad, following Jesus doesn’t just happen.
Let’s make the little moments count—in our parenting and in every area of our lives.