If 30 is the new 20, does that then denote Jenn and I had our first child at age 13?Whatever it implies, I’m glad we married young in the beautiful month of May, 2010, when we were but 22 years of age, and, frankly, I’m really happy as a husband and daddy of one child thus far, our son, Gianluca.
One of my strongest fears is that I’ll indifferently coast over fatherhood, as if it’s simply a stretch of trembling ocean I’m dying to get through. My deepest desire as a father is to intentionally, continually and wholeheartedly raise our son and future children.
If I had to boil it down to three factors, here are the items I’d want my children to speak about regarding me, their father.
First, that I loved Jenn, my bride. Certainly, I’d want them to visibly see my affection for Jenn unfold in abundant kisses and clenched hugs, but for them to sincerely know–with absolute conviction–that I am my bride’s and she is mine would bring me great joy, more than their memories of our smooches. This is important, so my sons know how to love their wives, and so my daughters know how to be loved and treated.
Second, I want my kids to experientially grasp my love for them. It’s extremely saddening when parents expect their children to initiate loving interaction, as if it’s something they inherently know. I will teach and show my kids a great amount of experiential love. I want them to remember that I initiated our loving interactions, so that they are able to initiate loving interactions with others.
Finally (and this is of the most significance), I want them to know that my fatherhood is not inherent but that I look to a Greater Father for direction, love and discipline. In other words, I want my life, my marriage, my fatherhood and my love for them to always, clearly and unapologetically point to God, yes, God. God will forever be there for his children, whereas I will eventually fail my kids, leaving them as I pass on to the other side of eternity.
For them to know God as their father, savior and leader is my most monumental hope. If I only leave them with nice memories and no Divine relationship, then they’ll be left as spiritual orphans once I die. But thanks be to God, who, seeing our need for connection with him, sent his perfect, firstborn son, Jesus, to bridge the gap for all people to know God as father, to move from an identity as orphans to children of God as they place their trust in Jesus.