The Journey

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Reflections on Parenthood

I wrote what is below as a journal entry that is required for one of my classes. I actually liked what I wrote, so I thought I would share my thoughts with you all.

In previous posts, I have mentioned that I recently became a father and wrote specifically about fatherhood and what that has meant in terms of my image of God and gender. Tonight, I thought I would broaden that discussion to the idea of parenthood and how my limited experience with it has influenced my image of God and how image of God has influenced me as a parent. First of all, having a child has been one of the most amazing and life changing experiences of my entire life. It has had an affect on every area of my life, including sleep, schedule, my relationship with my wife and my relationship with God. As my daughter was born, I was not only excited and praising God for a healthy baby, but I was experiencing God in a new light. That experience continues as I speak because I do not think that I have had any where near enough time as a parent to feel that this experience can be complete. However, what I have experienced as a parent has changed my image of God. It has not so much changed it from one image to another, but has qualitatively increased my capacity to understand God at certain levels. In other words, becoming a parent has given me a glimpse, skewed as it may be, of God's view of His children. I could not believe that one moment my child was a bump in my wife's stomach and a dream in my heart and the next moment she was in my arms. I could not fathom the reality that, in an instant, I began to love someone I just met so intensely that I was willing to die for her. Though this love is intense and incredible, I had to step back and realize that my love for Zaila is flawed simply because I am human. I realized that, although my love for Zaila was incredible, it is nothing compared to the love of God the Father. I understood, not perfectly, but at a knew level what it means to be loved by God. My image of a loving father was not replaced with another image, but was made more clear through becoming a parent.
Another aspect of that first day with Zaila, was a genuine realization of the responsibility that I just accepted as a new father. I reflected that day on what I wrote above and not only realized God's love on a new level, but realized the incredible standard He sets as a father. I know God to be a tender loving being that has incredible grace and patience with His children. I also know God to be a just being that lovingly disciplines His children with the purpose of seeing them prosper. This balance of justice, love, and discipline is in perfect harmony working to make us joyful, fulfilled, human beings. This I realize is my standard and it is down right frightening. Anyone can clothe, feed, and physically protect a baby, but how do you raise a child that is emotionally, spiritually and physically healthy? My image of God as a loving and just father will need to be my guide and the fact that I see him as my example will be my motivation. I will pray often and ask for forgiveness often. I will seek to follow God's example, but will, ultimately, lay the life and soul of my daughter in His hands and point to Him as her perfect father.


Post a Comment

<< Home