Since early childhood, I’ve dreamed of being a dad. A year ago, that dream became a reality with the birth of my son. In the year since his birth I’ve discovered one inescapable truth, I am not the dad my son deserves.
From the first moment that I held my son in my arms, I have loved him with a fierce love that I never thought possible. I wanted nothing more than to protect him, guide him, and give him every
From the first moment that I held my son in my arms, I have loved him with a love so fierce that I never thought it possible. I wanted nothing more than to protect him, guide him, and give him everything that I never had. I bought every book I could find on being a dad, I asked advice of friends who have already experienced being dads, and I made detailed lists of things I was going to do in order to be a great dad. Outside of giving my heart to God and getting married, I had never been more excited to do anything in my life.
“Mann Tracht, Un Gott Lacht” is an old Yiddish adage meaning, “Man Plans, and God Laughs.” This is certainly true in my case. I had planned to be the perfect dad, I had planned to remember to always put my son before any of my own pursuits, I had planned to be a good example of what a man should be for my son, but then God chuckled as he watched me fail, time and again. He laughs not out of spike but because He knows in my humanness I will never be perfect no matter how hard I try.
I can’t tell you how many times I rush home to be with my family, eagerly anticipating spending time with my son, only to walk through the door and get caught up in chores, or mindless tasks and entertainment. Or how many times I have made choices that prove I am not always a great example of the kind of man I want my son to look up to. The dad my son deserves.
The dad he deserves is a dad that can be ever present looking out for him and protecting him. The dad he deserves is a dad who has and will continue to sacrifice everything for him. The dad he deserves is a dad who can withstand all the temptations of this world and be an example of what a true man should be.
There is only one man that fits this description without ever faltering and He is the man that I strive to be like but will always fall short of — Jesus.
The apostle Peter told us in scripture, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”
Becoming a dad has been humbling. It’s taught me a lot about my own selfishness and pride. It’s made reflect on who I truly am as a man and to be honest about my weaknesses. At times, I’ll admit, I struggle with my own inabilities. But when I falter as a dad, the thing that keeps me going is knowing that I have a heavenly father to go to, who takes my cares upon him and is someone, that when I fail my son, I can point to as the one who never fails.
So, while I may never be the dad my son deserves, I will never stop striving to become that man. I will never stop striving because being a dad isn’t about me and my abilities. It’s about a little boy, who greets me at the door every day with a toothy grin and a chorus of dad, dad, dad.