Very soon, my son will be born. That reality still has not quite sunk in yet. My son.
Words cannot describe how excited and terrified my wife and I are as the due date approaches. How can we be parents to a little human? How can we be trusted with a tiny person? We still feel like kids ourselves! There is still so much we need to learn; so much maturing we need to do in Christ and so much room for improvement in both our walks with the Lord. Thank goodness we both have parents who have a lot of experience (and are willing to babysit).
I have been thinking a lot lately about what I am going to teach my son about life as he grows – everything from why it is important to obey and respect his mom and dad, and why he should clean his room, to the more awkward issues we will encounter in the teen years. It is a scary prospect, but I do have the Word of God and direct access to the Father through prayer.
The list of things I want to pass on to my son is very extensive (and will no doubt grow longer and longer as he gets older). Here are 11 of those things I want to teach him, in no particular order.
- You will have to answer to God for everything you do in life, and there is no taking anything back.
- Most of the time, the expiration date on a pack of bacon is just a suggestion. Give it a sniff. Smell like meat? Enjoy. It is not old, just ripe.
- Live graciously toward everyone, no exceptions. Treat them better than they deserve.
- Never underestimate the toughness of women. You have not seen real strength until you have married one.
- Be humble and accept instruction, especially from men and women who love God, but never stop thinking for yourself and doing the hard work of searching the Scriptures. There is no limit to how much you can have of God except the amount of seeking His face you do.
- There is no need to feel intimidated by aggressive and loudly assertive guys. They tend to be pretty sensitive. Live in such a way as to be an example of a real man to them.
- Do not measure yourself by the standards of other people. God created you, and only He knows who you should be.
- Be a man. Learn how to cook. The kitchen is your playground.
- Respect everyone’s opinion. Be confident enough in your own side of an argument to listen to the other side. Engaging in civil dialogue with someone you disagree with is an opportunity for growth.
- No matter how stressed out you get, there is nothing more relaxing than watching reruns of The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross.
- Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.
Obviously, I have a lot to learn as a young father. It will definitely be one of the greatest challenges I will ever face in my life, but as long as I rely on the Word of God, it is a challenge I can face with confidence.