My wife and I had one of the greatest experiences of our lives over the last weekend. On Saturday afternoon, after 29 hours of labor, Rachel and I welcomed our first child into the world. I am now a proud daddy and look forward to the days ahead spent with my daughter. Throughout the pregnancy and through the delivery process, I believe I have learned a few things. Below are some of them:
- I recommend delaying knowledge of the sex of your child (especially if it is your first) until the baby’s delivery. We did not know what the sex of our baby was until we met her face-to-face Saturday. The level of anticipation and excitement was beyond description. I just think the added unknown concerning the baby’s sex made the day a little more special.
- After going through labor and delivery, I can honestly say I have a new respect for women. I cannot imagine going through what Rachel went through to bring Sarah into the world. Women are the stronger sex!
- Being a parent is a ministry. In fact, for those who are parents, it is our primary ministry. Even I, as a pastor, must care for my family first and my extended church family second. I think it is unfortunate for those in pastoral ministry who neglect their families thinking they are making the ultimate sacrifice in service to the Lord. We are told in 1 Timothy 3 that those who desire to be pastors or deacons must FIRST manage their household well. This requirement does not cease after one is put in a position of church leadership. If a person does not want to make his family his priority, he should remain single. That was Paul’s point in 1 Corinthians 7:32-35.
- Unlike being a pastor, my job of being a father is life-long. I cannot change my mind tomorrow. God has given me the responsibility and it is mine as long as I live.
- The primary role of parenthood is to point your child to Christ. It is not to make your children happy and give them their heart’s desires. Pointing a child to Christ may mean a child has to learn to live without some things that would be detrimental to their spiritual health. Of course, telling a child “no” also means they may be unhappy with you at times.
- Childbirth is a miracle and, for me, probably the greatest opportunity I have had to see God’s greatness and to feel a desire to worship and praise Him with my entire being. Every time I look at my daughter I thank God for such a wonderful gift.