I have heard it said that those without children, know the most about parenting. It seems as though the moment we are thrust in the reality of parenthood, we lose all that wisdom that seemed to ooze out whenever we saw a child acting out or a mom/dad attempting to get their little one to do something. Oh how I long for those days where I knew it all and unashamedly would let parents know with my gaze of all-knowing-ness.
But as much as those without children may have attained new heights of enlightenment, the one thing they will never know until they themselves are parents is the almost spiritual connectedness we as parents feel toward other parents and their challenges, successes and losses. I feel this when watching things like America’s Got Talent. I have absolutely no connection to the 12 year old girl who blows the crowd away with her voice, but when I see the love in her parents eyes, the pride, the hope and the joy as she gets that golden buzzer, at this moment I find I connect with them. I am proud, I feel emotion and I’m so happy!
But as much as we can feel joy for one another’s successes, we feel an equal but opposite loss when there is pain. When moments arise where worlds are shattered, time stands still and people battle to breathe as a result of their loss. In these times, our worlds shatter with yours, out time stands still too and we lose our breath with you.
Wow, its been nearly two weeks since we last connected, I’ve been meaning to make time but to no avail. Today was going to be the same but I thought if I don’t get out and write, it will be another week before I know it.
These last 2 weeks have been trying to say the least. The weekend before last we were on our way church when my wife started have extreme stomach cramps, she said this was not normal and we needed to go to the hospital. We raced to our local casualty ward and they rushed her into the examination room, she was in such pain but I had to fill out forms.
After what seemed like a novel and a half I was able to go through and see her. Our son was with his Grandparents by this time so we could focus on each other. After a few opinions it was decided to give her a CT scan. We eventually made our way through to radiology and had the scan done.
As a side point, I know the doctors are more concerned with our physical well-being than our emotional state at this point, but it sure would have made things easier had they been a little lighter handed with me, but hey, I suppose I understand.
We were then taken into the trauma casualty after watching my wife faint and look as close to death without dying as I’d ever seen a person. The doctor sat us down and said in a calm but surgical way that she was sorry it was not good news. Yup, I haven’t said what was wrong as I at this point still did not know. Eventually they began to explain that my wife was pregnant but that they thought it was an Ectoptic pregnancy, which basically means she is pregnant but the little guy/girl hadn’t made the full journey to the womb. Whats more the fetus had attached in one of her fallopian tubes and as growth occurred it ruptured her tube, this meant there was around a litre of blood in her abdomen. So there we were, pregnant, unbeknownst to us and my wife was suffering from internal bleeding. Later that evening only, they operated and removed the ruptured tube, and my beautiful wife was left to recover and we now had to start processing what had just happened.
WE HAD BEEN PREGNANT!
I’ve been formulating my own little list of the tasks or missions that are attached with the mantle “Father”. I’ve been tweeting them for the past week and so I thought I’d elaborate on my weeks’ tweets and then add them to a page on the site which I will call The purpose of a Father, so here we go.
Fathering is hard, for us anyway, and the job description exhaustive. I only need to look at my week and I come up with the following job titles that I held:
- Guidance counsellor
- Personal trainer etc
The list seems to never end, but then again neither does the joy I feel when my son looks at me and asks for a hug, a few minutes of my time to read him a book or to play cars with him. This past week I looked at 7 purposes which for me are real necessities in my life as a Dad. The 7 purposes from this week were:
- To validate masculinity and manhood.
- To instill a sense of value.
- To build up.
- To create boundaries within which his children have enough freedom to explore, but also enough safety so that the consequences are learning experiences and not death sentences.
- To provide emotionally, educationally and financially.
- To be the first to praise and the last to criticise.
- To be a gate-keeper.
Lets look at some of these that I find need more focus today.
A few weeks ago I wrote a blog entitled “Stop naffhousing the kids!” I had some questions regarding where is correction dealt with in the bible, so here we go.
I have been reading a book by Larry Tomczak called God, the Rod and your child’s bod, and I have been greatly encouraged and stretched and educated and, and and and…
I believe in smacking, but have been enlightened and encouraged by the fact that, it’s not really about smacking at all, it’s about biblical correction in the context of a loving relationship between parent and child. All who see and have experienced “smacking” and have become resentful, angry, disillusioned, frustrated, hurt, abused etc, must understand that their experience is not biblical correction but being at the receiving end of someone who had authority over you, expressing their idea of correction, not in love, but in hurt, retaliation and anger.
So, let’s get into it. I have taken many of the ideas below from Larry’s book, so get hold of one!
“IT’S BETTER TO BUILD CHILDREN THAN TO REPAIR MEN!”
My son was sick last week and there was a possibility he’d have to go to hospital, but thankfully he responded well to meds and now doesn’t have to. I sat across the desk of his doctor as she told us this and there was this enormous urgency for me to take it all away.
It makes me think, Jesus had to die for us to appease the wrath of God, to fulfill the need for justice, to stand in the gap, to be the perfect sacrifice for our sin once and for all, however you view his death, whether as the fulfillment of prophecy, for atonement or simply to get us back on track, the one thing I’ve never considered is that He wanted to take the punishment.
“He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
“And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”
Yesterday, I saw an email about 2 little children living in abject poverty. Nothing new I suppose, but my heart broke, I looked into the 3 year old girls eyes and saw my own child, I looked at her dirt covered feet and saw my own child, I saw her quivering lips and saw my own child. Her expression seemed to cry out, with a need that echoed thoughout my world, her cry was that she be loved, that she be protected, that she had a place to bury her head when afraid and know that no matter what, she was safe.