Parenting is hard, but it is worth it. I remember the birth of my first child and how much it changed life as I knew it. Alone time with my wife became less frequent. Time with my friends was sporadic. But I felt an overwhelming love towards our new little one. Then a second child came along. My love seemed to instantly expand with our new addition, but so did our time requirements. It had its challenges, but yet again it was worth it. Our third child meant that we were suddenly outnumbered. We had to change our parenting strategy to figure out how to manage everything. Now we have 10 kids in our home. It is often chaotic and rarely do we feel like we have anything under control.
One of my most significant areas of growth as a father came as I reflected on words that Paul said in Scripture. Paul made this claim to the church in Corinth:
“Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1).
At first glance, this seems arrogant. But after considering the relevance and application of this passage, I have come to believe that it is a statement of humility. As parents, we are to follow the example of Christ. In turn, we ask our children to follow us hoping that they will see the Lord in the way we live. What a daunting task. What does this mean for my wife and I as parents? We go first…
When we overreact with one of our children and we believe that they still owe us an apology for their own actions…we go first. We apologize for the role we played in the conflict.
When we feel a distance between us and one of our children and things seem awkward…we go first. We break the silence and begin the dialogue.
When we act in any way that would be displeasing to the Lord… we go first. We confess to the Lord and those around us that we have been far from righteous.
As parents, we go first. We follow the Lord and ask our children to follow us. When someone needs to take the initiative…we go first!