I watched this morning as my husband got up early and readied himself to take our oldest boys paintballing for the day. I think he was as excited as they were. It really wasn’t anything too out of the ordinary though, he loves to do things with his children. Days off he heads outside to play ball hockey with them or he takes them all to the skate park so the boys can ride bikes and our daughter can scoot around on her scooter. He invests in them with his time, he easily gives of this important commodity. He understands that there is no substitute for it.
I remember his face, not long after we were married, when I revealed that I wanted a large family. Six children, that’s what I was aiming for. I will also never forget his response. No way. Two. That was all. I was desperately disappointed, being an only child I was sure I wanted lots of kids. We had two and then I was convinced that he was indeed right and our family was complete. Until four years later. And then again two years after that. Surely that was it and we ended as a family of six.
My husband has had a busy life since day one of becoming a father. He’s been a student the entire 15, almost 16, years fatherhood. At one point, he was also working two jobs to make ends meet. He’s now a pastor, and as well, is studying for a master’s degree. He always has things on his to do list, and yet knows that they need to feel they are loved by their dad, so he makes the effort to show them.
I’ve watched him pull late nights to get assignments done, after working a long day, only to get up early to look after our wee ones so I could sleep. He quickly agrees to spend time with them so that I can go out and have ‘me’ time. I’ve watched him change diapers, wipe noses, clean scraped knees, sing restless hearts to sleep, and administer medications through a feeding tube when our daughter was recover form open heart surgery. He’s teaching them that love isn’t selfish.
I’ve listened as he instilled knowledge and his love for God into their hearts. I’ve been told that I’m high strung, but he patiently listens to the questions they have and openly answers them with great wisdom that comes from a faith deeply rooted in the Father.
I feel that my children are in good hands. Our sons will grow up knowing how to be loving and compassionate husbands and fathers. Our daughter will grow up knowing what to look for in a husband and father. All of them will grow up knowing that they are loved unconditionally by their earthly father, making it much easier for them to understand and accept the love of their Heavenly Father. He’s teaching them to be strong and courageous and not to be afraid or discouraged because the Lord is with them wherever they go (Joshua 1:9). He’s teaching them that love is not permissiveness but sometimes involves correction as Proverbs 3:11-12 shows us.
I have not married the perfect man, nor is he a perfect father, but the love he has for the Lord is evident in the way he loves his children, and for this I am truly thankful.