I pray for my boys just about every night. I do it not because I am a minister and not because I think myself especially pious, but because I am pretty hard on myself when it comes to fatherhood. I worry that I don’t love them enough, that I won’t sacrifice enough for them , and that I truly have very little knowledge as to how to prepare them for the world. Heck, I don’t even know if I am preparing them for a wonderful world created by god and full of things that leave me in wonder and awe or a world of drugs and violence and general meanness. Seriously, if I prepare them for the latter won’t that be the world they find?
This week has been a weird one when it comes to kids. On Sunday and Monday Thomas (the 2 year old) wore a necklace he made in Sunday school that said “Jesus loves Thomas” and he walked around saying “Jesus love Thomas, Jesus love Oliver, Jesus love mommy, Jesus love papa,” which I thought was pretty cute. I was so happy when Oliver yes Thomas that’s true and he loves grandma and grandpa…
Then came Tuesday. Oliver was hyper and it was 6:15 in the morning. We had a rough morning and Mary and I both struggled to be the sort of parents I pray we would be. Then we asked Oliver if he wanted to come with us to do something and he said “no, no because I don’t think you guys like me.”
I can’t speak for Mary, but my heart broke, I felt like the first time I held him and thought, o man this is big can I do this right? Can I love him right?
We had a good conversation and he understood that we both like and love him; we just have a hard time with some behaviors, especially before 7 a.m.
So I return to prayer. I thank God for my kids, I thank God for revealing himself to them and that when we are weak and when our kids are struggling with earthly relationships they can return to God and know they are loved.
I am grateful that being in a church helps me be comfortable with sin. I know that is about the least popular word in North America, but confessing sins it allows me to talk to my kids, to tell them I’m not perfect, and to use such moments to teach them about God who is.