Early in our marriage I didn’t want to be a dad. I wanted marriage, but I didn’t want children. Just thinking about having my own kids frightened me. True! Oh, I liked children– as long as I didn’t have the main responsibility for them. I feared that I couldn’t be a good father, and that fear controlled my life. Like many fears, it would have paralyzed me. It would have, but it didn’t.
One fine day, my wife informed me that she thought she was pregnant. Oh, no! Not that! I took her to the doctor for a checkup. While she was in the clinic, I did the only sensible thing for a man who is scared to death to do: I prayed. A short, honest, completely straightforward prayer: “Lord, I’m afraid.” That wasn’t the time for a long, spiritually impressive intercession. I needed help and help came immediately.
I seemed to hear these words in my mind: “You will grow with your children.” It was a word from God to my troubled, fearful heart. That simple word has carried me through many years of parental successes and failures. I have grown with my children. God has given me the grace and wisdom I needed for every stage of their lives. Many mistakes, many frustrations, but I wouldn’t trade my life as a dad for any other life you could offer me.
My wife, too, has been a wonderful mother and an encouragement to me. We both thank God that He blessed us with two fine sons.
What about you? Are there bad experiences in your past that make you fearful about parenting? God knows you. He understands your past and your fears, even if you don’t. He will help you if you ask Him. His Word will renew your mind. You will see miracles in your attitudes. Strength will replace your weakness. Wisdom will replace your confusion. You will become a positive, confident parent– a parent whose children bring you, and the world, great joy!