all words spoken …mostly true,
each easy way out,
difficulties fled from,
my reputation guarded, every emotion uncontrolled
I will raise from the womb exactly what I am.
Let me first say that I may just be terribly more confounded as a single parent than confident.
There. Now we can move on.
One day my daughters will think of me, the man they saw, the dad they knew, the words I spoke, our time together and those thoughts of me will guide them. They will also recall my shortcomings, my inadequacies, mistakes and failures, the times I worked too much, the times I gave in to anger and frustration and walked away from a conversation, the times I was insensitive and selfish, etc…
The list can go on, trust me.
Those times will guide them as well. And that will be a good thing.
My responsibility to them is simple: lead them.
Show them how to love by loving them. Show them the way to live by living through life and circumstance with them. Teach them the value of grace, kindness, compassion and daily awareness of God by living each day accepted and found by God’s beautiful, inexplicable love.
One day, not all that far away in the future, they will no longer bear my name. They will bear another name, taken in another man, their husband. My absolute drive and desire is that they always resemble the heart, my heart, that I am leading them with now in the youth of their lives. From the moment they choose another man, I want them to walk confidently with each step, to know who they are and how to live.
I think one of my greatest accomplishments as their daddy will be the man they choose to walk together with and love. I want them to use my heart to identify the next heart that they unswervingly commit to as they solidly live in the present and build a loving future together.
One day, hopefully in the far and distant future, I will only be a memory later in their lives. On that day, I want them to look back, all the way back as far as they can remember, and be warmed by the life well lived behind them. Maybe they will feel loneliness late in life as death naturally draws near and all around them slows. I pray now into the future ahead that the path There are many days before them and so much life to live. In each day, my responsibility, my job…to lead them. I will most likely not be around when they are old in their lives, at least not physically, but if I do my job, the memory of me and us will warm them and comfort them. There are some things that I never want them to forget. I want them to remember their mother’s death and my feeble heart strengthened by God’s love, the house that we created a home in, the traditions and habits, and finally, how God redeemed seemingly everything leading us into a beautiful and bright new day.
That’s where we are at now. A beautiful and bright new day where hope is strong, love is present and tomorrow a shining reality. Everyday and in every area of their lives, I want God to be present and welcomed. In the mundane routine and the dire circumstance, God needs to be. God has no number of priority in our lives. He is not fit into our schedule at bedtime or as a corrective reference point. God is not a priority to appease. My goal is for him to be supremely present in everything.
“I believe daughters need to see daddies who don’t place God number one in their lives; they need to see daddies who have God fill every area of their lives.” Dr. Kevin Leman
As my girls grow, my role changes and later even when I’m not around, he will be the same to them. The supporter and sustainer of their unfolding context.
As a single parent sometimes easily overrun by decisions and judgement calls needed to be made, I try my best to parent beyond me. For me, that means to allow God to fill every area of my life especially the areas that I protect. The more I keep myself segmented and private from God, the more I guide my daughters into being merely like me.
I, in myself, am no good.
My heart opened wide to God and his continually renewing redemption is faultless and free to guide them straight to Him.