Abe and his wife have three children; a boy 8, a daughter 4 ½ , another daughter 2 ½.
What are one or two of the gifts and challenges that you find are yours as a father? And how do you see God helping you in parenting?
One is what I have learned about myself from having children. They have given me the gift of self-discovery. I can see my compassion in the older two already. Also, I have some of the same struggles they do. I have my ideas of how things should be and having to let go of them.
I can help them with their struggles because I have had the same struggles myself. As one who is only eight years into the parenting journey, I can see how things are going to continue to grow as they get older. I can see a struggle the older one is having as one that I have had. I ask myself how can I best equip him to handle and grow through it – knowing that it’s his own journey and, frankly, it’s me still on my own journey.
Further I see that some of the self-centeredness I might have fallen into as a young adult is completely obliterated as a parent. That’s a gift they have given me over and over again and, I suspect, will continue to give me over and over again. Sometimes it’s painful and sometimes it’s wonderful.
To be self-less is one of the challenges of being the parent of three kids. To be a parent is not a selfish act. You come up against wanting your own selfish needs to be addressed first It ebbs and flows but is an on-going challenge.
I need to see that I cannot control the struggles they will face. Also there are moments I suspect that I should have done something differently than what I did do. Accepting those realities is a time for me to tap into God or the Holy Spirit. I need to tap into a higher power to help me see that I am not always responsible for all of my son’s struggles and that he will have to grow through them on his own. That higher power can help me to pull away and to have a broader focus.