My son. We are anxiously waiting your arrival. Any day now, you are supposed to leave the comforts of your mother’s womb and join us. If I’m honest with you, which I’ll try to always be, I’m terrified. I love your sister, I’m deeply in love with your mother and I’m excited to be your father, but raising a son terrifies me. Here are my promises to you:
- I will love you, no matter what. My mistakes will be many and I will lose my patience. My flaws are not a result of anything you have or haven’t done, but of my own shortcomings and insecurities. There is NOTHING you can do or say that will keep me from loving you.
- You can bring anything to me. I remember being embarrassed or ashamed of certain things I did as a boy and being nervous about talking with my dad. Your grandfather is an amazing man. He taught me much, but there were times I didn’t feel I could approach him. You’ll probably have those times too. Remember son, I love you.
- You will always be more important than my work. One of my greatest fears of being a pastor is raising pastor’s kids. This worried me when your mom was pregnant with your sister and it still worries me today. I will miss dinners to be at meetings, will sometimes be gone mornings for Bible studies and will spend plenty of time tucked away in an office studying. Our house will be open, we’ll have visitors and your space will feel invaded. People will call at odd hours and have equally odd expectations of me. I will do my best to set boundaries, but there are times I will fail. First I am your dad, secondly I am their pastor.
- I will teach you to love your sister (and your mom, but that will be much easier…). Your sister is awesome, she will be weird (especially when she’s in middle school), and you won’t always get along. I too am a little brother. I love my sister, your aunt, but I’d be lying if I said it was always easy. There will be times where it seems that your mom and I treat her differently (which we will, the two of you are different people) and it won’t seem fair. She won’t always understand you and will be annoyed by your very existence. But I know your sister pretty well and, much like my sister, I’m guessing she’ll be protective and want nothing but the best for you. Outside of your mom (and eventually your spouse), she will be the most important woman in your life. Love her well.
- I will recognize that someone loves you more than I do. My mom told me that the most humbling thing about being a parent is recognizing that God loves your child more than you do. One of your sister’s first lessons to me was proving her grandmother was right. I know God loves you, that he thought of you before you were conceived and that he has plans for you. But I have trust issues (one of my many insecurities and part of the rationale behind your name) so it’s not always easy for me. I will be possessive and, at times, overly protective. I promise that I will do my best to acknowledge that you are God’s first and that my primary duty as your dad is to show you that you are loved by the Creator.