The following post is from Brad, a web designer and father of quadruplets:
We are pedaling around a very sobering turn this week in our boys lives. The boys will be officially in school. As I write this, we are less than 48 hours from having the first official day in the can, and I can’t believe it. I know this is something that every parent hurdles, and it’s inevitable, but now I see why it is so hard. I am just praying the chain doesn’t slip off for me as we drop them off as the only dad sobbing as we drive away!
Time away from the kids is not such a big deal in our house this year because we have chosen a bit of a different route for Kindergarten. They will only be out of the house one full day per week at their new school. We will lead their learning the rest of the week ourselves.
But, what does strike me so hard about it is how quickly time is moving by.
Where do we ride from here?
There are so many pot holes and roots in the sidewalk to avoid crashing into on this journey as parents, aren’t there? I am really amazed at how well things have gone so far in spite of my very apparent sin and failures as a parent. God has been gracious in spite of my failings. He is always good. Whether I see it or not, act like it or not, God is always good.
Do you ever remember getting your loose shoestrings wrapped around your pedal as a kid? The first time, it was very scary, and it caused a major crash for me. The second time it happened, I remember just being angry. I knew better than to ride with my shoes untied, but I did it anyway! I do the same thing as a parent when I keep making the same mistakes, it makes a wreck out of my testimony for Jesus in my boys lives.
Tie your shoes. Learn from your mistakes.
I am going to be very transparent here. I am going to do this and just trust that MANY of you parents out there deal with some of these same temptations and flesh-driven behaviors. I want to look back 5 years from now and say that we did things better in the second 5 years. How will that happen? Identify your mistakes, just a few glaring ones at a time, and change something!
Here are a couple places I want to start:
1) Patience and Self-Control
I want my boys to remember me as a patient dad who was always diligent to be slow to anger, quick to listen, and quick to forgive. It’s what I am called to be as a Christian dad, and I know it will help me avoid flying right over the handle bars when my boys disobey me on something with much more significant than brushing their teeth. These boys need me to be wise and full of insight, not impatient and full of anger. I must hide more Proverbs, Psalms, and other Biblical wisdom in my heart so that I don’t sin against my God, and so that I can impart Godly wisdom to my boys. Lord, help me.
As we take the training wheels off as parents and see our boys grow in strength and maturity, I want to ingrain an uncommon selflessness into their hearts. I want to shake my own tendencies to think of myself first when scheduling out my week. What is more important, entertaining myself and my kids, or visiting elderly people in the nursing home who have no one to love at the end of their lives? Is growing my business and income my priority, or taking the gospel to the world, both locally and to the ends of the earth? My boys will likely reflect my own priorities some day, I want to get them right now while I still can.
How about you? Do you ever intentionally step back in life to make sure the chain is tight and the brakes are working correctly? What is something you want to see change moving forward? List them below and I will pray for you, will you pray for me?
|Brad is the father of four 5-year-old energetic quadruplet boys. He runs 4tunate Design from home which blesses him with the opportunity to be a nearly constant influence on them. Brad has a passion for leading his family biblically as a servant, and enjoys nearly every moment of it.|