I am a father, but I have yet to meet my child. I almost wrote “I am going to be a father,” because that is how I tend to think about my wife’s pregnancy. My wife, Anna, is 12 weeks along, and we’ve just announced this great news to our friends and family. You are part of that extended network, so I wanted you to know as well and to ask for your help.
When I say I tend to think about my wife’s pregnancy a certain way, I mean to say that I find it hard to put my mind around this miracle before I can put my hands around this miracle. Fatherhood is not yet part of my identity, and I wonder at this great act of God: How can nothing become something? Or to ask the question another way: How can it be that God would use us in His very act of creating something from nothing?
Our child, who was once nothing, is now an immortal soul who will spend eternity in or out of God’s blessed presence. And that is a life-changing, mind-blowing, soul-stunning reality. This new person has been made for the glory of God, and we pray already that this child will be formed into a vessel for God’s mercy. By God’s grace, we will raise this child in a covenant community that is committed to instruction in the way of the Lord, and we recognize that we may plant or water, but God will give the growth.
Since all of life exists for Jesus, we can see the picture being painted over this chapter of our lives. God is now working by grace to prepare this child for the day of birth; so too does God’s Spirit work to prepare our hearts for spiritual birth. In six months, this child’s eyes will be opened to the bright wonders of a new reality; so too are our eyes opened to the brilliance of new life in Christ. So we embrace the wonder of the deeper meaning behind the joy of this present reality.
Anna and I have all of the questions new parents must have as well as all the insecurities. We don’t feel prepared and know we likely never feel ready for this great stewardship. But we are unabashedly overjoyed about meeting this new soul God deemed fit to create and lend to our care while we have breath.
We also both recognize we are part of a global community of believers who worship the one true God, and we join with the untold millions who have walked before us in life and faith and raised children to bring glory to our God. Would that we had the ability to weigh all of the collective wisdom of this great remnant to prepare our hearts, souls, and minds for this great undertaking. So we thought we would start with you.
My question for you is simple: What advice would you offer us in raising this child to love the Lord?
Please pass this question along to others as well. May God grant us great measures of wisdom through all who respond!