Andy Lashley is the involvement minister with the Memorial Road Church (www.mrcc.org) in Edmond, Oklahoma. Last Sunday morning he delivered a sermon entitled “Modeling Missions”. He began the lesson by stating that, for him, being a parent is “weird”. He made sure we understood he was not talking about his child being weird, but the experience. He is a relatively new father, having one child that is eighteen months old.
In explaining his difficulty in perceiving himself as a father, he stated, “My parents are parents. I’m not!” The message he brought was excellent. I’m persuaded that he is and will be an excellent parent, as well. He really set me to thinking.
Looking back on my own experiences as a father, I can understand where he’s coming from. When a child looks at you with that “my dad can do anything” look it is a bit disconcerting. We know just how absurd the notion is, right? It’s a bit weird for those of us who know our own shortcomings and failures so well to imagine that we are heroes in our children’s eyes.
As time goes by, the “new-car-smell” begins to fade. We begin to lose our King Dad status. That’s not all bad, either. Mike Cope writes about the three views one can have of parents:
a child’s view (my parents are perfect and have no faults); an adolescent’s view (my parents are embarrassing imbeciles); and a mature adult’s view (my parents have strengths and faults). —www.preachermike.com
Many parents simply hope to hang on and make it through the “my parents are embarrassing imbeciles” stage.
Still, most of us look at our children with hearts full of hope for the future. One of my wishes for my three sons has already come true—each has grown taller than me! The jury is still out on the youngest, my daughter, but height doesn’t seem to matter as much to her. On a much higher plane I give all praise and glory to God that each one of my children has grown to be the kind of young person that I wish I had been when I was his or her age!
The oldest of my children has successfully moved into the mature adult world. I’m sure that he looks at me differently. I’m glad this is the case. Our relationship is “more real” now. One of the surprising things about this transition is that I’ve begun to look at him in a completely different way. He has done many of the things I once hoped he would do. So many good things fill his life: he’s blessed with a woman of faith and integrity who is his wife; he has an excellent college education, which he by God’s grace mostly paid for himself; he is gainfully employed in an good profession, with a promising future; and he and his dear wife have a new home in story-book-like neighborhood which is close to work and church. Most importantly, though, he has a living and active faith which he joyfully utilizes in a variety of fruitful ways in kingdom service as he teaches and leads others in the footsteps of Jesus.
If ever there was a time when the word “hero” applies, it is now: Luke, my son, you are a hero in my eyes!
Click here to view a few photos of the big day: http://spaces.msn.com/words4himwebspace
© Bill Williams (May 10, 2006)