I’ve always known that we are all broken sinners in need of a savior. However, growing up in the church and lacking a dramatic conversion story of my own, I always struggled in my heart to fully embrace my own spiritual and moral inadequacy.
Then I had kids.
Even though I love them dearly, they push buttons I never knew existed. In short order, I came to a chorus of screeching realizations:
I am not patient.
I am not kind.
I am self-seeking.
I am easily angered.
I am proud.
More than anything, I’ve realized it was my pride that blinded me for all those years and kept me from fully comprehending just how poorly I rate on the patience/kindness/selflessness/anger/humility scale. It took fatherhood to crack that shell and shine some light on the sin lurking under the surface.
Even before the birth of my daughter, I held some notion of the monumental responsibility bestowed with the title of “father.” I knew that my relationship with my daughter would be the initial lens through which all future relationships with men would be cast—including how she would see and perceive her Heavenly Father. How could I possibly provide the correct balance of grace and truth to reflect even a sliver of the reality of God? Initially, I prayed that God would at least grant me enough wisdom and discernment to show her the way to Him. Now I ask that my children would see in my successes His transforming presence manifested in me and that my inevitable failures would show up in stark contrast against His perfection and equally point them to Him.
God is teaching me that I need to go back to 1 Corinthians 13—on a daily basis—and recognize the source:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.”
Every day I tell myself I can do better as a parent (and, for that matter, as a human). I pray that I will be better. But no matter what I do or how hard I try, on my own, I will always fail.
Because I am a broken sinner in daily need of a savior. Thankfully I have one—and He will never fail.