What does fatherhood mean to you?
Fatherhood means leading my family in a manner that is worthy of the Lord’s calling. I am a deeply spiritual man and I try to identify my role as a dad with how God cares for me. Of course there is no comparison between the two of us. However, I feel like being a father has brought me closer to God. I strive to serve Him in my role as a dad, just as I do as a husband and a worker and a friend.
What is the best part of being a dad?
The best part of being a dad is realizing the HUGE responsibility and privilege I have in this role. Prior to being a father (just five years ago), I didn’t concern myself too much with the role. In fact, I enjoyed not having anyone other than my wife to focus on with my love. Now, I’m amazed that I have the exponential opportunity to care for those in my family with the addition of two beautiful children. I thank the Lord for the privilege that accompanies fatherhood and I pray to Him for guidance in my role as the leader of this family.
What is your proudest moment as a dad?
My proudest moment as a dad occurs frequently – each time my children make their mom smile. For Mother’s Day last year the kids and I made “flowers” out of our handprints on some colored paper. We put our hands down on the paper, drew the outline, then cut out the hands and wrapped them around a green “stem” (that was also just colored paper wrapped up tightly). It was really pretty simple, but the joy it brought to my wife was terrific.
What do you and your children do for fun?
We occasionally serve our church/community through a monthly program at our church, Woodmen Valley Chapel, in Colorado Springs. We’ve done projects from painting fences at Ft. Carson for families of deployed soldiers to giving cookies to the local fire stations to yard work for an elderly woman in our congregation. I believe it is important to serve our “neighbors” and want to instill this value in our children.
We also do a lot of fun things around the house. My kids will say their favorite time is “tickle time”. I think they must ask for it at least five times a day!
We try to have a regular “family time” in our home to learn about certain Biblical principles and/or Christian character traits that are important for all of us in our family. These aren’t typical family devotions – they’re interactive, fun and to the point.
What is the hardest part about being a dad?
The hardest part about being a dad is being away. With my job, I travel frequently and not being there for the ordinary moments kills me. Whether it is celebrating an accomplishment or comforting a child with a routine “boo boo”, I just like to be a part of every day life.
What kind of dad do you strive to be?
I strive to be a dad who is wise and loving. I pray specifically for my children on a weekly basis (in addition to the daily prayers for their well-being) that they will fulfill three items: (1) Get an education (I want them to be good students at school and in life), (2) Do the right thing (I want them to seek God in their actions and their decisions so that they will be righteous in character and citizenship), and (3) Have fun (items #1 and #2 can be done in the context of #3 – and it’s a lot more enjoyable). I know I won’t be an all-star dad, but I try to do my best.
Describe your funniest moment as a dad.
My funniest moment as a dad occurred when our children were just about 18 months old. At the time it certainly wasn’t funny, but in retrospect I laugh at how I reacted.
My son and daughter were playing in the yard in front of our home when we lived in Virginia. I was watching the kids by myself that morning, as my wife was off teaching one of her exercise classes. On this warm summer day, a bee stung my son in the ear and I pretty much went hysterical. I didn’t know what to do! I first figured out why my son was crying as he tried to grab his ear over and over again. I then realized what happened and my mind just went blank. Even though I’ve been stung many times before, I couldn’t process what I should do to remedy the situation. I looked quickly around for any neighbors to help – no luck there. I then called my wife – got a busy signal. Finally after trying to calm down my son, I was able to get through to my wife who calmly talked me through what to do. This is all quite funny considering I’m in the military and I’ve taken CPR and First Aid classes, yet when the time came for me to render medical help to my own child, I balked!!
Needless to say, everything worked out and the situation settled down. Again, this wasn’t funny at the time, but looking back on that situation, I’m able to laugh at myself.
What would you hope that your kids would say about you if asked what kind of a dad they have?
I hope that my children would say that I love them unconditionally, that my actions are consistent with my words and that I am a “doer of the Word” (James 1:22).
What is the most important piece of advice you’ve received about fatherhood?
The most important piece of advice I received not from a person, but from a Proverb (4:23) in the Bible which says, “Guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” My role as a dad is to protect my children’s hearts as best I can. I try to provide protection on all fronts: physical, emotional, mental, etc. I can’t be there all the time or protect them from everything, but if I can protect their hearts from bad influences, raunchy television/movies/commercials, etc., then I’m following that advice.
What would you consider to be your most inspiring moment as a dad?
My most inspiring moment as a dad occurred when my daughter placed 2nd in a coloring contest and received a plaque for her reward. When she received it, she said this is “our award “, indicating it’s for our whole family and not just her. This made everyone feel very special, especially her twin brother.