All things considered, I haven’t been a parent all that long. John has only been here 9 months, but I’ve been “Dad” to David for a couple of years now.

It’s been the most incredible blessing of my life, but it’s also been probably my biggest challenge. I’m not a screamer like my Dad and my brother could be at times, but I do have a bit of a temper, and it would be a fair statement to say I lack patience a great deal of the time.

Part of it is due to the fact that my job is often a great many hours, and not very much sleep.

But that’s no excuse to show impatience toward my kids.

I need to show them Grace instead.

It doesn’t matter that I got up at 330 and worked until 7 or 8. They are my kids, not workers, and deserving of my time, and every bit of energy I have to give them.

It makes me think of how I am toward Jesus sometimes, maybe even most times. And then I think of the Grace I am shown. I think of the blood that was shed on my behalf.

And I have the nerve assume or to act like Jesus owes me anything. All I often bring to Him is petulance, and self-pity, and a false sense of entitlement.

I should bring him praise, and thanks, and lay them at his feet.

How can I fault my kids for being kids, when I am the chief of EGRs myself (EGR is Extra Grace Required)?
There are times when I greet my 6 year old with not just impatience, but outright curtness because he’s a kid, a boy, and he is LOUD. Or when I almost feel like yelling at my baby because he just…won’t…be…quiet…

This has been my greatest battle so far.

How can I teach my boys about Jesus, and about His love, when I don’t show it to them?

His love surpasses all things, and all lengths, and heights, and widths, and depths.

Mine is shallow, and dependent on my own convenience.

So I will pray for patience, that my heart is transformed, and that my mind is conformed to that of Jesus.
I want to lead my household, but I can’t do that by snapping at the heels of my children.

That stops now.

Lord, forgive me for what I’ve been, to you and to my wife and my kids. Help me to be more like you, and less like the jerk I’ve become over the past…well, lifetime. I want to be on fire for you, and have your heart for others that it seems like I only read about. I’m tired of being on the sidelines.
Please watch over the hearts and minds of my children, and make me anew into the person you always intended for me to be. I love you, Lord, and I love my kids, and my wife.

May I be a better husband and friend to my wife, and not just a father to my kids, but a Dad, too.
I can’t do it without you, because there’s so much more to it than bringing home a paycheck.

I am not a fighter or warrior by nature. I never had any reason to be. But things are different now.

It’s not just me anymore.

I need to put on my armor–I should have been wearing it all along.

Ephesians 6:10-18