While I’m early in this parenting journey, I’d like to share 3 of the lessons I’ve learned so far. This is not an exhaustive list by any means as I’ve learned more over the last 3 years than I could possibly share in such a small space.
Simple joys are profoundly special
Last week, I went to pick up my 3 year old daughter from preschool. She came bursting out of the door, smiling from ear to ear, yelled “Daddy!,” and jumped into my arms.
Other days, I climb the stairs from the basement (the Beck & Stone office is fully remote) to have lunch with my family . Before I even hit the top step, I can hear my girls yelling with excitement because daddy is about to join them at the table.
Even the best football game, big-ticket purchase, or amazing day at work pales in comparison with the profound joy I experience in these moments.
Unconditional love is rare and beautiful
People told me that being a parent would help me understand God’s unconditional love more clearly than anything else in life, and they were right. In the same way that nothing can separate me from God’s love (Romans 8), there is nothing my girls could do to make me stop loving them. As they get older, their disobedience or mistakes may cause me grief or some sleepless nights, but my love for them will never change.
I wish that I loved more people unconditionally, and I feel a strong desire to build more such relationships. Now that I’m a parent, I clearly see that too much of my approval or love for those outside of my family is based on the judgments I make about them. This should not be the case: people are made in God’s image, intrinsically valuable and worthy of love, even when it’s hard.
Parenting is hard
My first two points were heartwarming. But the reality of parenting is not pure sunshine and daisies. There are periods of feeling frustrated, sleep-deprived, angry, helpless, worried, and a laundry list of other emotions. These all boil down to the fear of parenting failure. But we don’t need to be afraid.
Nothing has helped me admit my inadequacies and self-centered nature like parenting. What’s even more humbling is that I naturally find myself complaining or feeling sorry for myself in the difficult moments, rather than seeking help from God in prayer or asking others for support. Admitting your faults, I’ve found, is also a key to good parenting.
The great paradox of life is that the most difficult things are also the most rewarding. Parenting is the ultimate example of this. While it stretches me like nothing else, it’s the most meaningful thing I’ve ever done, and I’m grateful that God has entrusted my wife and me with these two little miracle girls. It’s a joy to share what I know with them, and to share what they’ve taught me with you.
Kyle Berg is Technology Director at Beck & Stone. He lives with his wife and two children in Colorado Springs, CO.