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Monday, July 12, 2010

Thus Begins Fatherhood

“Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table. Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the LORD.” (Psalms 128:3-4 ESV)

As I write this, my beautiful wife is sleeping in a hospital bed filled with pillows from constant feedings with our new son swaddled and sleeping in a "milk coma" on her lap. The cold fluorescence of hospital lights have become common place and the room on the eighth floor of Medical City hospital has become a far too familiar surrounding for us over the last five days. What began as a routine induction that was supposed to bring us back home on Saturday turned into a five day stay and a long recovery from 3 and a half hours of unsuccessfully pushing out a baby and an unexpected C-section. Although Lauren pushed with all of her might, God made her with an overly prominent sacrum, which made it so our son couldn't come out that way. So in many tears and faith that seemed smaller than a mustard seed at the moment, we trusted the doctors choice for a C-section and welcomed our healthy son into the world an hour later. 

It's a peculiar thing becoming a father. From 5pm Wednesday evening when we began the induction process and 10:04 pm the following night when our son, Kyler, was born, something truly miraculous happened in my heart. Years of stunted maturity and foolishness seemed flushed out of my body and soul and was instantly replaced by the joyful weight of responsibility that all new fathers are filled with the moment they hold that child they've been waiting nine months to meet. Praise God that Lauren was able to make it through the painful delivery and that God put such smart doctors in our life to keep both my wife and my new son safe. 

As they continue to sleep behind me, and the room is not filled with crying babies or nurses or other various hospital machines, my mind began to race back to a verse I read a few weeks ago while reading through the Psalms. I had read the above verse before, but without feeling the weight of fatherhood, its message was lost on me. When I initially thought about being a father, my mind went straight to the responsibility of providing through working, or being actively involved with helping my wife with the everyday tasks of having a newborn, or holding Kyler until he stops crying and all of those other things that come with being a dad. All of these are part of it and important, but they are not the most important responsibility I now have as a father. If I want to be a responsible dad, the Psalmist writes that I must lead by fearing God. When I fear the Lord, my wife and my children will thrive and be blessings. 

I knew early on in my faith that fearing God was important, but it wasn't until 10:04 Thursday night, July 8th, 2010, that the axiom became the unwavering reality it always should've been in my life. The fear of God is the most fundamental responsibility I now have. If God is as great and powerful, as gracious and wrathful as he truly is, then what does that mean in loving my wife, in raising my son, in spending and saving money, in how I use my free time, in how I spend all my time. I have to justify my every step, action, and thought to the greatness of God and his majestic love in my life, and my family will see it and follow in step. 

In a few hours we will go home and be away from the constant help of the hospital staff and on our own with the giant learning curve living in our house the next twenty years. My prayer is that, although there will be mistakes and sleepless nights and stress, that I can rise to the occasion of leadership that submits whole-heartedly to the awesome power of our wonderful God and that one day our Son would find his salvation in the saving blood of Jesus Christ the lamb.

Early in the morning after he was born, while pondering his recent birth and the great presence f our sweet child, I wrote a hymn of praise that I will leave everyone with. We all have joy because God became a son and died and through him we all have hope in this dark world.

Oh joy! What joy a son is born!
The world in anxious wait
For darkness covers endlessly
Where no light penetrates
But light brought forth in God the Son
Has caused the dark to flee
The presence of the Son, the Lamb
Now reigns victoriously!

The Cross! The Cross! Born for the cross!
The Father's glory in his eyes.
Born for the cross, to conquer death
The way to life in manger lies.

Oh Son! What grace that walks between
The twisted hearts of men
The pharisee and lowly thief 
Can all be born again!
A gracious God born humble man
And emptied of his throne
For sinner's sake, and Father's name
Walks to the cross alone.

The Cross! The Cross! Born for the cross!
The Father's glory in his eyes.
Born for the cross, to conquer death
The way to life in manger lies.

Oh Son! So humble bursting forth
From grave to conquering sky.
Though bruised heel has crushed the head
Of Satan and his lie.
Oh Son! Now seated at the throne
Our Lord! Our God! Our King!
The Son suffering for greatest joy
Born for the Cross we sing. 

The Cross! The Cross! Born for the cross!
The Father's glory in his eyes.
Born for the cross, to conquer death
The way to life in manger lies.

1 comment:

Phil & Shan Ogilvie said...

Awesome Hymn Cody. Your post puts into words what many new fathers feel. Thanks for saying it for us.