Catholic Husband

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Understanding God the Father


I underestimated how impactful parenting would be in my spiritual life. Nothing has better helped me to understand the mind of God than being a dad. We spend a lot of time talking about Jesus, but we forget about getting to know the Father and Holy Spirit. Parenting is helping me to cover that lost ground.

Benedict has three hours of quiet time each afternoon. I’d prefer it if he would use the time for napping, and often he does. When he naps, the evening goes well. Each day is different. Some days he’ll sleep and others he’ll just run around. Some days he's bored during those hours, and when he is, he starts playing with things that aren’t toys. His most recent fixation is the hamper in his room that we use for dirty clothes. He’ll pull the clothes out and put the hamper on his bed. At various times he’s told me that it’s a tunnel, a restaurant, and a TV. I love his creative mind, but not that he’s playing with his dirty clothes.

During my many attempts to get Benedict to stop playing with his hamper, I realized that the shoe was on the other foot. How many times has God tried to persuade me to stop doing something and to focus instead on something much better? How many times has my conscience warned me not to do something, only for me to decide against it? It was frustrating that Benedict wasn’t learning. I questioned how I could get my point across. All the while, God must have been smiling.

The shoe being on the other foot can be a humbling experience. Despite my life experience, I’m still failing on the same level as my toddler. Even though I have a vast knowledge of right and wrong, I still choose the wrong. This struggle is the quandary of the Christian life. We reject the knowledge of good and evil that we possess to pursue our agenda, and God seeks us.

I’m eager to learn many more spiritual lessons from Benedict and his sister. As they grow and mature, and I’m prepared for them to humble me. Parenting is a great adventure, and while the sacrifice is total, the rewards are innumerable.