Carrying the load….

Hey everyone, time for a dad post:

I thought the above picture best illustrated how I am feeling these days about being a father. It is such a joy to have four healthy boys to parent, but wow, what a responsibility.

God has continued to provide for our family through many different avenues, but now comes the ultimate request: please Lord, give me wisdom.

Up to this point, parenting has really amounted to changing diapers, feeding babies, keeping up with normal house chores, keeping a healthy marriage, and trying to get some sleep. In my opinion, in the first six months, the damage you can do to your child when you make mistakes is pretty minimal. (reasonable mistakes anyway)

But, going forward from here, I am beginning to see understanding on the faces of my children. When I say something sternly to them, it actually brings a reaction from them. (even if it is laughing sometimes, Brooks) When I enthusiastically say “good job!!” to them when they are eating, they smile proudly sometimes. This is really exciting to see, but it is also scary.

This means that from now on, any sinful behavior on my part may ….ok, will have an impact on my children. And, with each passing month, that impact will be deeper and longer lasting. In a few months, if I make an unkind comment about someone in front of my children, it could teach them that it is ok to tear others down. If I am impatient with Jen and harsh with her, it could begin to teach them that this is how you treat your spouse.

I know I will make mistakes, but as I think about these boys, I am seeing more and more things about myself that I want to change to avoid passing them on to them. I SO want my boys to some day be men of integrity, honor, and good character. Church will help with this, friends and family can help with this, but ultimately, it is mine and Jen’s responsibility to get these boys headed down a path of correct living. Obviously a huge part of that responsibility is pointing them to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. And, I cannot do this successfully without first living out these principles in our home in front of my children.

That being said, it is also an incredible joy to be given this responsibility by our God. For some reason, God gave me four wonderful children, and a great, encouraging wife to go through this journey with. As difficult as the past year has been, I have never been so happy in my life.

Would you pray for Jen and I as we seek to glorify the Lord with how we parent our children? Thank you all for keeping up with us on this journey, it is really fun sharing it with all of you!

Brad, Jen, Henry, Brooks, Clark, and Isaac

12 thoughts on "Carrying the load…."

  1. Chichina says:

    congrats for the babys! your are a great mom :).

  2. Anonymous says:

    Blessings to you both as the real fun begins!! My twin boys are about to turn 1 and the prayer for wisdom seems more important every day. Just remember, there is always grace!

  3. Brad,

    Your post really spoke to me, and blessed me tremendously. I will keep you, Jen, and your precious boys in prayer. Thank you for reminding me how important my choices are and how much they do affect my children.


  4. Marathon momma says:

    That is an awesome post! You just put into words exactly what my hubby and I have been feeling lately. I love how the picture says it all…..what a heavy load at times! You guys are doing great, I love reading your blog and hearing about all your adventures.

  5. Anonymous says:

    What a thrill your words brought to this grandma’s heart. To hear your heart’s desire in raising your little ones for the glory of God is just wonderful!! You covered everything that is important in child rearing as a Christian parent!! May God continue to give you a wise heart, a desire for Himself, and the ability to raise these little boys into Godly young men. Blessings on all of you.
    A Gram from Portland, Oregon

  6. Becky says:

    How refreshing to hear a dad concerned with the spiritual development of his children. My husband and I have found “Don’t Make Me Count To Three” by Ginger Plowman a particularly helpful book. It talks about discipline with the heart at the center, not just actions. Lots of Scriptures! Remember that David was called a man after God’s own heart, not because he was perfect, but because he sought the Lord and was repentant.

  7. Anonymous says:

    You know, this blessed my heart tremendously. After a month of family-based messages at church, this drove home exactly what I’ve been thinking myself. Thank you, Brad for your words. I think those sweet little boys are the ones who are blessed to have such wonderful, faithful, Christian parents. Wow! Thank you for the power of your words! It was something I needed to see and hear. The Lord is perfect and has a perfect plan. You are teaching your boys so many wonderful things already that I wish I had had in my home as a child. All I can say is thank you!

    Mandy Hines

  8. Brad,
    What a wonderful message and I love your pic. I have children 38, 36 and 28. My 28 yr. old has a set of identical twin girls so I can imagine only 2 of your 4. What a joy it must be. I just look at ours and for that matter all 7 of my healthy grandchildren and thank the Lord every day for them.
    As a Mom and Gram, I often worry that I may say or do something to negatively influence my children or grandchildren. I love your writing style. You should write more often. I also enjoy your wife, Jen and he sense of humor. I’m sure you both have learned to use that to get through the hard days. Keep your wonderful spirit.

  9. None says:

    After you’ve been a parent for a little while, you begin to realize that those early days of worrying about whether the baby was sleeping too much or too little…eating too much or too little…too warm or too cold in that outfit…and catching a cold or just teething were actually the “easy” days of parenting! For those first few months, you literally “just” have to keep them alive. Then, as they grow, you begin to feel what true parental responsibility REALLY is and you realize that watching over their physical development is just one small part of the picture. God has entrusted you with the physical, emotional, intellectual, social, and spiritual growth of these little guys. While it is incredibly overwhelming at times, isn’t it comforting to know that we have the ultimate “What to Expect…” book — the Bible?!? Talk about the perfect parenting guide!

    Don’t worry — you’ll screw up many times along the way (happy thought, eh?). The good news is that God’s grace is more than sufficient to cover your shortcomings as a parent. Plus, if you NEVER mess up, your sons would miss out on many valuable opportunities to witness repentance and practice forgiveness, right? 😉

    God bless!

  10. Thank you all for your kind comments about the post. I appreciate the compliments, but also realize that although I have my “playbook”, the bible, I have not figured out how to implement all of it yet.

    Don’t fail to pray for us just because I happen to know “the facts” about what is important. I have so much to learn about taking what the bible says, and actually living it out.

    All of the great theology in the world will do my boys no good if I do not live it out in front of them, please pray for us in this regard.

    Thank you all for the encouragement, we love you!


  11. Anonymous says:

    This post reminded me of a song my friend wrote following the birth of his son. You can hear it at:

  12. jillybean says:

    I love this pictures of Brad with all the car seats! It’s really amazing to see how the Lord gives strength and grace for whatever circumstances He places in your life.

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