I read this yesterday and was reminder about how important it is to watch all that I say and do around Zachary. He’s a sponge and will soon be a parrot, showing and telling me what he sees me doing.
This specific period of fatherhood is really a trap when many fathers soon become acutely aware of how much a child sees, hears, and mimics. It’s a trap in that it’s incredibly easy to assume that since my child cannot yet talk or does not have complete control of his motor skills that he won’t pick-up things to do or say from his daddy. Most definitely, it’s a trap.
It’s not that I’m one person when he’s around and a different person when he’s not present, it’s that there are habits and things that I may say to which he shouldn’t be exposed. Whether he repeats my words or actions doesn’t change that he was exposed to something, and that something is going to be added to his picture of me. That’s a sobering thought.
The great thing about all of this is that it’s helping me file down a few rough edges to a smooth finish, changing me more into the person I want to become.
I consistently find that if I try to do this day-in and day-out I become tired from the effort, but when I look for God’s guidance in any situation I receive the direction on what I should be doing. It’s a bit like a pop-up video reel going on inside of me. I find myself spending time with Z and being reminded of how my actions really do speak louder than words.
Both my words and my actions will be repeated through my son. I’ll do my best to have him understand early in life that daddy makes mistakes, and that he’s at his best when he’s in tune with Christ. Then, and only then will I have the proper order set in my life: God, my wife, Zachary, and then me. Apart from that order of priorities is chaos.