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A New Father, A Better Husband

My wife was racked with pain, desperate to deliver our baby, and on the verge of her last push. My pulse raced, my breath was shallow, and I was both terrified and elated.

“I want to catch the baby,” I said to the doctor, reminding him, for the third time, of what we had discussed five weeks ago at my wife’s appointment.

“I know you do,” he said with a smile. “And you need to get ready, because we’re going to do one last push, and the baby’s going to be here.” He paused. “Alright now, push.”

My wife took a deep breath and pushed, her face determined, and my second daughter tumbled into my hands. It happened almost too quickly, leaving me shocked as I stared at my hands, which were holding my tiny, wailing daughter.

“The baby’s in my hands,” I said nervously, terrified she was going to slip out and fall on the floor.

“I know,” said the doctor, who was unraveling the umbilical cord.

“Uh – I’m holding the baby,” I said again, my nervousness apparent. The doctor chuckled and said, “I’ve got her,” and then picked her up to take care of her.

That was 11:01 p.m. last Saturday.

I’m still reeling with joy.

There’s something powerful about seeing the woman I love bring a child into the world – it leaves me in awe of her strength, more aware of her maturity. And there’s something about having a newborn in my family. She’s a living, breathing, clean slate – the face of new beginnings – a reminder that it’s never too late for me to grow and change for my family’s benefit.

And as I ponder the life ahead for my two-day-old daughter, it hits me all over again: if I’m going to be a good dad, I’ve got to be a good husband first. Because whether I like it or not, my daughters will look at the way I love their mother, and it will teach them what kind of man they deserve.

Think of it – I’m going to be the first man my daughters love, and I will set the precedent as to how a man should treat a woman. If I am respectfully direct when I communicate with their mom, they will probably avoid a passive-aggressive man who gives the cold shoulder. If I criticize and pick at their mom, they will tolerate a man who puts them down. But if I strive to love, serve, honor, and cherish their mom, they will look for the qualities of Christ in a man.

It’s a daunting task, leaving me with that feeling I had when I nervously said, “I’m holding the baby.” But if I step up to the plate and follow through with this, it’s one of the finest gifts I’ll ever give my little girls – and the woman who brought them into this world.

7 Comments
  1. First, congratulations!Second: "she's a living, breathing, clean slate" is a great thought, and great way to say it.

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    July 26, 2011
  2. Congratulations on the birth of your new daughter!

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    July 26, 2011
  3. Thanks. I'm very much enjoying being a dad.

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    July 26, 2011
  4. Wow, this is a precious post. Thanks for sharing this and congratulations! And you are right to think this way about your example and what kind of person your child might choose for a mate in the future…I've seen it born out lots of times. Wonderful post and congratulations again!!

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    July 27, 2011
  5. Thanks CJ.

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    July 27, 2011
  6. dats amaizn,congrats.

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    August 5, 2011
  7. I am moved to tears. (I had to stop for a few minutes). This Is a priceless gem worthy of publication!

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    October 8, 2011

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