Parenting Pitfalls and the One
Who Saves Us
By Chris Carpenter
CBN.com Program Director
CBN.com - Please excuse
me for a few moments. I need to catch up on my sleep. I am just
going to lay my head down on my keyboard and hope that I don’t
hit any unnecessary keys that will type some sort of cryptic message.
My fear is that I might awaken Star Wars Nation and turn them
There, this is quite comfortable. Just going to lay my head on
the old keyboard, my nose resting on the asterisk and …
Ahtoautohej ajdohtaotljadopug 1wornalsdeweyu=-462395(^(*%^*%*%.
I’m awake! It appears from a quick translation of the Naboo
language that I have just announced to the world that I am Luke’s
father. Not exactly, but I am Taylor’s dad.
For you see, the reason for my weariness is that I became a first
time father a little more than a month ago. Like most new parents
will tell you, there is nothing, I repeat, absolutely nothing
that can adequately prepare you for such a wonderful yet frightening
phase of life.
I discovered very quickly that my days are not my own anymore.
The era of sleeping until 10am on a Saturday morning is long gone
(unless of course I want to prop the baby up on my chest and allow
him to rip my chest hairs out strand by strand). Impulse shopping
sprees are a remnant of the past as the budget is much tighter
than it used to be. A romantic dinner and a movie has been replaced
by a bath, a bottle, and an early bedtime.
But you know what? It is all worth it.
My boss told me shortly before Taylor’s arrival that I
had nothing to worry about. My sleeping patterns would be virtually
unchanged because all newborn babies do is eat, sleep, and go
to the bathroom. What he forgot to tell me is that they also cry
very loudly, especially in the middle of the night.
I will never forget the first day we brought him home. As our
car pulled around the corner and onto our street, we couldn’t
help but notice two helium filled "Baby Boy" balloons
tied to our mailbox announcing our subdivision’s newest
“How thoughtful,” remarked my wife, as she removed
Taylor from his car seat for the first time.
I must admit, I too, thought it was an incredibly nice gesture
on the part of our Sunday School class. I would think otherwise
by the end of the day.
Not 10 minutes after we arrived, the door bell rang. Fifteen
minutes later it rang again. Five minutes after that? You got
it, someone else was at the door. Our doorbell did not stop ringing
for the next five hours. I counted 17 people either sitting in
our living room, gathered around the kitchen table, or in one
case, someone sleeping under our baby grand piano.
At one point, I remarked to a woman who was sacked out in a recliner
flicking channels on my television set, “Hi, I’m the
new father. I don’t think we have met. And you are?”
“Oh, how silly of me,” she replied, extending her
hand to shake mine. “I live on the next street over. I was
on my way home from work and I saw the balloons. I just love new
babies so I had to stop and see him.”
All I could say was, “Well, thanks for coming. We appreciate
Needless to say, by the time the last well wisher departed shortly
after 10 pm, my wife, my infant son, and myself were dazed, confused,
and wondering what might come next.
It was now time to put the baby to bed. However, there was but
one slight problem. Young Taylor was too large for his bassinet.
His flailing arms draped over the side like willow branches hanging
over the edge of a river. These sleeping arrangements were not
going to work. So, our precious son’s first night in his
new home was spent in the crying arms of his mother while his
befuddled father spent one of the longest nights of his life trying
to figure out a way to “widen” the bassinet without
breaking it. Fellow dads, heating the wood up with a blow torch
only scorches the wood, it will not bend it. Trust me.
Early the next morning, I ventured to a local store specializing
in babies and purchased a crib. The sales associate had never
had an easier sale.
Something else I have discovered in my four weeks of parenthood
is that mothers possess some sort of magical, comforting touch
that father’s certainly do not, or at least I don’t.
I can be rocking our squirmy, fidgety bundle of joy and no trick
in my arsenal will calm him down. Of course my arsenal consists
of reciting the starting lineup from the 1975 Boston Red Sox to
him, singing bad disco songs by the Bee Gees, or thrusting a stuffed
turtle named “Turtle Turtle” within millimeters of
his face. Nothing seems to work. I often feel as if I am being
mauled by a small, persnickety bear cub. Then as if she is some
sort of svengali, my wife will casually stroll into the room,
scoop him up from my arms, and within two minutes he is sleeping
like a hibernating bear in February.
The last four weeks, while challenging, have been some of the
most rewarding days of my life. Changing Taylor’s diaper
for the first time is a moment I will never forget. Let’s
just say he “showered me with his affection.” I will
also never forget the second time I changed his diaper. Collecting
smelly substances in my bare hands like soft serve ice cream to
save the bedspread was certainly a first for me. Just this morning,
my glorious young son put on a formula spewing exhibition for
the ages. When he had completed his great feat, he looked longingly
up at me with his big blue eyes and … laughed. The boy laughed
But I wouldn’t have it any other way. Adding this gift
from God to our family has created an entirely new dimension to
who I am, who my wife is, and who we are as a couple. Gone are
the days of living our lives on impulse but in its place is a
divine responsibility to raise this child to love and serve the
Lord. This responsibility is sacred.
In his sermon at Taylor's baby dedication, our pastor said, "Parents,
your children are a gift from God and you are to give thanks to
Him for bringing them into our lives. You must promise to train
them in the things of God, always looking to Him for divine, wisdom,
guidance, and strength.
In Psalm 78:5-7, it says, “For He established a testimony
in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our
fathers, that they should make them known to their children; that
the generation to come might know them, the children who would
be born, that they might arise and declare them to their children,
that they may set their hope in God, and not forget the works
of God, but keep His commandments.”
As parents, we have much to teach our children about the ways
of God. We have life lessons to share if we are only willing.
We must make our children realize that we love and respect them.
We must help them with their mental, spiritual, and emotional
needs as well. It is God’s plan for parents to teach and
to have our children learn from us so that they might share these
same principles with the next generation.
While the aforementioned paragraph may seem like a daunting,
even an impossible task, we should not shy away from the principles
set forth but embrace them. As parents we will fail at times.
That is inevitable. But if we derive our parenting skills from
the fundamental laws set forth in the Bible, we cannot fail. We
will be challenged mightily, but He will not let us stumble.
In Jude 24,25, the author writes, “Now to Him who is able
to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before
the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to God our savior,
who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both
now and forever. Amen.”
As parents, we must realize there is another presence with us,
closer than we even know. He will keep us from stumbling and return
us to safety. He goes before us, walks beside us, and follows
behind. He is our refuge and safeguard from all of the parental
pitfalls that face us. In Him, we are secure as parents.
The next time you have a 3am feeding and your precious son or
daughter will not go back to sleep no matter how hard you try,
remember that our mighty God is there with you each and every
ounce of the way.
Portions contained within this article from
the Transformer Study Bible.
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