Yesterday was my son’s one month birthday. I can not believe how fast it has gone. My friend Josh told me (very wisely I might add) that with each kid (he has 4) the time goes even faster, but I had no idea how right he was. It seriously feels like we just brought him home and yet, it feels like he’s always been there.
I was quite adapted to being a dad to a daughter. Grace is almost 2 now and being her dad feels so natural. She’s my little buddy and I can’t imagine life without her. But once we found out that we were having a boy, my head started to spin. There was the obvious worry: “I just figured out how to change girl diapers…a boy is going to be crazy”. And there was so much excitement: visions of us playing catch, going fishing, hiking, going to Giants games, wrestling, building forts, etc (all of which I plan to do with Grace too…maybe not the wrestling).
I affectionately called Noah “my heir” all throughout the pregnancy saying how he was going to carry on the Richter name once I was gone. But once he was born…I started to think about what that really meant and my responsibility in raising up my heir.
Heir – Noun – A person inheriting and continuing the legacy of a predecessor.
So Noah is going to be inheriting and continuing my legacy. So what is my legacy going to be? What kind of man am I going to show him?
One of the first lessons I taught to youth group was about legacy. I used the example of a football field. Everybody has a place where they start on the field. The goal is a touchdown (obviously). So maybe if you had great parents, you are starting further down the field, but maybe, you are starting closer to your own endzone. Either way, the ball is going to be handed to you and it is your job to move it down the field. So as a dad, I want to make sure I move the ball as far down the field as possible so that my kids are set up for success.
But I have been really wrestling with feeling the weight of responsibility. I am going to be the example to him of what a man is. What a husband is. What a dad is. He will either grow up wanting to be like his dad, or in the worst case, nothing like his dad. I hope I am the kind of man he wants to be like.
I want to be the kind of dad that loves my wife. The dad that prays with our family. That is responsible and works hard. That sacrifices for the better of others. That loves people. That hurts for the broken. That is supportive in all of my kids’ little hobbies. The kind of dad that is honest about his mistakes and asks for forgiveness. I want to be the kind of dad that turns off the tv, computer and phone and gets down in the dirt or sand or carpet or mud or grass to play with my kids. I want to be an example of faith and trust in Jesus when times get hard and when times are good. I want to show them that no matter how much we love them, Jesus loves them more.
I want my heir to carry on a legacy of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. I want to pass on a legacy of biblical manhood.
I love you Noah. And I am going to do my very best to set a good example for you. I’ll follow hard after our Father in Heaven and so when I finally hand you the ball, you won’t have to travel as far down the field.
***On a side note: Once Grace was born, my beautiful wife started a monthly tradition of writing a blog post to our girl to tell her how things are going though the first year of life. Then maybe later on, we would get it printed out and we’ll give it to her when she’s older. Well, Sarah knew from when we found out we were preggers again that she was going to do that for our Noah too. Month 1 complete = a post from my wife. I encourage you to read it and follow along. She is my favorite blogger. www.sarahrichter.wordpress.com