Written by: Brandon Cousineau
It was 2a.m Friday July 20th when I received great news, but since I had just gone to bed thirty minutes prior I nearly slept through it. July 20th was the projected due date of our first son Logan Isaac and at 2a.m that morning my wonderful wife Nancy woke me up informing me that the baby was coming.
Now me being the bright man that I am, and running on a half hour of sleep, I rolled over and fell asleep again. Not my shinning moment I know and to be honest nothing could have prepared me for the life changing moment that was coming 22 hours later. I did learn my lesson and I did not make the same mistake when Elliot was born two years later J.
What can something like me, being a father for only 3 years, say about being fatherhood? There are so many books on fatherhood and I can’t say I read any of them before Logan was born. Instead I observed and listened to those who were full of experience. One common piece of advice I heard from almost every parent was “enjoy these times because before you know it they’ll be grown up and graduating college.” This was something I knew but I am experiencing now.
Logan will be turning 3 this July and our youngest Elliot just had his first birthday. To ask me what have I learned these few years of being a father would be the wrong question because my journey as a father has only begun.
I am learning so much in these early years of being a father. When I was reading 1 Corinthians 16, Paul says that we should watch and be awake and to do everything in love. I couldn’t help but think about fatherhood.
One afternoon on my day off I was observing Logan while he was coloring with his markers. One of his favourite things to do is to a color picture for his mama, daddy, and nanas and papas. After he was finished he tried to place the cap back on his marker. He couldn’t do it and he was getting frustrated. “Come on,” he’d say. “Pete Sakes, come on.” It was very cute but it dawned on me, I was watching a mirror image of myself.
Our children are watching us more than we realize. But sometimes we don’t take the time, or have the time to watch them. Do not roll over and sleep though these precious years we have with them. The Psalmist says in Psalm 121 that our Lord watches over us. Our Father watches over us everyday of our lives. Our job as fathers is to watch over our children. And our job is to do everything in love.
It’s easy to get frustrated during your children’s infant years. Our oldest was colic so he screamed A LOT while he was awake and he didn’t sleep much through the night. It’s difficult when you don’t know if them are hungry, tired, teething, or having a bellyache because they scream all the time.
Those we’re some frustrating times and I personally struggled during them. Patience wasn’t my strength. I blame it on selfishness. I was frustrated because I didn’t get my precious sleep. I was frustrated because I didn’t get my regular quite time with my wife. I was frustrated because I couldn’t get my guy time. The truth is, I was selfish.
Guys you are going to get frustrated at times and sometimes you will behave childishly. But we need to remember that we have been called into fatherhood and we need to be fathers who do everything in love. And love is not selfish.
1 John 3:18 says; My children, let us not love with words or in talk only. Let us love by what we do and in truth. It’s not enough to say it. Saying I love my children is easy, but loving them when they scream for three quarters of the day for almost a year takes true love. It’s the kind of love our heavenly Father has for us. So be patience like God is patient with you and love like God has loves you. And don’t forget to laugh.
A big happy fathers day goes to one of my biggest inspirations and examples of fatherhood, my dad. I wouldn’t be the man I am today if it wasn’t for him. Happy fathers day everyone.
Brandon lives in Kingsville, ON with his wife Nancy. They are proud parents of 2 boys, Logan and Elliot. Brandon serves as the youth pastor of Kingsville Community Church.