Fatherhood is like a heartbeat. It has a steady rhythm until the teenage years come. At times, those years resemble a heart attack on the charts. My wife and I will always treasure the peaks and valleys of raising three children who were once all teenagers at the same time. I thank God for giving me the opportunity to be a dad. Here are some lessons I learned from fatherhood:
- There is no template for raising children. Each child has his or her unique destiny. It's the responsibility of parents to discover the unique gifts in each of their off-spring and then refine those gifts.
- Think of your children as cookie dough, each with their own special ingredients. They may be raised in the same oven at the same temperature for the same amount of time, however, they should never be compared to one another. Your purpose as a parent is not to make them look like you or one of their siblings. Your role is to help them find what they are made of.
- Your children do not belong to you. Even though you are the "baker" who works in the kitchen for approximately eighteen years, you do not own what comes out of the oven. You are preparing to serve them to the world where they ultimately belong, long after your own heart stops beating.