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As Different as Night and Day
“I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”—Psalm 139:14 NKJV
A well-meaning relative asked my two-year-old son, Noah, “How is your baby brother?” His reply was short and to the point.
“He cries and cries and cries.”
My wife and I thought we had the parenting thing down—the first child was so easy. Noah rarely cried and was content to sit on the floor with a pile of books and simple toys, entertaining himself for hours.
Friends tried to warn us: “Wait until you get a second one, it will be so much different than the first!” We dismissed them. How different could another kid be? The joke was clearly on us.
Our second child entered the world three weeks early through a storm of complications and did not breathe on his own at first. The doctor told me Ethan would remain on oxygen for a few hours, but he did not know my little fighter.
My baby boy stayed on the oxygen for half an hour, at which time the nurse said, “Come and get him!” Once he started crying, he hardly stopped for a couple years. Emerging from the long colicky stage, Ethan proved to be our strong-willed child. Stubborn as could be, he was the aggressor in any type of play, and it was not a wise idea to try to take a toy away from him. Noah continued to love books and reading, while Ethan could not sit still long enough to fool with a book.
Through the years, I have learned to appreciate the differences in my boys, who share the same looks but not much else. I am an only child, so my children are my frame of reference for the uniqueness of siblings within the same family.
Like the snowflakes and autumn leaves fashioned by the Creator’s hands to be special, each person is unique by design, and I can appreciate the contrasting traits in my sons, knowing they are fearfully and wonderfully made. Noah is crafted in the image of God to carry out an ordained purpose only he can fulfill, and it is the same with Ethan. If we were all the same, life would be boring, so God spiced things up. ~ Carlton
Father, remind me everyone is carefully made in Your image and help me
appreciate the differences.
The Botched Execution of the Treasonous Boy
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”—James 1:5 NKJV
“Grandmother!” John-Paul’s eyes were wide. “It’s Geoffrey! Get the scissors! Hurry!”
My mother rushed to the backyard. My eldest son, Geoffrey, hung from the top of the swing set with a rope around his neck. He grasped his Davy Crockett musket in one hand and clawed at the strand around his neck with the other. The swing bent under his weight as he danced on tip-toe, trying to get free.
I wasn’t home, but you can imagine the fear that twisted my gut when I heard about the close call. I had almost lost my son.
“Why,” I asked Geoffrey, “did you hang yourself?”
“I was pretending I was British.”
“I was being hung for high treason against the Crown. Only I couldn’t get the rope off, and I almost got hanged for real.”
I wondered again how any of us with a Y chromosome lives to grow up.
I think Geoffrey’s role-play incident shaved five years off my life. Being a dad is hard, even harder when you never had anyone to show you how. What do you do when you are faced with the unexpected, dangerous, or downright weird? I couldn’t call my dad for advice. Maybe you can’t either.
But we can call on God.
This is not God’s first parenting rodeo. He is full of wisdom and delights in sharing it with His sons who are trying to be dads. Whether your child is in danger by doing something as nutty as playing make-believe with a real noose or as risky as drugs or crime, God knows how to respond.
Need wisdom for being a father today? Ask God for it. And keep a sharp pair of scissors handy to cut down any treasonous children from their homemade gallows. ~Holland