The ultrasound bill came in the mail. I laughed. $650 is a lot of money for what amounted to 10 seconds of work.
My wife and I have two sons, ages 5 and 3. There’s another child on the way. So, when we went to learn the gender of Kid No. 3, there were plenty of cheers from the peanut gallery for a little girl. Extended family, church friends, and even Big Brother wanted a little sister. The ultrasound tech pushed some buttons and turned the screen toward me. “Okay, let’s see if we can get a peek,” she said (as I’m sure she says 20 times a day). But I knew before she could even get the words out of her mouth. My wife knew. We’ve been down this road before. And even a 16 week old fetus has a pretty clear package. Well, at least all three of my boys. Family jewels, you might say.
Three boys. I can honestly and proudly report no disappointment with my wife and me. We had a hunch — a mother’s intuition and a father’s “go along with it” — that another boy was on the cards. We were excited. Having three boys is a privilege.
Hopes for a Daughter Dashed: Embracing the Privilege of Raising Three Boys
Still, as I drove away from that appointment, I thought I might never have a daughter. There will probably be no daddy’s daughter dances, or pink soccer cleats in my future. My wife wouldn’t get to pick out frilly dresses or decorate pink nursery walls. There would also be no boy band posters. No heartbreak over Instagram drama (I’m told it’s a thing). No teenage boyfriends to scowl at or weddings to pay for.
Hey, having boys will be so much easier, I thought. I know how to do this. Teach them how to play baseball. Teach them to fish. Cut their hair short. Show them tough love. Keep them away from skinny jeans. I can do this.
Raising Future Artisans, Entrepreneurs, and Leaders: The Journey of Fatherhood
Somewhere between then and now, it hit me. I’m not raising three boys. I’m raising three men: three future artisans, entrepreneurs, artists, future husbands, fathers, and leaders. Three future grandfathers will be asked for guidance and wisdom. And what will they do? What will they say? What childhood will shape them and tune them for this future? Gulp. That’s a heavy load, even for a 33 year old pair of shoulders. How can I possibly teach them everything they’ll need?
I know this responsibility is equal, boy or girl offspring. My load would be no lighter if I were raising girls. But the notion that I’m a father raising future fathers is sinking in for me. For the next 20 years, my primary purpose on this planet is to raise a legacy. These three boys will be with me for a short time; then, they will go out into the world as men to make a mark. And here’s the surprising part for me: even though I know I will falter, there’s a strength in this mission. Instead of wilting or fearing the impossible task of raising men, God is using it to teach me and push me onward.
Lessons from Proverbs: A Father’s Guide to Raising a Legacy
In Proverbs 3, Solomon shares timeless lessons to be passed from father to son. The advice is so basic and so simple. Yet, so often misunderstood. It’s not a lengthy to-do list. It’s a good thing. But we’d all cannot accomplish that. Instead, it reminds us of the character an Uncommen man should seek and strive to display. If our purpose as dads is to raise a legacy, then our task is to model Proverbs 3 for our boys.
How do you see yourself raising your boys or girls?
Do you have a good example to learn from?
What are you doing to gain wisdom?
Uphold love and faithfulness. Acknowledge God. Fear the Lord. Honor Him. Accept discipline. Show mercy. Choose humility. Seek wisdom.
Oh, and no skinny jeans. Ever. (I’m pretty sure that’s in there, too).