Beware of Fatherhood
By Matt Cannon (@seekingpastor)
Twinkies are delicious. I know that this is an opinion, but I believe it is an opinion with widespread agreement. Whether you live in a red state or a blue state or a state devoid of color (Vermont, maybe), if you have tasted a Twinkie then you probably agree. If you disagree then your judgment is either questionable or you are on medication that causes irrational thinking. If the latter is true, do not be alarmed—you may have a future in politics.
Twinkies are unhealthy. This is not an opinion; it is a fact. I’ve often wondered if contestants on The Biggest Loser intentionally try to put on extra weight before being shipped off to the ranch. And I’ve wondered if they use Twinkies to do it. And I’ve wondered what it would be like having someone like Jillian Michaels as a spouse. And I have curled into the fetal position and cried.
So, Twinkies are delicious and unhealthy. Do you know how to make them more of both? Deep fry them. Yes, people really do this. And yes, I have tried one and only one because I did not want to die. My description: wonderful and messy.
This is a pretty accurate description of fatherhood, too.
Strangely I was never warned about the messy part, about things in fatherhood that can cause problems. I was only told about the good things like how precious it is to hold a newborn in your arms or how sweet it is when they wrap their hand around your finger. Even though no one told me what to beware of, I feel compelled to help you out by sharing three things you should be on the lookout for as you enter fatherhood.
1. Beware of poo. No, not Winnie, the cute and cuddly lover of honey. He’s “the pooh,” not “the poo.” I’m talking about what I used to call poop before realizing that the main reason for Mike Rowe’s (host of Dirty Jobs) success is that he says poo instead of poop. Maybe one day I’ll be in commercials for blue jeans and pick-up trucks, too. Maybe not. Anyway, the point is that poo happens. And sometimes it gets under your fingernails.
2. Beware of weight gain. This one will sneak up on you because it takes at least a year and a half to happen. One day you are eating just your food and before you know it you’re eating your food and whatever food you child has left over. You do this because you do not want to be wasteful, but the money you would waste by throwing the excess food away is probably less than the money you will spend buying new, much larger clothes.
3. Beware of ceiling fans. Every father that has ever lived has gotten great pleasure from tossing his progeny into the air. Pleasure turns to pain if this is done under a ceiling fan. Mothers get very angry at this—trust me.
I have five kids and have learned these lessons the hard way, so I should be charging you for all of this. Instead, I am giving these tips away for free. Before I finish, here is one more piece of advice.
Beware of being obsessed with perfection.
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God
New fathers are often obsessed with being perfect, with saying the just the right words and doing all of the right things. They want their child to experience the best that life has to offer and they have big dreams for their dear child’s future.
They sometimes forget that being a father does not equal being perfect.
No matter what you do, no matter how long you do it—you will fail.
But Jesus will never fail and will always be there to forgive, redeem, and strengthen us when we aren’t all that we hoped we could be.
Regardless of who you are or what role you have, please try not to be obsessed with perfection. Instead, be obsessed with Jesus.
He is perfect and is perfectly able to hold us up when we are not.
What other things should new father beware of? Have you ever had a deep-fried Twinkie? Share away!