Three fears expectant fathers face (and how to move past them)
Nothing is more simultaneously joyful and frightening than becoming a father.
I remember pointing at my wife’s belly and saying, “There is a baby in there!” She would acknowledge me with a smile that said, “Yes, I haven’t forgotten. It is kicking me all through the night.”
The emotional scale of becoming a father is all over the place. While it is not manly to admit fear, any man will tell you becoming a father can be scary.
The most common fears men face come down to three questions:
1. Will I be able to provide?
My wife and I have been faithful with our tithe. God had always provided, and we were blessed with more than we needed.
When my wife became pregnant, instead of relying on past faithfulness, I gave into insecurity. I started reading budget tips and expert projections on the expenses of a child, and I was freaking out. No baby book or website had enough answers to ease my anxiety. Peace finally came from Malachi 3:10, a scripture I can now recite from memory:
“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.”
God promises that if I will be faithful with what He’s given me, He will bless my family. He’s done it before, and He will do it again and again.
2. Will I be able to protect my child?
As a teacher, I have seen parents come into conferences and look lost. They could not understand why their child was not on a successful path.
In John 10, Jesus says His sheep know His voice, and they know His way. I cannot always control the environment my child will be in, but he will know my voice, and more importantly, I pray he will know Jesus’s voice when he goes off to school, chooses his friends, and gains his independence.
The only way to overcome this fear is to pray and read the Bible so my voice becomes a reflection of Jesus’s voice. I also have to be intentional in spending time with my son. He can’t know my voice if I’m not present.
3. Will I be excellent as a father and a husband?
While my wife was pregnant, we were repeatedly told that our life would never be the same. While I was praying God would prepare me to be a great father, I also prayed that my wife would always know she was No. 1. It was not acceptable to me to fail in either area.
The desire to continue pursuing my wife drives me as a husband. This means planning ahead to get babysitters for date night. A newborn brings unexpected challenges, and while I’m not perfect, I am responsible for being a husband to my wife and creating time for her to be a wife without distractions of being a mom.