Everyone always says kids will change your life forever, but I don’t think I truly understood just how much being a dad would change and challenge me for the long haul.
I grew up in Beaver Dam, KY, which is just as small as it sounds. It’s the kind of place where everyone knows everybody and in a sense, your neighbors even seem like family. Beyond that, I was traveling the road with my family for years performing music. I know family—I do the family thing well! But there is no amount of family time that could ever prepare you for having your own children. There is absolutely nothing in the world like being a father.
For the longest time Shellye, my amazing wife, and I couldn’t get pregnant. When we finally did, we had two miscarriages. It was a difficult season. We prayed and cried, then prayed some more and in His time, God gave us Ashleigh and Emma, and they are the joys of our lives.
I do my best everyday to love them, teach them, and be an example of Jesus for them. Lucky for me, I’ve got the most incredible wife in the world. Shellye helps me be the best father I can be. She helps me better understand those little female minds, and shows me what they need most.
Soon, Ashleigh and Emma are going to be teenagers, which does seem crazy—time flies so fast! The last thing I would ever want to do is waste any time or miss out on a chance to teach or encourage them in some way. I think as much as Shellye and I want to be the best parents we can be, we’re still human and sometimes we’re going to experience parenting by trial and error.
I often ask myself: What are my kids thinking? What’s going through their minds? Am I doing this right? Am I giving them enough…or too much? Am I really teaching them how to live a life in Christ?
In a lot of ways, I find God answering those questions as He is blessing us through the faith that’s growing inside of our daughters’ hearts. There aren’t enough words to describe the feeling of watching my girls getting to know Christ. It’s amazing, but also demands that I keep growing in Him right alongside of them. The Bible tells us, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” (Proverbs 22:6).
My prayer is that my girls will learn, through me as their dad, that sometimes life is tough—however all of the time, God is good and He is our Father in Heaven. I hope that by loving them as best I can here on earth, they’ll also realize the love of their Heavenly Father.
Being a father is the best thing that has ever happened to me. My girls are the greatest gifts in my life—they’re my blessings and our miracles.