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GETTING "REAL" ABOUT PARENTING

Chris Williams

September 05, 2012


“You’re not my real Dad!”

Those were the words I feared most.

 As a recent widower with two sons, who was considering marrying a widow named Mikkel with two children of her own, I wondered if I was up to all the potential challenges of blending two families together. Her daughter Arli was just two years old, and Parker was only four, and I was told that they would probably think of me as their dad from day one. But I had a six year old son and a fourteen year old son, both with plenty of memories of how things “used to be” before they were so quickly and dramatically altered with the sudden passing of their mother.

I probably picked that phrase up from a movie where some child lashed out at a stepparent in frustration, but my fear of the phrase developed on its own as I considered the difficulties Mikkel and I might face. So I began praying and pondering what I could do at the beginning of the marriage to make the transition as smooth as possible. And hopefully avoid the dreaded words.

One day I was struck by the thought that I should change one word in the statement and then ponder the new meaning.

“You’re not my only Dad.”

My perspective was widened as I considered that I was just one of many fathers that my children have, and I began to make a list. First they have their Heavenly Father. He knows them perfectly and has been their father much longer than I have.

Parker and Arli have Rusty, their father who succumbed to cancer, and my sons have their mother, Michelle, who is also in Heaven. I believe these parents are as interested and involved in their lives as they possibly can be.

When we’re baptized we become children of Jesus Christ, and he becomes yet another father for us.

As I further considered the grandparents and great-grandparents, and great-great-grandparents that would be equally interested in their children, I realized that I had a lot of help available to me.

I decided to share this perspective with my children right after the wedding, telling each of them individually how blessed they are to have not one, but many parents. We talked about each one and the different roles that they play in their lives. Together, all of these parents act together to love them, guide them and bless their lives.

And when I’m not sure what to do or how to do it, especially when some type of correction is necessary, I confidently consult with their Heavenly Father, knowing he will have the answer. I go to my children and tell them that “all of the fathers are united” in what I’m asking them to do.

The words I feared and worried about ended up teaching me a powerful lesson. I am not their only father. What a relief it is to know that I’m never alone in my parenting. None of us are, really. We are always surrounded by help.




Chris Williams is currently a presenter on the TOFW 2012 Tour where he shares his story of loss, forgiveness, and healing. His book, Let It Go, was released this summer and is the TOFW SEPTEMBER BOOK OF THE MONTH. See the BOOK CLUB page for a 25% discount.

You can also watch more about Chris Williams thru his interview with Glenn Beck 








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