Each week we feature a new dad from our community, in a segment called #FeaturedFatherFriday
Tell us about yourself
I'm Zac - I just turned 29 and I will be married to my beautiful high school sweetheart, Kaitlin, for five years. We have an amazing three-year-old daughter, Lucy, and a crazy puppy, Phoebe. I work at a church in Texas as the Communication Director. I love each day communicating, with art and creativity, the message that will help people and places encounter Jesus. I believe that, as God's image-bearers, we are able to re-create, with beauty and skill, creation as it is being restored back to its original glory.
What has been your most memorable #Dadtired moment?
The other day, my wife was hosting a playdate for our daughter Lucy and her friend Lani. Kaitlin was in the other room when she over heard a conversation between the girls. Lani approached Lucy in her cute toddler fashion and said, “My mama’s name is Beth. What’s your mama’s name?” And without skipping a beat, Lucy responded, “Han Solo!” Kaitlin was a little taken aback but thought it was pretty funny. The best part of the story is that little did Kaitlin know, I had been training Lucy every night to identify the different Star Wars characters of the original trilogy (the only Star Wars that exists in our home) - and every time we get to the crew of the Millennium Falcon, she refers to Han Solo as “Dada” and Chewbacca as “Mama.” Obviously there was a little mix-up in Lucy’s conversation but I could not have been more proud of her answer
Best parenting advice you've ever received?
As new parents, we often beat ourselves up on the "how-to" of our parenting without enough emphasis on the "why" we are parenting. Our goal in parenting should be the same goal in everything that we do - to glorify God and enjoy him forever. Pastor JR Vassar said it like this in regard to parenting, “What your kids need is a parent who knows God in intimacy. God will make you into the kind of parent your kids need if you cultivate your relationship with him."
Where do you currently feel you need to grow as a husband, father or man? How do you plan on growing in that area?
What is it with a toddler’s ability to pull out crazy deep-seated issues that have been buried inside you for decades and then rear their ugly head on the most innocent, unlikely victim? I have anger inside my heart. Nothing and no one has ever challenged this in me until along came my now three-year-old daughter. This girl is the most tender, gentle, and kind child I have ever encountered. I’m pretty sure her first words were, “Dada, you ok? At the age of two she would offer me her cookie before she took a bite. But bedtime is her kryptonite... she refuses to sleep. And after I finally get her down she wakes up two hours later screaming for dada, night after night. My daughter is identifying the idols I love more than Jesus - sleep, comfort, and control to name a few. Sleep is a necessity. It is a helpful and good gift from God. It is good until you love it too much. Disordered love destroys relationships - mainly our relationship with Jesus and then trickles down to our earthly relationships. My response to my daughter at 2am is rarely a good example of godly love, gentleness, and compassion. It is a self-preserving defense on anything trying to steal my comfort. Thanks be to God that he does not leave us to our own deadly vices like anger, but reveals our sin to us in order that we might receive grace, repent, and pursue the fullness of joy found in a meek and righteous spirit. How do I work on this in my life? I think Augustine was onto something in his book - City of God. “But if the Creator is truly loved, that is, if He Himself is loved and not another thing in His stead, He cannot be evilly loved… So that it seems to me that it is a brief but true definition of virtue to say, it is the order of love; and on this account, in the Canticles, the bride of Christ, the city of God, sings, ‘Order love within me.’” Matthew 22:36-40 says, “‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?’ And he said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.’” I pray that as fathers we love God most, then love our family out of our love of God.