Our first pregnancy was particularly difficult. My wife’s nausea persisted right into the second trimester. A heavy traveling schedule caused many unpleasant episodes where it was hard for Judy to hold down her food. All of these factors made her lose weight, causing us, as first-time parents, to worry.
The weeks of famine were followed by weeks of abundant and very specific cravings. For example, whenever my wife craved cake, it had to be birthday cake—whatever that meant. As the pregnancy progressed, life began to change. One of the obvious changes was her limited mobility. Another was the onset of fatigue, especially after working long days as a teacher. By the final trimester, the baby pushed against her bladder, requiring more frequent trips to the restroom.
Adjusting to these changes was as comical as it was stressful. I had to make trips to the bakery with the request to write “Happy Birthday” on the random cakes. Often I would purchase items in abundance that I thought were close enough to her cravings, only to discover that my assumptions were miles short of the actual standard. This usually resulted in my having to eat specialized craving snacks rejected by my wife’s strictly adjusted pallet. I must admit that there were moments when I even felt sorry for myself. I wondered whether other dads-to-be had it as bad as I did.
Perhaps the apex of our experience came late one evening when Judy woke up very thirsty. Maybe I was more tired than usual. In my weary stupor, I asked her (several times) if she was sure that she was, in fact, experiencing thirst. Perhaps it was the illusion of thirst? Maybe she was experiencing a thirst for sleep? She assured me that she was pretty certain that she was, in fact, thirsty for water.
Once her condition was determined, we began to discuss treatment. If she drank the water, she would soon be dealing with the side effects—namely, having to get up to use the bathroom later. She seemed willing to take the risk. As the conversation went back and forth, there were moments when she was at the point of getting out of bed to get her own glass of water. Too smart to let this happen, I pleaded with her to stay in bed and talk this thing out like reasonable human beings.
Finally, something happened! I realized that it would take less time for me to grant my wife’s request and go back to sleep than it would for me to try to convince her that she did not want to drink water even though she was very thirsty. I quickly jumped out of bed, ran to the kitchen, got her a glass of water, and delivered it into her hands.
However, I didn’t easily go to sleep. I realized something profoundly sad and true: what I would not do out of love for my wife, I was more than willing to do out of love for sleep.
Luke says that we are evil, yet we know how to do good things for our children (Luke 11:13 , KJV). Sometimes, we will do good things for others even though our motivations are the opposite. We understand that what we will not do out of love for others we will surely do out of love for ourselves.
But when it comes to a God who is good, we question whether He is willing to help us on our journey through life with Him. He asks one of the most profound questions in all of Scripture: “How much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” (Luke 11:13). The Holy Spirit is the universal gift—whatever we need, He can provide. He gives guidance, comfort, direction, power, and anything else we need. God says, at least give Me, a good God, the same level of confidence that you, an evil parent, place in yourself.
If we just did that—we would be OK.