Today, I experienced a moment where I stopped, and said to myself, that is the kind of parent I want to be if God ever blesses me with a child.
I was at the Christmas Eve service at my church when the pastor called up all the kids to the front of the service to have them help the adults remember the verse Philippians 4:4: Rejoice in the Lord always; I say it again, Rejoice! (It worked.)
As all the kids filed onto stage, his little daughter of 3 or 4 also came up on stage, and started running over to her dad with her arms spread. It was a moment that made your heart melt.
The pastor's response, however, was what really hit me. Instead of pretending to be a head hauncho guy at the front of the congregation, he got down on his knees, spread his arms open wide, and told the entire audience that this was his little girl and he welcomed her with a big hug. And then after cuddling her, he asked her for a little kiss, and she came right over and pecked him on the lips. Not only that, but after finding out that no one was on stage to hold her hand, he continued by saying that she could "stay with daddy" while he was preaching!
It was a Jesus/a-ha! moment that touched me so immensely. The pastor did not pretend to be anything he was not - he is both a dad and a pastor, and he's both at the same time, and both are equally important. His daughter knows that her daddy loves her no matter the time or the place, and he's going to love her like no tomorrow whether he's in the middle of a sermon or at home tucking her into bed.
In that moment, the pastor was showing the humility of Christ. He didn't pretend to be someone above the attention of a child, but someone who valued that child above everything.
It was Christmas love, Christ-style. And I can only hope and pray I have the same for my own kids some day.