My son Daniel and I had a good conversation the other day.  I wouldn’t say that he and I have a picture perfect relationship, nor would I dare to say I’m even a good father, but he and I do a good job as father and son.  One of the things I cherish is that he can talk to me about anything, and so our conversations range from questions about girls to aliens, and video games to death to my past.

He was trying to figure out his place in my life, especially if I re-marry.  The answer was a simple one: “Daniel, what makes you my son?”

Okay, I thought it was simple; he didn’t think it was so obvious.

“Well,” I asked, “Is it your government issued birth certificate?  Does that piece of paper from the county make you my son?”


“Is it because we live in the same house?  Is that what makes you my boy?”


“Then what do you think it is?  What makes me your father, and you my son?”

He thought for a few moments . . . “Our relationship?”

Parent-child relationships, just like so many other relationships in life, existed long before the county registrar.  Government approval on a stamped certificate doesn’t create parents.  Good parents aren’t made by giving birth or contributing DNA.  Just because two people live in the same house doesn’t make them anything but roommates. It’s about the relationship.

But as many as received Jesus, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God  (John 1:12-13).


One thought on “Relationship

  1. Your remarks on your role as father are very humble, and the inclusion of your son’s role is an affirmation of the parent-child relationship. Many parents cannot bear to admit to imperfection (in themselves or the child), because their ego is so involved in their self-image as parent. They think the child is an extension of themselves, and not a separate human being with whom they have a relationship and who contributes to that relationship.

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