Charlie is lead pastor at River Rock bible Church in Georgetown. He and his wife, Amanda, have been blessed with four earthly children and one heavenly child. They could teach a graduate course in great parenting.
What is the most fun thing about triplets?
Wrestling. I love wrestling all four at the same time. They climb on and I say, “Okay, you got me!” then I peel them off. But I don’t let them win; they have to earn it.
Do you have a Bible ‘favorite’ for Dads?
In the Gospels, after Jesus is baptized, a voice from heaven says, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” It is a beautiful reminder to all dads that even Jesus was blessed by hearing His father say, “I love you, I’m proud of you.” Every day, I try to say that to my children and tell them something they are good at. It is a blessing to let them hear you say that.
Do you have any Father’s day traditions?
I would love to go hunting, but nothing is in season in June so I don’t want the game warden after me. I love doing and sharing things with my kids that we all love; things I want to pass along to them, like hunting, fishing, grilling, and working with tools. Anything we can do together is special to me and I love that they want to help and learn how to do all those things. And, if there’s a baseball game on, that’s the cherry on top.
The rest of the year we schedule Daddy-Dude and Daddy-Daughter dates. Each child has special time with mom and dad, so they always feel like they have a special connection with us, beyond being part of a group of kids. Anything from overnight hunting trips to waffles or ice cream; as long as it is special and individual.
We also each keep an Honor List. Every family member has a notebook and on special occasions we take turns writing in each other’s books something we love about them. We go around the table and share those things. The great thing is when I, or anyone, has a rough day, we can pull out those books and read what the people who care about us most say about us. And occasionally I ask them to stand around me and sing “Good Good Father” but that hasn’t really taken off (and…I’m kidding).
What surprised you most about fatherhood?
The realization of the responsibility. The sense of the limited amount of time we have, and we want to send them out of the house as adults, not simply on their journey to becoming one. Their faith will be their own and we have a finite amount of time to instill all the things they will need. I have an app that counts the weeks and days before they graduate college. I pull up those numbers and am reminded of the short time I have to give them all the goodness we hope they will take with them. Seeing it makes me realize how quickly those hours come off the clock.
What is the best advice you got from your dad?
Make time for your wife; love and serve her well. Your kids are watching the way you treat your wife and someday your boys will grow up to treat their wife that way. Your daughters will learn from you how they expect to be treated. Ephesians 5 explains how to serve the women in their lives when they grow up. The gift is to love their mom and make sure they grow up in a household where we are loving each other.