Ruth Hazel Kern is born! June 1st at 7:26 AM Dorothy gave birth to our beautiful baby girl. The picture below is from today. She is amazing, wonderful, and mysterious. I love her. I’m not going to blog about her. I’m going to blog about my wife: whom is amazing, wonderful and mysterious. I’ve heard the phrase “proud papa” before, I had always assumed that the phrase applied to the new child. For me however the pride is in my wife.

Pride or more specifically “to be proud” is a difficult concept for me. Two very different definitions of proud that I will elaborate on here (from
feeling pleasure or satisfaction over something regarded as highly honorable or creditable to oneself (often fol. by of, an infinitive, or a clause).
having, proceeding from, or showing a high opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, or superiority.

Biblically the word “proud” is never used as a positive. In fact it’s almost always used to describe those upon whom God’s vengeance is due. Pride is the root of most sin. It is the sin I suffered mightily from before conversion. The definition in view here is the second, “opinion in one’s own dignity, importance, or superiority.” When one thinks of oneself as higher then God, we face judgment.

Biblically the closest I’ve found to the first definition of the English word “proud” is the word “pleased” as used in Matthew, Mark, and Luke to describe how God feels about Jesus (from Luke3:22, King James): “And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.” Strong’s defines the word used there for “pleased” (εὐδοκέω in Greek) as “to think well of”. Though I suspect, just from the context, that this English definition might not quite capture the strength of how God feels about Jesus. I think this type of “pleased” is probably a type of righteous pride. It’s proud that wouldn’t be deserving of judgment because it’s really a type of love.

In the 10-15 minutes before the birth of Ruth Hazel when Dorothy was really suffering and starting in her words to “freak out”, she kept saying “I don’t know” over and over. I knew that birth was imminent that one or two big pushes would result in the birth of our daughter. The pain was very intense for Dorothy and I could barely help her because I was starting to cry so much. As our daughter finally broke through and was finally born I wept to the point of almost sobbing. Dorothy looked in amazement the pain already gone (at least temporarily until her doctor began to clean up her birth injuries) and kept saying “Oh my gosh” and then the baby was on her chest she kept saying “Hi honey, oh honey”. I continued to cry so much I could barely see her. Later I realized that feeling that brought the tears was joy, to a degree, but the overriding feeling bringing those tears was pride, the first definition, the εὐδοκέω, for my wife. She had suffered at times mightily for almost 8 hours and already loved our daughter and had forgotten the suffering just moments after the birth.

I can’t recall ever feeling that way about anyone or anything. I certainly have never had εὐδοκέω for anything I have done in my life. Of any of the many “major” graduations I’ve had, getting a first job, buying a first house, I’ve felt thankful and I’ve felt relieved, but never really felt type 1 proud. The closest I’ve probably come (at least to my sleep deprived memory) was when my mother finished her 3 day 60 mile walk at age 50. The crowd, a packed stadium actually, was roaring for all these (mostly) women and I knew how my mom would be feeling down on the field as she entered the stadium and I felt a lesser degree of the εὐδοκέω at that moment for her.

Now over two days out from delivery I’m still somewhat choked up at times with type 1 pride for my wife. Being sleep deprived for 3 straight days helps make me more emotional, for sure. Today I have love for my wife like I haven’t felt ever, because of this amazing sense of pride in her. The picture below I think is tied for or perhaps even the most beautiful picture I have of her, the other being 1-2 amazing pictures of her from our wedding day. Now along with that love and beauty I have in my wife I have the same for my daughter. I now have a real “family”, which is such an amazing feeling. I am the proud papa.

Published in: on June 3, 2010 at 10:34 pm  Leave a Comment