When my now-wife and I were dating, I didn’t think it was possible to love her any more than I did. Then once we got married I found that my love for her grew every day, and still does to this day. What I didn’t know was that there was an even purer and more powerful love I had yet to discover.
Then my first child was born. When I held him in my arms in the hospital room, it was like an instant wave of emotion. I thought it was a miracle that my wife and I had created life, and that I was responsible for his survival in the world, that he depended on me to live.
It was a powerful experience of love: like a thick chain that nothing could ever break, no matter what he did to me. Basically, when he came into the world, I didn’t know you could love someone that much. I’ve since come to think having a child can bring out the most powerful love there is.
When I think of the love I have for my wife, I think of an unconditional love that companions in marriage have for each other. My love for my kids is also unconditional: I would do anything for my children no matter what it cost me, whether it’s my life, my money, or my sanity. My kids are my number one concern. I want to make sure they have what they need to be happy and healthy. No matter what my children do in life, my love for them will never change. Even if my child did something terrible, like became a coke addict and stole money from me, my love for him would not change.
But I’ve also found that while of course I love my wife, there’s something about my love for my children that is different.
There’s the difference in the way our love developed. With Tonya and me, it was a love that developed over time. We came to know our likes and dislikes, and as we got to know each other better, our love for each other grew. But with my first child, it was an instant love that was extremely powerful. Almost immediately I recognized what my mom and dad had always told me: “I know more about you than you do.”
When I look into my kids eyes I see innocence and pure, honest love. I know that my children depend on me for everything and that they think of me like a superhero who knows how to solve their every problem.
Knowing that drives me to accomplish more for my family and my wife, whether it’s a boring job, or going to a chick flick that I don’t want to see but my wife does. My love for my children inspires me to be a better person overall: a better husband, a better worker, a better father.
For instance, at my current job, I was recently asked if I’d want to learn how to drive a forklift. I’d been offered forklift training at other jobs, but I always said “no” because I was afraid I’d mess something up. But when I thought about it this time, I thought, “Why not? It’d add a job skill to my resume.” And, I figured, I’d never know if I never tried. And if I’m gonna tell my kids not to be afraid of taking risks and trying new things, then I can’t be afraid of taking risks myself.
If you’re dating or single and looking to date, you’re in for a treat when you find true love and you get married and experience the highest level possible—and then you have children and that love multiplies by a million. The love that a married couple shares can spill over into even more powerful experiences of love through the children you have together. And that powerful love that you can experience for your children can inspire you to become an even better husband or wife, and a better person overall.
Everyone is searching for the true meaning of life. Well, I think I found mine: it’s being a father. I get to raise my children and teach them to be level-headed, good, and honest adults. For me, it doesn’t get much better than that.