Those of you who are long-time readers of Preaching may recall the column about four years ago when I wrote about becoming a father for the first time at the age of 41.
Here we go again.
Our second blessed event arrived on April 14, 2000, weighing 9 pounds, 3 ounces (Takes after his Dad from the very start!). Stephen Michael Duduit became the second (and final) son, joining brother James Robert (now age 4) in what is destined to become one of the all-time great tag teams.
Meanwhile, Dad is considering the varied joys of fatherhood at 45:
– I don’t have to worry over issues of retirement for a very long time. Stephen should be entering his sophomore year of college as I turn 65; of course, that same fall James will be returning to Yale Law School for his second term. By the time I turn 82, they should finally be able to support me.
– While my colleagues and friends are harried with plans for European vacations and summer homes in the mountains, I am able to focus on far more sedate plans for trips to Toys R’Us and Chuck E. Cheese.
– Though others my age are busy trying to get their kids moved into the right college, I have the far easier task of getting one into the right preschool and the other into the right diapers.
– There’s never a concern about “what to do.” There’s always another diaper to change. Always. (Note to stockbroker: invest in Pampers.)
– I know every single verse of “The Wheels on the Bus.” And I can harmonize with Barney when he sings, “I love you, You love me…”
– I am prepared to debate Jerry Falwell on the theological implications of the “Teletubbies.” (Jerry missed the point. We shouldn’t avoid this program because Tinky-Winky is gay. We should avoid it because this program is very, very stupid. Don’t watch — trust me on this.)
– Working at a university as I do, I am always prepared — during a heated discussion in the faculty lounge — to sway the debate with a pithy quotation from Bob the Tomato or Larry the Cucumber. (Talking vegetables will shut down an academic debate any day of the week.)
– If I ever get to sit in the hot seat across from Regis, and the million-dollar question involves any children’s fairy tale, you can put the money in the bank. I’m there.
So there you are. At age 45, my life is changing before my eyes. Literally — my perfect eyesight is a lot less perfect than it used to be. (I now purchase reading glasses by the gross at Sam’s Club). I recently discovered I have a pinched nerve in my neck that makes my right arm hurt sometimes, while it keeps my right thumb numb all the time. I suddenly understand why my Dad would always fall asleep when he sat in the recliner.
And at the same time, I am now the proud father of two sons: a four-year-old who loves to eat peanut butter and catch frogs, and a little guy who likes to fill diapers and who celebrated his eight-week birthday yesterday. And I wouldn’t change places with anybody in the world.

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About The Author

Michael Duduit is the founding publisher and editor of Preaching magazine. He is also the founding Dean of the new College of Christian Studies and Professor of Christian Ministry at Anderson University in Anderson, South Carolina. Michael is author and editor of several books, including the Handbook of Contemporary Preaching (Broadman & Holman Press), Joy in Ministry (Baker Books), Preaching With Power (Baker) and Communicate With Power (Baker). From 1996 until 2000 he served as editor of the Abingdon Preaching Annual series. His email newsletter, PreachingNow, is read each week by more than 40,000 pastors and church leaders in the U.S. and around the world. He is founder and director of the National Conference on Preaching and the International Congress on Preaching, which has been held in 1997 at Westminster Chapel in London, 2002 at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and 2007at Cambridge. He has been a pastor and associate pastor, has served a number of churches as interim pastor, and speaks regularly for churches, colleges and conferences.

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