Transparent moment—I did not always do the best job of covering my wife. Early in our marriage, I was often guilty of being selfish.

Our first of four childbirths had contentious moments. From the whistle I jokingly wore on our first trip to the hospital while she was in labor, to me telling her in the midst of her frustration that if we didn’t have the baby that night, she could decide if she’d go into work the next day—I’m not proud of the way I handled some of the challenges.

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So immature. So selfish. I did not know how to cover her.

Over time and after many mistakes, I’ve learned and continue to learn how to cover my wife. How to protect her. How to honor her.

Sure, there have been bumps on the road. But one of the most valuable principles I’ve learned is how to get up. I’ve learned that failure isn’t final.

Thankfully, my wife and I were figuring out how to give each other room to grow. Forgiveness played a big role in us getting from where we were to where we are. We’re not a finished product—we’re simply a little further on our journey.

Thank God for redemption. Childbirths two and three were completely different. I found the joy in covering my wife. And this moment—our fourth childbirth and second home birth—was another opportunity for me to cover her.

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Another opportunity for my wife to know that she was safe in my arms.

My prayer is that my boys will see my example. And when their time comes, they will know how to cover their wives.

If I didn’t do it yesterday, I vow to start today.

I’ll do my best.

I’ll be the husband that my boys need me to be. I’ll be the husband that my boys need to see.

This post originally appeared on the author’s Facebook page.

Paul Henderson

Paul A. Henderson is a sports chaplain, author, and motivational speaker. He is a former track and field athlete at Virginia Commonwealth University. Paul blogs at Fatherhood on the Fly, where his slogan is, “We’re learning, we’re growing, and we’re getting better one day at a time.” He uses a combination of encouragement and humor from daily experiences with his boys to inspire dads from different backgrounds to embrace the journey of fatherhood and all that comes with it. Slave No More: Conquering the Master Within, Paul’s first book, will be released later in 2021. Paul is married to Kierra, and they have four sons, PJ, Joey, David, and Noah.