I’m a little over a week experienced in the art of fatherhood and am learning many things. I have learned how to swaddle, change diapers, get sprinkled on, constantly smell poop, rock, live off of no sleep, and other great things. I took the week off to be with a recovering mama and an adjusting-to-the-world little boy.

Many times I look for spiritual lessons happening in real life before my eyes. So much so, that I often randomly will interject in a conversation one of my favorite phrases, “You know, that’s a lot like us spiritually…” It’s mainly me being stupid, but it’s still pretty funny in the right context. Well, Obadiah’s poopy diapers as of late really have taught me something spiritually.

Obadiah loves to poop his pants. But he hates to be changed. He hates the cold wipes. I think the only thing he likes about being naked is spraying his dad the moment the diaper comes off. I tried to reason with a week-old baby yesterday. His part of the conversation was screaming and crying. Here was my part:

“Son, I am so sorry you are cold and you don’t like being naked. Just stop crying, this will be over soon. Don’t try to kick me. Don’t try squirm off of the table. I know you are upset with me, but did I poop my pants? Did I leak all over myself repeatedly? No, I didn’t. It was you who did that, you lil’ poop machine. Now, I am trying to help you because I feel sorry for you and I don’t like the smell of baby poop, so don’t fight against me.”

But he continues to fight against me, and continues to hate when I change him, yet he also hates sitting in his own poop.

“You know, that’s a lot like us spiritually…”

We get ourselves into messes. We did it. Nobody else did. Most of our circumstances in our lives are ones that our choices bring upon ourselves. But we cry and fuss, and we turn against the people who can help us. When God reaches down to help, we fight against him. When godly friends come alongside us to help us clean up our problems, we turn against them too.

And yet, did they cause the mess? Did God cause the mess? The answer is no.

Obadiah is already teaching me: when we get in trouble we brought on ourselves, the best thing to do is to admit it and accept any help we can get.

I just hope he gets that soon, cause I’m pretty sure he’s not going to stop messing in his diapers anytime soon. But maybe cleaning it up can get a little bit easier.

Travis Agnew is married to Amanda and the father of two sons and one daughter. He serves as the Senior Pastor of Rocky Creek Baptist Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is What God Has Joined Together.