LETTERS TO THE NEW DAD – RAISE A GIANT-KILLER
LETTERS TO THE NEW DAD
Raise a Giant Killer
“So David triumphed over the Philistine
with a sling and a stone.” 1 Sam. 17:50
My Dearest Son,
King David’s father was Jesse. Time after time, when someone refers to him, “Son of Jesse” is David’s identifying factor.
It’s what will be said of your son, too. Max – son of Jess. Max – Jess and Sara’s son. Max – Honey and Pal’s grandson (I just felt the need to add that last one).
Because whose son you are determines your lineage. Your lineage on this earth – and your lineage in eternity.
He is not just anyone’s son – he is yours. Just “anyone” won’t have the influence that a father provides. He is yours – and Sara’s.
A hundred things run through a parent’s mind when they hold their child for the first time. Mine kept repeating, “My son…my son…my son.”
I love your name, Jesse (which you shortened to Jess in 5th grade, I think). Did you know that it means, “The Lord exists”? I love that.
We are a family of nicknames, but “Son” is still my favorite. Because it doesn’t just name you – it identifies you. You are mine, you are ours…we could not be more proud.
I know God understands, He used the term three of the two times He spoke out loud in the New Testament…and both of those times He called Jesus, “His Beloved Son.”
You will understand that term, Beloved, more clearly in December, as you hold your new son.
And because he is yours – he will carry with him those foundational characteristics that you and Sara teach him.
So teach him purposefully.
It’s a funny thing about children – they can pick up our bad habits pretty easily. But it takes a purpose and a plan to impart God to our children.
Without a plan, we get up, go to work, put gas in the car, fight the traffic, try to impress the boss, deal with job pressures, go home tired, and just try to survive until the kids can go to bed and we have a little quiet.
Oh, we love them, mind you – it’s just that life, itself, wears a body down. Days turn into weeks, turn into years, and as a child is receiving his diploma, panic spreads through a parent’s heart and asks, “Did I establish God in this child’s heart strong enough for him to survive life? Did I teach him well enough?” Every parent wishes they had done better.
My heart is so thankful for you and Sara – because I know the two of you will do such a great job of establishing the foundation of God in Max’s life. I know you will pray over him and guide him, teach him and lead him.
But no matter how much we try to protect him, there will be battles Max will have to fight, wars he will have to wage, giants he will have to subdue.
So teach him to be a giant-killer.
Like David, son of Jesse, when he came upon the army of Israel cowering under the taunting of Goliath.
This hulk of a tormentor had everyone hiding behind rocks, hoping he would just go away.
But giants don’t ever just go away. And no one leaves this life without having to face their own.
Teach him to be a giant-killer, because he is going to need to know how to do battle.
Tell Max about David. Tell him how David showed up, an unlikely warrior to everyone but God.
A Giant-Killer, outraged at offenses against God, and ready to fight. Forty days of insults from that huge heathen, against the people of God, were forty too many for David. Someone needed to do something – might as well be him – so he picked up his sling – and some rocks.
When Goliath saw how young David was, he “disdained” him.
It’s what our giants do – they disdain us, they try to discourage us from even attempting battle. They want us to think we could never conquer.
But David – David shows up and tells him this will be his last day to torment the armies of the living God.
Then he ran towards the battle line, fired off a stone and watched the giant fall.
Max Lucado says it best in his book, “Facing Your Giants”:
“David shows up discussing God. David sees what others don’t, and refuses to see what others do. He sees the giant, mind you; he just sees God more so.”
And that is what Max needs to learn as he grows into a man of God. It’s what we all need to learn as we face our giants — to see God more.
More than our Goliath of anxieties – God.
More than gigantic family troubles – God.
More than the enormity of our moral failings or desires – God.
More than our thoughts, more than our habits, more than our pasts – God.
So teach Max to be brave – and powerful – and courageous. And adventurous – let him develop his keen sense of venturing out. (At this point, I know you can’t believe that the same woman who yelled at 12 year old you, in front of your friends, because you crossed Edmond Road, is telling you to let your son be adventurous. Duly noted…I’m sorry about that – I can only plead fear, panic, and perhaps a touch of craziness.)
Max will be a man one day and being a man takes fortitude and integrity, strength and a strong sense of purpose.
I know you will do such a great job of developing his character.
When he hears you pray over him – he will learn about your heart for him.
When he sees you and Sara read the Word together, and to him, he will understand there is a Father, even more wonderful than you, who loves him greatly.
When he observes your honesty in personal and business affairs – he will learn the value of truth.
When he watches his parents trust God in all things – he will learn God is trustworthy.
Then, when he is called into battle, he will be more than an overcomer – he will be a giant slayer.
They recognize the enemy’s schemes and they don’t back down when he comes calling.
They are prepared for battle long before battle is on the horizon.
They recognize Who their strength comes from.
They see their giants – they just choose to see God more.
So I pray these things over you, MY beloved Son:
I pray the Lord shines His pleasure over you, as you and Sara instill Him in Max’s life.
I pray that His wisdom leads you, and guides you, in the everyday opportunities a father has to teach his son. I pray that, as God grows Max into a strong, courageous man, you are blessed as well, by His faithfulness to you.
I pray awe for you – because God reveals Himself in the faces of our children.
May His hand in your life become the treasure of your heart. May His delight in you be made known as you change tiny diapers, or help a toddler walk, or teach a teenager how to drive.
May you grow in wisdom and stature as you guide your son in his growth in wisdom and stature. As always, may you and Sara continue to be drawn together in Christ as the years march on.
May your heart be always drawn to Truth.
And may you live in blessing as a much Beloved Son of the Maker who had the Divine creativity to form you.
We could never thank Him enough for the privilege of being your parents.
With Much Love,