LETTERS TO THE NEW DAD
Raise a Man of God
Who Will Raise a Man of God
“A baby is born with the desire to be loved…and never outgrows it.”
To My Dear Son, who is getting ready to welcome his firstborn son tomorrow!
First, thank you for being so kind as to let me write and share my heart. I felt so compelled by the Lord, not because I parented so well, but because I failed so miserably at it at times. So, thank you for loving me, even through the days…weeks…years of failing to be wise. Rest assured – I have never failed to love you.
Secondly – I’m so excited I can barely sleep. It reminds me of how excited I was before you were born – you were three weeks late (AAAAA!!!) – so I had a lot of time to finish getting ready.
But, we are never really ready for our children, are we?
We do what we can to prepare…but, we are never truly ready for all that is involved in raising a child entrusted into our care by God.
Because you can’t be ready ahead of time, for the growing of your faith. And babies grow your faith – because you realize how inadequate you are on your own.
And that is exactly how it is meant to be – because parenting isn’t about being prepared – it’s about being surrendered – not to the child, but to the One who placed him in your arms.
Because a parent is a steward chosen by God. You and Sara – you are the caretakers God has chosen for Max. You are the tools God will use to begin implementing His plan for Max’s life.
My struggle, when you and Jennah were growing up, was in trying to decipher what was MY plan, and what was GOD’S plan. I tended to get in His way a lot – Sorry for that. It might happen to you, as well – I’m just sayin.
Max is a gift from God, I know you know that. He’s a chance to catch a glimpse of God’s image in a smile… a chance to hear His voice in a cooing sound. He came from God – he belongs to God.
You were our gift of joy. You brought mischief, laughter, an inquisitive mind, and a sharp wit.
At 11 months, you quietly shook your crib so long that you didn’t just make it fall apart – you stripped the screws and the holes – there was no putting that bed back together.
When you were two, in five minutes time, you emptied the trash cans out on the kitchen floor, undid all the folded laundry, and while I was busy trying to pick up laundry and trash – you climbed onto my dresser and drank a small bottle of perfume that dad had just given me for our anniversary – $160 an ounce!
At four — well—we will just refer to the aforementioned “Fire” story.
Six brought the engineer out in you, and nothing with a motor was safe from your disassembling of it, to see how it worked.
At eight, your terrible cold and flu convinced you that you would not make it to morning. You yelled instructions down the hallway, that night, to make sure we buried you with your baseball uniform on, and your ball glove on your hand. (It’s also the cold that coined my nickname – you were so stopped up, every time you called, “Mom,” it came out “Bob”).
You jumped off 2nd story decks onto trampolines (without our knowledge) – remember that when Max pushes the outer limits of every boundary you set.
Teach Max that God is his strength
Teach him that sometimes you just have carry a ring bearer pillow in a wedding and wear a tux – it’s the hazards of being cute.
Teach Max that sometimes it will seem like he has the weight of the world on his shoulders – but you will always be there to help him.
Teach him to shave – and mow the lawn…
So, my son, as you wait out these last few hours with Sara, know that I pray over you, as parenthood makes its entrance into your heart.
I pray, that through your words and actions, Max learns the importance of being a man of God.
I pray that he will be convinced of his father’s – and his Father’s – love.
I pray he will grow grounded in Truth and Grace, able to stand strong in the battlefields of his life, quick to apologize, quicker still to forgive.
I pray you teach him how to honor not just God and you, but also himself, because a child who honors himself in Christ, will make wiser choices than a child with a bad self image.
I pray your love for Sara, and the way that you love her (because you do it well!), will implant into Max’s mind, the example of how he should treat his own wife, one day. I am glad he will hear you as you praise her in private and public – teach him to rise up and call her blessed.
I pray he learns well from you, those lessons that will help him be a man and a leader for his generation. Things like character in the work place, integrity in his daily life, and commitment in his relationships – God as his foundation.
Teach him the importance of learning how to say good-bye – it is a necessary life skill. God leads us to – and through – countless good-byes in our lives. In schooling, in relationships, in careers, in pets or loved ones – seasons come and go.
We must learn to graciously move – in faith – through “good-byes” – so that we can enjoy the “hellos” that God has for us.
I pray for wisdom for you and Sara as you both show Max, through your own generous lives, the importance of giving God what is His – and not just money.
I pray Max will have a heart to serve – and, that he is able to work by your side, as you meet your dream of digging water wells in Africa. But not for a long time because my heart couldn’t take it!
I pray that, as Max’s tiny fingers close around your finger for the first time, you will remember it for the rest of your life. Never let go. He is counting on you never letting go. It’s the only way he will grow into the man of God that God intends him to be. And he, in turn, will most likely raise a son to be a man of God -and generations are established.
I end my prayer, with the most heartfelt of thanks, that the Lord has allowed me to be your mother. That I have had the privilege of loving and nurturing you, that He has kept His hand on you, and that He has blessed you with a wife whose worth is far above jewels.
I praise Him for the beautiful work He did in creating you – for your kind heart – your sensitive soul – your strength of character – your sense of humor – your incredible mind – your amazing business sense – and your heart to bring water to the thirsty.
With great love and almost unbearable anticipation for the miracles tomorrow will bring,