On Mother’s Day this year, we celebrated with our family as we before our church family dedicated Grafton to the Lord, to raising Him in the fear and trust and admonition of our Great Savior.
What a task, and undertaking, a stewardship this is – parenting. Intentional, gracious, gospel-grounded, family and faith-family involved, new life giving parenting is a weighty task indeed.
And it is one, I am learning, that is worked out in hope. I pray and correct, nourish and clothe, remind and teach Leland and Grafton in hope. In hope that the Lord will preserve their lives through one more night’s sleep. In hope that the Lord will preserve their lives for the next stage of life – I always think of this when I purchase clothes for the next season, the next size; when I pack away Leland’s clothes for Grafton. I do all of this work in hope – that the child will still be alive. This weighty hope excites and sobers me. And in the great hope that the Lord will preserve their lives for eternity, that He will save them. As I correct and admonish, discipline and remind my little-men, I strive in hope. I hope and pray and pray some more that both of my sons will be saved, and soon, Lord, and fully, Lord, I pray, that all of their days they may enjoy Life, and life to the full. This is my prayer.
I am learning that praying without ceasing and parenting are intertwined disciplines. Like Miller wrote in his book, The Praying Life, my best work as a parent is done while praying. I pray silently, out loud, feverishly, and purposefully. I pray for grace for me, for a new heart, for the Holy Spirit to fill me with the fruit and character of the Spirit to parent as I ought. I ask forgiveness, praise Him for a new start, and continue in it.
I pray that Leland will listen and obey, the first time, and happily. I pray when discipline is administered that he will have a learning spirit, that he will come under, that he will grow up in it, roots deep in the soil of the rich Word of God. I pray with all earnestness that all of this day-in and day-out will pile up into a pathway to Jesus, in a future for him following the Way.
I pray the Lord will fortify me, strengthen me, dump Grace into me flowing out onto my boys, so that they will be strong men of the Lord, marching soldiers of the Gospel into all of the world, only fearing His name. only living for His glory.
In hope… Lord, one day, certainty, in prayer unceasing, in faith (please, Lord, someday sight), and in love enriching and eternal . everlasting . forever and ever always… (O God that we will together all of us enjoy eternity, with time not creeping up and ending, with temperaments peace and righteousness, with the dynamic Life in us, with Light always, with naps as only a luxury and not a necessity…)
Praise God from whom all blessings flow