I pray for my boys just about every night. I do it not because I am a minister and not because I think myself especially pious, but because I am pretty hard on myself when it comes to fatherhood. I worry that I don’t love them enough, that I won’t sacrifice enough for them , and that I truly have very little knowledge as to how to prepare them for the world. Heck, I don’t even know if I am preparing them for a wonderful world created by god and full of things that leave me in wonder and awe or a world of drugs and violence and general meanness. Seriously, if I prepare them for the latter won’t that be the world they find?
This week has been a weird one when it comes to kids. On Sunday and Monday Thomas (the 2 year old) wore a necklace he made in Sunday school that said “Jesus loves Thomas” and he walked around saying “Jesus love Thomas, Jesus love Oliver, Jesus love mommy, Jesus love papa,” which I thought was pretty cute. I was so happy when Oliver yes Thomas that’s true and he loves grandma and grandpa…
Then came Tuesday. Oliver was hyper and it was 6:15 in the morning. We had a rough morning and Mary and I both struggled to be the sort of parents I pray we would be. Then we asked Oliver if he wanted to come with us to do something and he said “no, no because I don’t think you guys like me.”
I can’t speak for Mary, but my heart broke, I felt like the first time I held him and thought, o man this is big can I do this right? Can I love him right?
We had a good conversation and he understood that we both like and love him; we just have a hard time with some behaviors, especially before 7 a.m.
So I return to prayer. I thank God for my kids, I thank God for revealing himself to them and that when we are weak and when our kids are struggling with earthly relationships they can return to God and know they are loved.
I am grateful that being in a church helps me be comfortable with sin. I know that is about the least popular word in North America, but confessing sins it allows me to talk to my kids, to tell them I’m not perfect, and to use such moments to teach them about God who is.
Hey, Chris! RJ and I also raised two boys (3 years apart)…we often felt inadequate as our true human selves were so visible to our boys! yup, there was no hiding from them our frustrations, our tempers, our moments of anger and so on! yet, some of our best times were when those little eyes saw us as as imperfect as we truly were, yet seeking to love them fully and seeking to please Jesus. We had some pretty sweet times growing up together with them!
I came back to the Lord in my early 30s, and had developed a bad habit of swearing in traffic. With two little guys in the back seat, I felt convicted to pray about it, and took the risk of praying about it with them! Sure enough, someone cut me off in traffic soon after that… I wasn’t sure what came out of my mouth, but suddenly there were 2 little gigglers behind me in the car. Embarassed, I asked the boys what I said, and they replied, “Mom, you said that poor woman must really be in a rush to drive in front of you like that!”
Mark one for the Holy Spirit at work!
have a terrific day with those 2 great little guys of yours!