Our son and his beautiful bride-to-be are getting married in less than two weeks. I’m excited and am thinking of little else, thus the reason for this blog. (I couldn’t seem to focus on any other subject matter.)
As Christian parents, we do all we can to raise our children to be productive, responsible, God-loving adults. And then, suddenly, they are all grown up. Those of you who have already been there know exactly what I’m talking about. It is shocking how fast it happens.
In the last few days, memories of our 21-year-old son’s toddler moments have been emotionally present, pressing, and piercing. He once asked from his stroller while on an afternoon walk, “Momma, why does that church look like a castle?” My rather long and detailed explanation included something about it being a Catholic church. Not long after, I realized he was calling the many churches in South Louisiana he considered to have castle-like features, “Casolic.”
Another favorite pronunciation was “reshinaut,” his word for restaurant. I didn’t bother correcting him because, well, it was just so ridiculously cute.
I remember the Easter morning we woke him up to hunt plastic eggs scattered throughout the yard. “Wait a minute – I have to get my hunt’n clothes on,” he said in his four-year-old voice. What a surprise it was when he emerged from his bedroom in head-to-toe camo!
That same little boy is about to stand in front of us as a man and commit his life and devotion to the young lady he clearly loves and treasures. Am I supposed to cry? What? I’m already crying! Not because I’m sad. I’m crying because I’m a mom. I’m crying because I’m so very proud of this young man who has already learned so much about life. And some of what he has learned has been through challenging and grievous circumstances.
As I struggled to decide on a blogging topic of interest that relates directly to the mission of American Family Association, I realized the personal things I’ve been thinking about most are really what it’s all about. When the family and the church as a whole surrender fully to Christ and live according to His Word, moral foundations are strengthened and the Gospel of Jesus Christ spreads like wildfire. But when we reject the foundational family as God designed it, we find ourselves in a disastrous moral quandary, separate from His blessing. After creating man (and woman) in His own image, Scripture says, “God blessed them; and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it … ’” (Genesis 1:28, NASB).
Paraphrasing Ephesians 6:4 and Deuteronomy 11:18-19, we are to raise our children in the instruction and discipline of the Lord, to ever impress God’s words on their hearts and souls; to teach them while walking along the road, when lying down, and when rising up.
We are not even close to perfection when it comes to parenting. But we do know Who to go to for help. We know Who loves our children even more than we do. We are hopeless without the wisdom of God. We know that the origin of wisdom is found in the fear of the Lord – the giver of wisdom, understanding, and life itself.
While struggles and uncertainty are real and present in our lives, we can be assured that God delights in providing the wisdom we so desperately need as parents:
“But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5, NASB).
I am profoundly grateful that God has been and will continue to be faithful. He will continue to be true to His Word. He cannot deny His character. According to Isaiah 55:9, as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are His ways than ours, and so are His thoughts than ours.
Beyond the wedding day, a lifetime of marriage filled with joys and challenges awaits our son and his bride. And back at home, we are still depending on this faithful God to be our refuge and strength, our very present help as we continue to parent and navigate the path set before us.
Our dear son, we are looking forward to watching your life with your beloved explode with more and more of Christ’s love and purpose. We are already loving our new daughter, and grandma (that’s me) is definitely looking forward to loving your children. Actually I have been for a while now. I know. I’m getting ahead of myself. Forgive me.
Our prayer for you, our son and your bride, is dependence upon and surrender to the Living God.
“[May] the Lord bless you, and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine on you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance on you,
And give you peace” (Numbers 6:24-26).