"Praying for my boys has changed as they have gotten older. Watching their personalities, talents, and spiritual gifts emerge provides the opportunity to pray specifically for the men they are becoming. My mama heart used to pray, 'God, help me be the kind of mom they need,' but as they have moved in the tween/teen years that prayer has changed. 'God, help them become the men you created them to be' is what I utter now. That man may not always be what I pictured in my mind when they were toddling around and getting into everything. None of my three boys are anything alike and none of them are what I pictured they would be when they were still small enough to sit on my lap or welcome my kisses. And that is okay. Proverbs 22:6 reminds us to 'train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it' (Amplified Bible). Prayer for our sons must be individual to that child and sensitive to the one-of-a-kind man God has designed each of them to be. Whether my boys grow up to be doctors, pastors, or drive a milk truck, as long as they are living their lives for God's glory, my mama heart should be pleased and satisfied. All three of them are uniquely and wonderfully created. Praying for God to shape their hearts, trusting the master Potter that He is has allowed me to relinquish control of the outcome and cherish my role in the process of learning who they will become. As they grow, up and away - as is God's plan - my heart's cry to Him is that they will lead lives pleasing to their Creator."Oh, dear ones - this is so easy for us to over-look...so easy to gaze into our sons' lives and project our own pride, our own plans. Have you ever struggled with this? Our Lion Cub is only 5.5 months old, but there are moments I catch myself saying, "When he is older we're going to teach him how to play guitar, drums, piano - every instrument will be at his fingertips. And then, we're going to take him to concerts - expose him to all kinds of music and genres. We're going to find song-writing workshops for him. Oh, and maybe we'll have him play with us in Chasing-Eden when he is older. And then...and then...and then..." Oh, boy. Now, I don't believe there is anything wrong with dreaming about the kinds of men our warriors are becoming, but I do thing it's wrong when we place ourselves between God's plans and our son's vision of those plans. I NEVER want to be a block in my Cub's life - good heavens, what if God made him to be a mathematician (heaven help him, because we sure can't) or a garbage truck driver? If I don't get out of the way there is sure to be heartache down the road...heartache as he struggles to find the real path God has laid out for him...heartache as our relationship become strained because I refuse to bend my will to God's...heartache.
Our job is to give our sons wings - yes, to train and teach - but to train and teach them for what? To accomplish our goals for their lives, to make decisions that we think are best for them? No - we are to train and teach them to know the Shepherd's voice, to listen for His leading in their life and follow it. I pray daily that God would guard me from the desire to "over-direct" my son's life. I'm constantly reminded of the story of Hannah in the Bible - she prayed, begged God for a son, promising Him that if He granted her this desire of her heart, she would give the little warrior back to Him. And she followed through. She took that small boy, Samuel, and placed him in the care of the priest, Eli - she gave him back to God. How many of us would truly be willing to do that - to sacrifice our desires and plans for His? Oh, I hope and pray that I would be strong enough for that.
So, today - give your sons wings...lay down your pride to God's care and train them to listen to Him. Brooke says it best..."Sometimes we have to let go of our dreams for our sons, and deliberately choose to pick up God's dreams for them instead."
:: Assignment for Today ::
- Reading: None
- Prayers: Pride
- Comment: What verse from today's prayers speaks most to your/your son's struggle with pride? What kinds of dreams do you have to "lay down" in exchange for His plans for your warriors?
- Bonus: Take a moment to listen to this song and offer as a prayer to the holder of every piece of our lives...