It's midnight. I should be sleeping, but my heart is so troubled tonight. I keep thinking about you, son. I keep worrying about guiding you and helping you become the great man that I hope you will be. I think about the disparities you will see in your family life. I think about the influences, both good and bad, that you will have to sift through. I worry that generational sins will cling to you like stale smoke no matter how hard I pray for them to lift.
I look at you right now and all I see is a sweet little toddler who's eyes light up when I walk into a room. I see a little boy who could change the world. A little boy who's heart I will fight for to the death. Who I will pray for with the tenacity of a warrior in the throws of battle. I look at you and I see someone better than the example set for you right now. I see someone not fettered by the brokenness and insecurities of an uncertain childhood.
My mind is racing, and I'm having a hard time forming coherent thoughts. Everything rises up and out of me in the form of a prayer. Fast and jumbled and probably nonsensical. But we'll go with it, baby. We'll just embrace the chaos and I'll lift up a most earnest prayer for you.
My babe, I pray that you grow into a man after your Heavenly Father's own heart. A man overflowing in mercy and kindness and justice and strength. I pray that you are selfless and true. That righteousness flows from the over abundance of love for your Father in Heaven and permeates every single fiber of your being. I pray that you are upright and brave. That you have the courage to fight for the broken and weary and oppressed. That you see past the earthly garbage and into the hearts of others, and always stand for those who cannot stand for themselves. I pray that you forsake the inherent privileges you are born with and try to see life through the eyes of others not born with your gender, skin color, economic standing, etc etc. Jesus hung out with the sinners and tax collectors and prostitutes. He loved the unlovable. I pray you do too.
I pray that God gives me the strength to love you well. To show you what unconditional love looks like. What selfless love looks like. What love means- the real definition. Not this shallow garbage our society glorifies. That's nothing but selfishness and self-serving interest packaged in a deceiving little bow. Love is hard. It's a battle. It's a choice. It's a long suffering commitment. I feel the burden of being the one who shows you the importance of this kind of love, because you won't have the example you should- that of your father loving your mother in the way he is called to. I pray I never vilify your father because of his weaknesses, but instead show you what mercy and forgiveness look like, and the strength and freedom they bring.
My son, I pray that you never ever feel as though you have to earn my love and acceptance. I pray you never know the insatiable need to search out the approval of man. That you grow in the knowledge of your worth in your Daddy in Heaven. That He's enough for you.
I pray that I can find the right way to teach you to be responsible for your own actions, your own heart, your own sins. I pray that we can break the familial cycle of victimhood with you and your sister. That you never know the oppression of feeling like the world is out to get you, but instead thrive in the freedom of Christ, who has removed all earthly oppression.
I hope that I can teach you how to value the passions of others, even if they aren't your own. I want to teach you to encourage and seek to build up the callings and passions of those around you. That your calling doesn't trump the callings of those you love. I hope to teach you how to put others ahead of yourself. I hope to teach you to respect and value women. To love them the way your Heavenly Father loves them. Not to despise and objectify. Not to subject to your own whims and expectations without any consideration for the deep places of their hearts.
I pray that you will be a better man that those that have come before you. That you find a way to internalize only the best parts of your dad, grandpa, uncles, etc. I pray that you do not latch on to the insecurities, bitterness, and selfishness that may be modeled for you. I pray that God uses the great men in your life to show you what a Godly man looks like.
Son, I worry about you. Maybe even a little more than I worry about your sister. Because I don't know how to offset the lack of Godly example of fatherhood and manhood you will have in your life. How do I teach you to be a man? But the thing about worry is, it's really just a lack of trust. And that's something I will have to work on for the rest of my life. Because even if your earthly father is lacking- your Heavenly Father isn't. And I just know He has such great plans for you. The call on your life and your sister's life... I just know you two were made for something so pure and good.
I pray that I have the strength to lift you up and intercede for you when I feel lost and ill equipped. I pray that God gives me the patience and wisdom to teach you in the ways you should go. I pray that you break the cycles of those before you. I pray that you will love the Lord with everything you are, and that you will serve him fervently all of the days of your life.
You are my joy. And your Daddy in Heaven's joy. A gift that I will always be thankful for. I wish your life didn't start off the way it has, but wishing won't change our reality. But God can. And He has always taken care of us. And if I impart anything to you, son, I hope it's that God is good. No matter what. God is good. And He will never let you down. Not ever.