I was taking a walk a few weeks ago. It was before we (Denise and I) were letting everyone know we were having a son. We had opened the envelope and found out on our anniversary, but had not shared with anyone else (except our parents) that we were having a boy.
That is the background.
As I was walking I began to think the thoughts that I am sure many parents think. How am I going to do this? I have a wonderful daughter, I didn’t know what I was doing there, but it seems we have somehow managed. I love my daughter.
A son is a little different...
As I was on my walk, I began thinking of what things I want my son to know as he grows up. What things I must do to make sure that he becomes a man of godly character. A loving, compassionate man full of grace and led by God’s Spirit.
This process immediately led me to my own childhood. I was a decent athlete, but was very raw because I wasn’t allowed to play sports at a very young age, then as I was allowed it was very peripheral as there seemed to always be so much going on and little invested in my getting better at the particular sport. I have some highlights in various sports, coaches loved my athleticism and desire to do better, but I was never at the college level and only had the potential to do so in one sport.
So with all of my failures and short comings in sports (for example, because there were many other areas of failure) I started thinking of what I would do if my son (for example) struck out 4 times, kicked the ball into his own goal, missed all of his foul shots, fumbled 4 times, or whatever have you. I began to think of how I could encourage him, realizing how important that is. I started thinking of what my rebuttal would be if I was the child, “But so and so hit 4 home runs, had 4 goals, scored 4 touchdowns, made all of his foul shots, etc.”
Then it hit me… “I don’t care what they did, my name is upon YOU. You are MY son”
That carried a lot of implications for me because I still carry the weight of guilt driven religion often times. The “if I mess us then I will be far from God” complex has been ingrained in me for years.
When I stumble, He knows and loves me. When I go through dry seasons, like I feel I am in right now, He knows and loves me. Why? Why would He love me and care for me and encourage me to get back up and keep working at it? His name that is why, it is upon me, and I am His child.
Someday it is possible that my children will have some sort of shirt or jersey that will have the name “Harper” on it or a number on that shirt or jersey that will be able to be looked up in a program and it will read “Harper.” They get that from me.
I get the name of “Christian” from Christ. He has brought me into this family of God. When it comes to the standard that I live up to (parallel to scoring goals as much as the next kid) He wants me to live the life that He wants from me. He isn’t worried about me living up to someone else's standard (except Christ); He wants us to listen to Him to hear what His leading is for us.
I know to many this is not earth shattering, but it is just one of those things I need to hear. I wrestle with the grandeur of God’s grace. I don’t feel it “fits” for me, because I am just (somehow) that exception. It isn’t true, I am His child, and His grace is enough.
I may have to revisit this as there are many lessons to pull away from this, but hope it makes us all think a little bit. That is always the hope, to take what has challenged or revealed a new aspect to me, and challenging others with it as well.
Have a great day!