I want my son to know who he is. I want him to grow up secure. To be a man of integrity who is known for his gentle, kind and compassionate heart, a man of character who is strong and loves justice. I hope and pray he has a passion for the least and the lost..a mighty love for Jesus Christ and for all who are searching to be found.
How can I help this happen?
Prayer, I can pray and I do pray. I am thankful at the minute that even as he has just turned 2.5 a few days ago, he already knows the bible verse I pray over him each night;
“Surely goodness and mercy will follow you all the days of your life and you’ll dwell in the house of the Lord forever and ever..Jesus name, Amen”
If I pause during it he’ll fill in the gaps. So I say “dwell in the house of the Lord…” He replies “foreber & eber, Jesus name AMEN”
Yes! Prayer is key.
Yet practically what can I do, what has God given me that means I can help him become all I pray and desire him to be? It’s got to be church family. I can’t parent him alone. I can do as much as I can but I need support.
I read on a christian mums group earlier some mums saying how good it’d be if church changed, or maybe it’s easiest at this time to not go to church. Trust me, I know the struggle! To be hearing the prayers, but he keeps running off and you’ve got to chase him while awkwardly smiling & shushing. No more closing my eyes in a good bit of worship, as when I open them he’s on the stage knocking over stands and looking very smug! I take him to crèche and only very recently is he sometimes happy to be left. Though often it’s a battle I loose and I stay out the back with him. Then at the end he’s hungry & tired so nearly impossible to chat. So I leave church feeling I missed it all & it would have been easier to listen to a podcast!
Yet. There is more to this church than that stuff I used to find so much easier. The more I get into the church and give, the more friendships I’m making, the more friends I’m getting- the more support I have. The more I’m in this environment of being around other people who believe, who are expectant for God, who love Jesus and are living for Him. The more I am spurred and challenged to do the same – to not just be getting but giving. Not to just breathe in all I can get, but breathe out and reach others. To lift my eyes from myself and onto my saviour. To remember it’s never about me, it’s about Him, it’s giving my praise and letting Him know how much I adore Him.
It’s bringing my Lion into that place too. Having him grow in an atmosphere that’s touched by the Holy Spirit. To have him encounter the living God. To have this as normal for him.
I know for myself I first prophesied at 3yrs old. My mum used to tell me of how I spoke to a woman (babysitter) about the children she lost, the sadness she had-yet the two children she was going to have in the future. Years later I saw my mum crying with a lady at a christian conference, New Wine, and it was this lady- there with her two sons. She hugged me and said I’d not know, but I prophesied over her when she babysat for me and had come to tell mum of all God had done!
That’s amazing, and I did know. Because my mum had told me the story alongside many others which emphasised the truth that God speaks to Hannah, God answers Hannah’s prayers. So I grew up knowing in many ways that what I heard about at home was true. I was in an environment where it was encouraged not embarrassed. I had a faith of my own from a young age because I knew this living God, He used me and spoke to me and I saw it in others.
I want this for my son. As he gets older I want him to have role models. I want him to see older boys and the passion and love they have for Jesus and that be what he strives for. Not celebrity or fame..men of God who strongly and powerfully profess to being able to do all things through God who gives them strength.
Tonight I saw what I want my son to grow up seeing. I sat with my nephew on my lap as we watched bands of incredible skill dance, sing, jump and preach about their God. My 5yr old nephew knew the words. He knows the band members and his eyes light up as they sing and bring Gods love..
Then Andy Hawthorne (a big-dog, full on evangelist) got up and was saying how amazing it is that thanks to these gigs over the past 5 days hundreds of young people have committed themselves to Jesus. Have made the best decision ever..how incredible is that! My nephew was sat there saying “Yes, yes it is”.
I asked him after if he became a christian. He said “I already have Jesus in my heart”.
That is what I want. I pray my boy doesn’t encounter Jesus as a teen at an event but that the prayers & support of my family the church hold him upright in faith, so that he’s one of the ones inviting his peers to know Jesus.
I need the church. I need to be in a great church. I made a promise together with my husband that if ever our kids don’t like our church and love another one, we will leave our one to encourage them to get closer to Jesus. I won’t stay or allow them to feel dry in a church, I will drive further-pay more-leave my friends-sacrifice my stuff- to further their love of Jesus, to help us always love church.
So yes, please, I know this season can be tough, I’m totally in it too. Yet for our children’s sake, we need to keep going! Keep placing ourselves in an environment of beautiful presence of the Holy Spirit! Of other believers who encourage us and our children can look to. Where else in the world can we find it? Please can I ask you..if you are not in a great church, if you don’t see all you want for your child replicated in the place you go every Sunday-go to a great one!
(My sister holding my nephew dancing to Twelve24, LZ7 & Brightline @ The Higher Tour thanks to The Message Trust)
To those who are the role models to my nephew & will be to my son. To my church who will encourage us on. To those who pray for us. To God who has such a plan, destiny and greatness for my boy..
Thank you x