A few months ago before bedtime, my oldest son John expressed to me that a friend at his school was struggling.
“Mom, he told me on the playground that he thinks God hates him.”
I was shocked by those words coming from a young child.
“So I told him that God does love him and that I could bring him a Bible.”
I smiled and told John how brave he was to encourage his friend like that. And it got me thinking how I need to be praying more for both my boys to grow into men who will stand up for truth, have courage, and love others well in a world that is hurting and hostile toward God.
I sometimes feel like I’m not doing enough in preparing and training my children but I know it’s never too late to begin fervently praying for them. I pray that my boys will grow into men who will:
- Fear the Lord and seek his wisdom from a young age
- Stand up for what is right even when no-one else is
- Live a life of purity where the women in their life are valued, treasured, and honored
- Know how to turn their eyes away from lustful things that seek to deceive and harm them
- Love their future wives as Christ loved the church– unconditionally, sacrificially, and with whole-hearted devotion
- Confess their sin and turn to the Lord all of the days of their life
There’s no doubt that it’s a bit fearful and intimidating as we consider beginning with the end in mind in parenting our boys. What kind of men do we want them to become? How can we begin to help them live like the men we desire them to be?
I want them to know they can be brave and bold right now in a world that’s hurting and in need of the hope that is found in Jesus.
Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. – 1 Timothy 4:12
I pray they’ll be confident leaders who speak the truth in love and understand that true leadership is service– it is not lording it over people in their pride, position and power but is that of humility, strength, and selflessness.
In a world that screams hate, violence, and craves conflict and strife, I pray my boys will return their words and actions with love, peace, and hope in the midst of chaos. I pray they will be givers, and not takers. That they would trust in Jesus when it gets really tough.
In a world that’s rejecting God as their sovereign Creator, I want my boys to know that Jesus is our perfect example who took a towel and washed the feet of his disciples, who entrusted his life to the Father and waited on His timing for everything. Who didn’t entrust himself to men because he knew the evil in their hearts. Yet he pursued them in their mess of sin and loved them still.
I want my boys to know when they look to Jesus they’ll never be disappointed.
Not many days after our bedtime conversation, I volunteered in John’s classroom and his friend who’d shared those feelings about God happened to be in my reading group. The lesson was on friendship and the discussion questions led into him telling me that a family member of his had died.
“Yeah, we’ve been going through a lot lately,” he said.
One of his pets had died too. My heart ached for him and it all made sense as to why he felt that God was not for him.
He shared some more and had such a heart of compassion. It made me realize there are endless opportunities to love on the people God puts on our path and seek to understand where they’re coming from.
In a culture that’s in need of Jesus’ love, great opportunity lies ahead as we teach our boys how to be the men God desires them to be – even when we feel inadequate. As their mommas, may we be their biggest prayer warriors.
Cheering you on in the trenches,
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Samantha Krieger is a wife, mother, and writer in rural Colorado. She is the author of the new devotional for moms: Quiet Time: A 30-day Devotional Retreat for Moms in the Trenches.