Monday, November 18, 2013

Love letter to my future kids....maybe

When I turned 21, my papa wrote me a letter that has stuck with me. It simply was a poem; it's name and author unimportant but it's content was life giving. As I moved into adulthood my now 88 year old grand father wanted to give me all the life he had to offer...for that I am grateful.

Sunday as I listened to my pastor speak on the book of judges, and very boldly proclaim that within it there is a warning against sin for everyone....our humanness. Pure fallen humanness that will always get us in trouble. I listened to him talk about how one of Israel's greatest sin was they failed to teach the next generation of the immeasurable faithfulness God had shown them. So I thought about my own encounters with men and women who haven't hesitated to speak God's faithfulness over me, especially my precious loving papa, and if I were to have children what would I want them to know? How would I present the gospel to them? What warnings or my own sins would I want them to listen to and take heed from? So I decided to write them a letter...

Dear future children,
I must admit it feels strange to write to someone whom doesn't exist on earth yet (or maybe ever) but that's the perfect segway for what I want to tell you. I may not know you yet but your father in heaven does. He loves you without comparison! He has known you before he ever decided when he will knit you in my womb! He has intricately decided your every detail: your hair, eye color, even the precise pigment of your skin. He made every cell in your body! He has formed your fragile heart in his mighty gentle hand. He knows you inside and out. He knows your sense of humor well. He knows what makes you tick and what will tick you off. He knows why you feel the way you do even when you don't. He knows what will tempt you and what gives you pleasure. He is not surprised by anything you do or think or want or feel. Since he knows you so well, let him in. Don't be embarrassed by or ashamed of who you are. Instead go to him. Trust Him. Know that he is the only one who will ever "get it" every single time, that he will always get you!

To my daughter:
You are BEAUTIFULLY and wonderfully made! I say it not because I will have the blessing of being your mom but because God said it was TRUE OF YOU. You are His creation made in his image, not mine, not your father's, but your God's holy image. Unfortunately you will struggle throughout your life to believe lies. Lies that tell you you aren't enough; you aren't skinny enough or have enough curves or beautiful enough or good enough or smart enough or that you don't matter enough. Sadly this WILL be an ugly cycle you WILL battle. That's why its so crucial, it's so imperative you take EVERY thought captive! Every day you will walk into a fallen broken world with an enemy that seeks to devour every ounce of light, love, trust, and joy you possess. So every day please be prepared. There are a few ways you can do that. One and the most important is love the Lord with all of you're heart and soul- He will protect that love! Give him your entire mind and body, because these will be the weakest and quickest to wander. They also will be the ones that will get you in the most trouble, especially your mind. You need to know as a woman your thought life will be your down fall if you don't protect yourself by entrusting it to the Lord. Another way to protect yourself is to be careful the company you keep. You are not super woman and the fact is worldly things and people are enticing, especially boys, but even just in choosing you're friends you are going to have to choose wisely who you spend your time with and who you allow to speak into your life. IT MATTERS. I know there will be so many days you won't believe me, and that's okay because I didn't believe my mom either but it is still true. Third, your body is a temple, it is the dwelling place of the God most high, the holy sovereign Spirit, don't take it lightly! Please Don't give it away to just anyone but save it for the one God has called you to. But as important as it is to save yourself for marriage, its more important you dedicate yourself to Christ because he will never use or abuse you, he will love you and he has a plan for you! Next, find an older woman (or more) you trust and is/are wise and loves the Lord wholeheartedly! These Mentors will be your best ally second to Christ. These women will teach you and challenge you and lead you, they will push you to be a woman worthy of your calling but mostly they will simply love you and speak life into yours and point you back to your loving savior. As much as I will love you, I won't be enough for you and that's also okay because I was never intended to be, Christ always has been and will be enough for you! And he will send you amazing sisters and mentors to bring about the transforming work he will do in your life- SO CHOOSE TRANSFORMATION! Our World has nothing to offer you, I promise. Lastly, show your father you love him by respecting and obeying him. Until You marry he is your leader and he will love you and lead you down life giving paths. When You meet your husband, show him you love him by respecting him and submitting to him. Not passively out of strict obedience but willingly because you trust Christ in him (so choose him wisely) and you love him. But when that doesn't fit how you feel then resort back to doing it out of obedience because he is responsible for you and he is your leader. And always know that you are loved without measure!

To My son:
Son, the best advice I can give you is listen to your father. Not just your earthly father but your loving heavenly father. Your father here will know your struggles and he will lead you and point you To Christ. He will help you navigate those tricky paths. Honestly as a woman and your mother, there will be lots of things I won't understand and I won't relate to. Your dad will. Christ will too. He has experienced every temptation you will, and did without blemish so seek him and his will. He won't just be helpful for teaching you and guiding you, He Will LOVE YOU and understand you! He Will Not shame you instead he will make you new! Lets Go ahead and address the female subject. One, as much as I know they will be a big struggle for you, they won't be your only struggle and you ARE MORE than your struggles. They do not define you and are not your identity, Christ is. So beware lies and temptation! You are a mighty warrior and you need to be ready for battle- so suit up! Next, as a woman I expect you treat them with dignity and respect in every phase of life. They are not objects to obtain but people worthy of love. Own your struggle, own your body, own your eyes, own your thoughts. Take them captive. Don't play the blame game, be a man of integrity. You will never know the weight your actions have on them. Your struggle is your flesh, theirs is the mind. So watch how you live life around them...be careful little eyes what you see, be careful little hands what you feel, and be careful little tongue what you say. Do yourself a favor and find godly men you trust to lead you and show you how to be a man worthy of your calling. When you finally do marry, be sure to lead your wife with firm conviction. She needs you to and if you don't her temptation will be to take control herself...it's the result of her fall just as passiveness is a result of yours. Love her with commitment over passion, because passion is inconsistent. she needs love and to know she is safe because the world lies and tells her she isn't worthy and no man is to be trusted. Reflect Christ and his love. You won't do it perfectly but if you choose well she will extend you grace as you will her when she fails you. Most importantly, love Christ with all you have! I am still young and as you will learn youth doesn't come with wisdom and grace, I won't always have answers, I wont always handle things right but the beauty in that is you have a loving savior who does. He will always be patient and kind, and He will guide you with his strong right hand.

If God does give me the immense responsibility and joy of being your mother let me go ahead and apologize for all the times I will fail you and all the times my sin will be a hindrance. As much as I would love too say I've done life right, I haven't and unfortunately there will be lots of times I will say "do as I say not as I did" because I will understand the consequences of making poor choices. As you grow and learn so will I. I won't be the perfect parent which is one more reason why you need Jesus. He is not a myth or a luxury, he is a necessity and he desires to know you and be know by you.

Lastly children, do everything with integrity, seek the lords will first and foremost. Beware a gossipy heart and an unbridled tongue. Words can give life or they can speak death...you choose. See Beauty in everything and everyone you come in contact with but also be leery and trust your spirit, not your gut. Don't be afraid! Don't fear, you have been given a spirit of courage and a sound mind. Cling to the word of God, its the light to the darkness. Its your instruction manual.  There will be lots of people and philosophies that will pull you in a million different directions so go back to the word when life gets hazy. Your identity lies within it! If there is anything I can offer you that will make your life full and easier to navigate...its the Word. So love it and know it. And when you fail, which you will-there is grace, grace for you and everyone around you. Failure is not to be taken lightly, when you do fail own it and repent it. Allow it to grow you and draw you closer to your savior because he has already forgiven it. Don't fall prey to despair, your hope and assurance is in Christ alone not your performance. Always forgive because you have been forgiven much. Bitterness is not something you want to become your master. Choose Christ, choose grace, choose to love and be loved!

Love,
Your maybe future mom

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