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Location: Indiana, United States

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Raising World Changers

I am raising godly men who will change the world.  That may sound boastful, proud or just plain arrogant.  But believe me I feel the full weight of that responsibility very deeply and take that task more seriously than I can communicate -- at least when I'm thinking right.  Today has been a day where I have spent quite a bit of time thinking through what the extra hours of summer that arrive in less than two weeks will mean in terms of effective discipleship of my three boys.  I must plan.  I must pray.  I must depend on my wise and godly husband.  I simply can't move towards a goal like this in a haphazard way. 

Let me back up a bit to explain where this all comes from.  When I was in junior high school -- I believe it was 7th grade -- I read two books that God used in my thinking. The funny thing is that neither of these books was particularly impactful spiritually on their own.  One wasn't even a Christian book.  They were simply fictional stories about raising boys.  The books happened to be Louisa May Alcott's Jo's Boys and Grace Livingston Hill's The Obsession of Victoria Gracen.  This is not a plug for those books.  They are fine, but there's certainly nothing earth-shattering or particularly deep in either of them.  But God chose to use those fictional stories about raising boys to build in my mind a conviction that God could use my life in a significant way if I were to raise boys to be godly men who would change the world.  So I started asking God on a regular basis to give me boys so that I could raise them to be godly men who would change the world.  I prayed that for about a year.  And then I forgot all about that prayer.

Fast forward to late fall 2001.  My husband and I were on our way home from the OBGYN.  I had just had an ultrasound and the technician had informed us that we were going to have a son.  I guess I should say another son because we already had two boys.  Sitting in the car talking with Jonathan about the prospect of raising three boys, God brought to my mind an amazingly vivid recollection of my junior high prayers for the first time since they were prayed.  God had answered my prayer.  It was as I pondered that incredible answer to a young teen girl's prayers that the weight of what that meant hit me.  I didn't just ask for boys.  I asked for boys so that I could raise them to be godly men who would change the world.  Wow.  Really?  Just how was I supposed to do that?

There were many more things that went through my mind back then, and many ways that has impacted the way that we parent our boys, but I don't have time right now to go into all of that.  However, I say that to explain my first sentence.  I am raising godly men who will change the world.  I really don't have a choice about that one.  I told God more than twenty-five years ago that I would do that if He gave me boys.  He gave me boys. 

My boys know about my prayers and why God gave them to me.  Luke once told me that it was a heavy weight to know that he was an answer to my prayer for a son who would one day change the world.  I told him that it was really God who would change the world, but that he needed to get to know God so well that he could become the instrument that God would use for that task.  And that's what I tell myself too.  I am a weak and sinful mother.  I fail my children in so many ways.  But I have absolute confidence that God will fulfill His purpose in my boys through me just because He can and because He answers prayer.  So I pray ... and pray ... and pray.  I ask God for wisdom, strength and discernment as my husband and I parent.  I ask God to give my boys a hunger for Him.  I ask God to let my boys get caught in sin so that it can be dealt with.  I ask God that if my boys will one day struggle with any of the "big" sin issues that they will do so while they are still in our home so that we have the opportunity to disciple them through the process [an important prayer, but boy is it ever a scary one].  I pray for their future wives.  I pray for their future ministries.  I pray for the issues that are big in their lives right now.  And I'd better keep praying.  I simply can't do this.  But God can. 

That brings me back to today.  After praying for my boys, God expects me to act in obedience.  So I'm making plans for the summer.  I can't afford to waste the time.  I have a mission to accomplish, and with Luke beginning high school in the fall I realize just how short the time is before he leaves home.  Because I'm raising godly men who will change the world.


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