My oldest son is almost 10 and I’m watching him become a young man right before my eyes.
In those eyes, I keep asking the question of where I may have failed him in being his dad. I know I have, but those failures are sometimes hidden well beyond what I can see today.
Life is too fast and yet in the slow moments between work days, travel & television, I must chose to take advantage of them like I never have before. There is much life to do and too many things that can occupy my time; however, the essentials of what it means to be a parent still seem to escape me.
So, my questions in his eyes continue to focus on what is that one thing that I must do as a parent? I’m sure just one thing won’t cut it, but what if I could only chose one thing that I want him to know when he is 18, 21 and 30? What would it be? And, can this serve to lead and direct when he no longer cares what I say or what I think?
Honestly, I’m not sure, and the weight of that is heavy.
My thoughts drift to this…
When I doubt where God can be found, I know I can find him with the broken. I know He is always on the underside of power with those who crying out for rescue and redemption. I know He is a Father to the fatherless, a defender to the oppressed and water to the thirsty. This God is a god who has given everything away so that allow others can hold onto a life abundant.
I want my children to know this God.
I want them to know this God because regardless of where life and their choices may lead them, I believe if they know this God they will always know there is hope.
They will always know where to turn for strength and for purpose.
They will always know where grace and forgiveness can be found.
They will always know where can begin again.
They will always know that their ruins can be the stones used to build a beautiful new city.
They will always know that they are a part of a story that gives them identity in God’s family.
They will always know that becoming the greatest means becoming the least.
So, I may mess up the sex talk. I may demonstrate anger when it’s grace that was called for. I may chose rest when I should be kicking the ball with him in the backyard. I may be the perfect example of exactly what not to do in certain areas of life, and I make no excuses.
But, if I could chose one thing…
I would chose to serve the broken with my son beside me. I would want him to see a father who can be the earthly representation of this God we serve.
and maybe…just maybe…he will begin to see that brokenness if whatever form it may take is where he can find God.