One day, most likely, God will bestow upon you the precious and grave responsibility of rearing children.You will be both overjoyed at the prospect and feel grossly unprepared and inadequate.But the task will be yours nonetheless.
You and your wife will do this job with diligence and a most loving heart and with more prayer than you ever could have imagined.You will count on God and cast the entirety of your hope in I Peter 4:8 and pray that the truth of it holds: that love will cover a multitude of sin.
By then, you will see your imperfections, your need for growth and learning.You will long for the time that will, by then, have passed when you could have prepared ahead of time to be an adult who would one day be fit for this job of parenting.Your knees will shake when you see your child thrive and push well toward the goal of independence.They will shake when you see her flaws and weaknesses that surely will entangle her.You will be weak-kneed for eighteen awe-inspiring years of her life.
And that’s the way of it, Adrian. During the time of learning and instruction and growing, you despise the process and think you are above the need of it. And only when the door is forever shut on that opportunity of being poured into by your own loving parents, will you see your need and wish you could fling the door wide open again. Maybe, in God’s economy, the woeful inadequacy we feel facing the responsibility of nurturing another human being into a whole, healthy adult is the distinguishing, qualifying trait recommending us to the task. Who knows.
And here we are with you—our firstborn on the brink of adulthood. I clearly see you pushing well and the things you still lack for success in your future. I vividly see both.The window of teaching time is closing, and I frantically try to cram into the diminishing crack the last bits I have to give you of all you will need but don’t yet have.
We have done our best to teach you and show you our faith. Dad and I have tried to model our work ethic, self-discipline, determination, perseverance, our unwavering love of God, our love and grace toward others, and how to choose forgiveness over judgment for yourself and others, knowing love can and will cover a multitude of sin if we let it. If we fall on that truth and are grateful for it again and again. We have done our best not to squander our years with you, son.
Our best did not live up to my standard of perfection. Please know that the remaining margin will niggle me and tempt me to worry, but I will resist the urge to continue to be responsible any longer for your composition as a man. It is time for you to be a man all by yourself. To be responsible, to both guide yourself and follow God for yourself, to set your own goals and achieve them with all the resources you have been given.
Be sure we will now crouch on the sidelines, watching with bated breath, willing you to do well. We will be here when you realize you have questions after all and are in need of wisdom and know at least where to find some. We will be here for you when you need us until we are not here any longer.
I may be fearful of all you still lack for adulthood, but I’m equally proud of who you are and who you are becoming. I love you, Adrian. I pray I have loved and served you well.
Always, and with a mother’s love you will comprehend only when you are older,
1 Peter 4:8