Who will Luke and Wyatt be when they grow up, move out and hit the world on their own two feet (or four feet, collectively)? What passions will drive them? What character traits will define them? What mark will they leave on the world?
As a part of Baby Dedication at our church we challenge families to parent with the end in mind. So often we parent by reaction, making split second decisions based on whatever is going on right now. Whatever situation or need is directly in front of us. We rarely spend time reflecting on the long range goals that we want for our kids.
When we don’t have a long range picture in our mind, we tend to make decisions based on questions like: How can I make them happy right now? How can I keep them from being made fun of or being hurt? How can I make them think their dad is cool (who am i kidding…this one’s easy)? Or any other number of questions that seem very crucial and important in the moment but will inevitably prove to be far less significant in the long run.
The truth is, sometimes the greatest lessons they will learn will be through being hurt or being made fun of. Sometimes they will tell me that they hate me because I am more dedicated to guarding their heart than I am to being liked by them. Sometimes what will make them the happiest in the short term will make them miserable in the long term.
So, all that being said, here’s a brief list of a few things we are hoping, praying and aiming for as parents to Luke and Wyatt:
- We hope that you will be able to sleep through the night and use the bathroom by yourself 🙂 (Okay so, this one’s not quite so long term…but it sure seems important)
- We hope you will be deeply grounded in your faith and that your passion for following Jesus will challenge and push us, as your parents, to trust God more.
- We hope you will learn from your mistakes and know you are deeply loved, even in your darkest and stupidest moments
- We hope you will truly enjoy life. Being able to laugh at yourself and the situations you find yourself in.
- We hope that your joy will run deeper than your circumstances. That you would see through the lies that this world will whisper in your ear, telling you that you need to be smarter, stronger, richer, more attractive, or more powerful. That you would find all that you truly need in the love and grace of Jesus.
- We hope that you will be independent and courageous. Standing up for what is right and what is true even when it’s difficult and unpopular to do so.
- We hope that you will know what it means to love, cherish and respect a woman and that you will be patient as you wait for the one you will walk through life with.
- We hope that, as you grow and mature, that your relationships with your brothers and your sister would do the same. That you would laugh with each other when times are good and lean on each other when times are bad. That you would find, in each other some of your deepest and most significant friendships.
- We hope that you will be the kind of Dad that your kids will be proud of. That you would live a life worth emulating, as they will certainly walk in your footsteps.
Really, most of these are not specific to Luke and Wyatt and are goals that we have for all of our kids. As they grow older and we begin to better recognize their distinct giftings and personalities, we hope to make more detailed and specific goals for each of them.
Hopefully reading this may spark some thoughts for your own family. I encourage you to write those things down and share them with others and even with your kids someday. I know I really look forward to handing our kids a ton of letters, blog posts, and notepads that we have written throughout their lives outlining all of the hopes and dreams Erin and I had in our hearts from each of them.