Tuesday, February 3, 2015

"Build Me a Son"

“Lord, I want to be just like you, ‘cause he wants to be just like me.
(Phillips Craig and Dean)

Any mom will tell you that pregnancy comes with its share of difficulties.
Ask me about first trimester woes, and I will spin you a tale of 24/7 nausea and furniture that springs to life and tries to start a fight with your face (I passed out and crashed into a table and chairs).  

Trimester two:  “Is it bedtime?  No?  Are you sure?  Can I go to bed anyways?”  And, “What do you mean I shouldn't ride my horse!  Hack off both my legs why don’t you?”  

And the home stretch finds me feeling as though I’m back in school cramming for a "labor" test, except that this test has no fixed date and could be administered at any minute of any day—or night.  Imagine snoozing away in bed only to be rudely awaked by a flashlight wielding accounting professor who shakes you out of bed and shoves a partially completed balance sheet into your hands, as you sit dazed on the floor…in your pajamas.   

Anyhow, despite the physical and mental discomforts, pregnancy is a strange and beautiful time in which I’ve tried hard to embrace an age-old mystery, to seek after an adventure that feels at once like striking out into the wilderness and also coming home.  

I know that the wealth of emotions surrounding me can be associated with the cocktail of hormones lacing my blood (for proof of this, just ask the Captain why I felt the need to go to bed cuddling an old stuffed animal the other night).  But beyond this, there are questions and thoughts that are just as solid and formidable as physical symptoms, fears and prayers that transcend the body and line the road in this nine month season of waiting.  
How do we learn to be parents?  How does a mama relate to a little boy? 

What kind of man will he turn out to be?  What if we raise him wrong? 

How?  What if?  Why?  When?   

General MacArthur once composed a prayer which began, “Build me a son, O Lord.”  In reading it, I thought I could just hear the click of a key fitting into a lock.  In lifting myself and my son before my Father, I was placing my will in the capable hands of the one who is already knitting my son together inside me and whose eyes already see to the end of his days.  God’s perfect love is the only thing that can truly teach me how to love my son.  And if we are the Bibles that our children will read, then the only hope for broken me is to daily fall on my knees before Jesus and ask him to make me more like Him.   

All the cares, worries, anxieties, and emotional struggles that can accompany the impending adventure of parenthood are all captured under the canopy of grace spoken by one who knew and felt every ache of the human heart.  

At times the pain and uncertainty have been overwhelming, and despite the truths that I know, this season has been hard, and I have felt my own strength waning thin with each passing month.  Yet I know that like Gideon, the Lord can deliver me with the mere three hundred, and as I grow more aware of my weakness, his strength only waxes brighter and stronger still.  

So as the end of this journey draws near and the next quest begins, I lean forward with both trepidation and excitement and continue to pray, "Build me a son, O Lord."    

Build me a son, O Lord.  Shape Him as only you can.  Into your will I lift this precious one you have given me and ask that your hands will guide my own, as he grows from my arms into boyhood and from boyhood into the body and soul of a man.  

Build me a son, O Lord.  Pave his foundation with truth, and give him the resolve to build his house upon the Rock.  Let his convictions be adamant and his trust secure in you.  Root his heart in justice and tune his ears to your voice alone.  Give him the will to strive, to overcome hardship, and to look forward without forgetting what has passed.      

Build me a son, O Lord.  Show him that there is great strength in compassion.  Teach him that joy and thanksgiving can be weapons.  Combine in his soul the mercy and grace that then intertwine with your perfect judgment.  Let him truly know who you are, and therefore show him who he is in you.  For the man who falls on his knees before you can stand before anyone.  Train the fingers that wield his sword to also extend in proof of your love to a broken world.  Temper and refine him in difficulty.  Help him to master himself before he seeks to be a master of others.    

Build me a son, O Lord.  Help him see that unless he looks to you, he will not know how to treat a woman, that when he disrespects her, he disrespects what it means to be a man.  Show him that true manhood honors, regards, defends, and edifies women.  Let him see women as fellow creations of your making, worthy of respect and love.  Train him to be response-able when tempted, to never allow a woman’s immodesty to excuse his own sin and to first be mindful of his own responsibility before you.  Let him know that the bareness of his body was designed to be shared only with one to whom he is bound in holy covenant, one to whom he may also expose the bareness of his soul.  

Build me a son, O Lord.  Give him courage in battle and the strength to press on.  Grant him the will to lead and the humility to follow.  Make him honest in defeat and gracious in victory.  Let him seek your wisdom and guidance before all others.  Teach him discipline and instill the will to rise up for the truth within a generation seeking to destroy both manhood and womanhood alike.  

Above all, build me a son who walks with you, O Lord.  And teach me to love him as you do, so that when he looks to his earthly parents he might be invited to look upon your face.      

Images via:  photographybyanjuli.com, 100layercakelet.com, stephaniesunderland.com, etsy.  

All work subject to copyright by the author.  Use by permission only.  2015.