Pictured here are my oldest son and my husband. See that hat my boy is wearing? I teared up when I saw him in a flat bill hat. I always saw myself raising country boys in wranglers, boots, and cowboys hats. I had a brief time when I lived away from town on a little piece of land, with a creek in my backyard. But that time came to an abrupt ending and our lives changed and we ended up in town, then in a bigger town, then in the city. We’ve been in the city for 4 years, and I know another 4 years will pass by before I can think too much of it. But that’s life for you, isn’t it? We don’t always get what we want or think we’ll have.
Momma would probably elbow me and wink, saying something like, “Ya shoulda married a cowboy.” I laugh at the thought but I only joke. I love the man I married, and aside from the city part, I do love our life.
What really weighed down my heart after I cried about the city boy hat was the realization that I’ve already had 10 of my 13-15 years of influence on this young man. A friend’s husband recently took their boy on an adventure with the purpose of ushering in his new season. He is a young man and it is time to change the focus of his lessons and help him develop strength of character so that he will be a bold man of God and will be equipped to lead his family one day.
I need to do the same for my young man. I need to help him really focus on God and who God wants him to be – because while his momma always envisioned him in wranglers and a cowboy hat, I think God’s vision is better for him. (And I’ll be honest, I don’t know that he was born to be a country boy.) I believe who he is in Christ is far more important that what career he picks, what house he picks, or what he spends his spare time doing.
A pastor once told me that statistically, our influence on our kids is significantly reduced between the ages of 13 & 15 years old. That in that range the influence of their peers, other leaders and teachers, media, and the culture they are part of takes over. If, by that age range, we have not established people, peers, and activities around them that point them toward Christ and help them seek His purpose and plan, it is likely they will flounder in their faith and in other areas.
I’m sure it’s not a hard & fast rule and there are exceptions, but I don’t want to hope for an exception. I want to surround my young man with the resources and people and peers that will help him build his foundation on Christ. I want him to serve God first and foremost, and build the other parts of his life in accordance with living for Christ.
As I am writing, I am also realizing that I need to be on my knees giving these goals of mine to God and really letting Him speak to my heart about how to lead this young man, how to teach him, how to guide him. God knows exactly how He knit this boy together, and He has the master plan for his life. So I commit, once again, this young man to God as I pray for his future and make intentional choices to help him grow into all God has for him.