I got into a conversation with a Classics friend the other night. He is currently applying to graduate school and wants more than anything to be at an Ivy league school. He made it clear through the conversation that he thought that everyone wanted to go to an Ivy League school. As I (along with the others there) tried to explain that not every one wants that, I mentioned that I wouldn't really encourage Jack to aim for Harvard (because of the stress and the costs). He couldn't believe this--why wouldn't I want my child to go to Harvard!?!
But my statement really made me think about what I do want for Jack, what I will encourage him to do and be, what my prayers are for this little baby I get the joy and honor of raising. And academic honors and cultural accolades are not at the top of my list.
First and foremost, I pray that Jack to love Jesus. If Jack works at McDonalds when he is 50, I honestly don't care as long as he loves Jesus.
I pray that Jack will be kind. I want him to have a tender heart. I want his heart to break for what Jesus' heart breaks for.
I pray that Jack will notice and love the outcasts. I want him to immediately gravitate toward those in the room that look lost or scared or left out.
I pray that he will be respectful toward women. I want him to be a gentleman, to always open doors, pull out chairs, walk dates to the door.
I pray that he will love family. I absolutely love any time I get to spend with my family. I know he will go through a stage in his teens where he would rather live in his room than spend time with us, but I want him to quickly grow out of that stage!
I pray that he will be loyal. I want him to cling to family and friends, to believe them, and to stand by them.
I pray that he will be honest. I want him to tell the truth, no matter the consequences.
I pray that he will be a leader, or at least march to the beat of his own drums. I want him to go against the crowd, even if that means being uncool.
And, speaking of that, I don't really want him to be cool. I hope his peers like and respect him, but I don't want him to be cool. It is too hard to be kind and sweet when he is cool.
I pray that Jack will be wise. I hope that he is smart, but that is a wordly hope. I want Jack to have wisdom, the kind of wisdom that comes through prayer, through time reading the Bible, through listening to his elders.
I pray that he will be assured of his identity, as our child and as God's child. There are few things more attractive and beautiful than a person who is so completely assured of their worth--not an over estimation, but just a person who knows that he is loved far more than he could ever imagine.
I pray that he will love creation, in whatever way that love manifests itself. Perhaps he will make pottery like his dad or fall in love with God in the form of Aslan like his mom. Perhaps he will take a completely different path and amaze us all.
I love this little baby so much, and, while I am not excited to think about him not being a tiny baby anymore, I also can't wait to see who he grows up to be! And I pray that both Bech and I can love him and teach him, even when we are tired or he has disobeyed for the millionth time. I am so thankful that I have my Jack!
To end, I love what Paul writes to the Phillipians:
"And this is my prayer for you: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ--to the glory and praise of God."