How is it that some people can just walk into a room and everyone is drawn to them like a magnet? Or when you are talking to someone, they know just the right thing to say that unlocks the mystery of what you are dealing with? Or when they start a business or a ministry, it blows up?
My kids are that way. Not because of me or my husband. I wish I could take the credit because of my amazing parenting skills. Nope. But I do know a Guy. And I went to Him and He did it.
One day, probably 20 years ago (how have I gotten so old?), I was in my favorite spot drinking my coffee before the kids were awake. And I read this verse, “Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people.” And it hit me. Now there isn’t a lot we know about Jesus’ growing up years as a young boy. There is a little, but as Luke describes Jesus as a twelve-year-old (Luke 2:52) he sounded more like a man than a preteen. (Luke 2:41-51) I mean, he is God, so he’s got to be pretty mature, right? But, in Luke’s description as a boy growing into a man, these qualities were what stood out: wisdom, stature, favor. They must be the most important.
So, because I’m smart, I thought, “Well, if it’s good enough for Jesus, then it’s good enough for my kids as they are growing up!” So, I began praying that day, in my favorite spot with my coffee, and I have prayed ever since….
Lord, you know my kids. They are so different from each other. And you have a plan for each one. And Father, it seemed important to you, as Jesus’ Father, to instill wisdom, stature and favor with God and with all people. So, I humbly ask that for Andrew, Whitney and Caleb. That you would grow them in wisdom. May they receive it all from you. That you would give them stature in the world that you have them in, and expertise in that world. And that you would grant them favor with you first and foremost. But also that they would have favor with men and women around them; that they pour their lives into, their families, those that they work with and play with and in their communities. And I will give you all the glory as you answer these prayers. And may THEY give you the glory all the days of their lives.
Something like that. Pretty much every day. Well, as often as I could.
So today, as I sit here in my favorite spot with my coffee, writing this, I am aware of a few things.
- God is faithful to answer my prayers. John 14:13,14.
- The Father wants our kids to grow up like his Son, with wisdom, stature and favor.
- The fruit of this is amazing.
- What other prayers did I not pray, that you would have answered?
Andrew is an incredibly successful businessman that loves Jesus and has all three of those qualities. God is using him powerfully in that world as He has given him creativity to further develop those gifts in him and in others. And he is giving all of it away to his kids and his “adopted” Dutch Bros kids.
Whitney has accomplished things in business and ministry that I only wish I could. She has changed communities with her creative touch and her tenacity to serve the marginalized and trafficked. She is now pouring into her own little ones this same prayer. And I can already see the fruit of it.
Caleb can make anyone feel loved, welcome and like they have value. His strong prophetic sense of what God is doing and prophetic voice to speak it is life-changing for the culture and individuals around him. He loves the ones that others avoid and they feel that love and acceptance. In fact, he is so empowering of others that they end up reaching new heights that they never thought they could. Just because Caleb believed in them.
That’s my kids. And their spouses are equally amazing. I did throw up a few prayers through the years in preparing for my kids’ wedding day, those same things for them as well. Sure seemed to work out beautifully.
As I continue to pour into the lives of young adults, I pray this prayer for them too. But, another privilege I have is to pray this for my four grandkids, (and probably more to come!) And its already fun watching God answer this prayer in them. I think they may pass their parents up! Because they certainly passed their parents up!
How about you? I encourage you to pray it for your kids. Pray it for the friends and family in the younger generation behind you. Pray it for your grandkids. In fact, I dare you. And then let me know how it goes. It’s never too late. Start now, at whatever age they are. I’m betting that you, and many others, will be blessed.
Just think if our kids grew up with similar qualities that Jesus had. Wisdom. Stature. Favor with God and all people. Imagine, for a moment, what our communities will look like. Simply amazing. The things God could do are endless. That’s how we change the world. Right? One person at a time.