Yesterday, I inherited bunk beds from someone in our church. We have been overwhelmed with how incredibly gracious and generous our church family has been. The donor was someone whose children have gotten a little older and were no longer using the bunk beds. They had unbunked the beds years ago and finally put them into storage. When we got them yesterday, there were some essential pieces of hardware missing for construction.
After my third and final trip to Home Depot, my wife sat down as I was putting the finishing touches on the beds. I am blessed with a wife who is full of wisdom, insight, empathy, and compassion. She gets me, thankfully, and always says the right thing to help me get over myself. In a moment of sheer brilliance, she said, "You know, when you have children, you're always building." I stopped, between drops of sweat, long enough to ponder her statement.
It's actually been gestating within me since she said it and I continue to think about the profoundness in that statement. She was specifically speaking to the fact that we are always physically building things: cribs, beds, playsets, bikes, toys, etc. My mind went beyond just the physical that we are building and moved to the internal, unseen things that we are building within our children. In that regard, we are constantly building as well, even when we don't realize it or admit it.
In light of my last post about the legacy that we leave, I think it's important to remember that parenting is building. We build up or we knock down. The things that we do and say can build up or tear down. Every word, every action, it almost amounts to something to our children. They watch us. They imitate us. They follow us. They want to be just like us...hopefully.
We have talked at church about building the church, not the building, but the people. We are moving into a new series entitled "Prayer. Action. Vigilance." next week, a study in the book of Nehemiah. Just like building the wall around Jerusalem, building people and children requires us to keep these three things in mind: prayer, action, and vigilance. Am I actively praying for my children? Am I staying actively involved with what they are getting into? Watching on TV? Taking in when we go out to the store? Am I staying vigilant of my own actions, words, and thoughts?
My wife is nearing her third trimester as we prepare ourselves to meet our little girl in September. Someone jokingly said that she is "growing a human." That's a true statement. It can easily be said that even after the baby is born, we continue to grow humans as we raise our children. I pray that I might raise the three children that God blessed me with to be people of integrity, discernment, and compassion. I pray that they might know the One who has extended us grace beyond measure. I pray that what I build in them will sustain the storms of life, built on the only foundation that is eternal: Jesus Christ.
May we take our duty to grow humans seriously. May God use us to form buildings that weather life's storms, building the church of tomorrow. God is the architect, we are the builders. May we continue to seek the architect and look at His plans.