Since last fall my son has been attending a class on Sunday nights (at the church he attends on Wednesday nights)called AUG (Approved Unto God). It is sort of a confirmation class and Seminary Theology class all rolled into one and then tailored for the 9th grader. He has been learning about various aspects of the Christian faith, memorizing scripture and being tested on all of it each week. Very similar to the confirmation class he took at our church. The graduation banquet is coming up in May and we, the parents, are supposed to come up with a scripture verse to share as part of the graduation. Incidentally John and I both took this class in 9th grade and officially met on the missions trip that follows the class. But that is another story...
Here is a little trivia about me. I am a very good at delegating. My skill in life is not that I have alot of skills but that I find people to make me look good. And so I immediately emailed a friend of mine and asked her if she could think of a good verse for my son. I know my limitations and I do not have the spiritual gift of knowledge, I cannot pull a verse out of the air that is the prefect answer to any question. Yet I want the perfect verse and I knew my friend had that gift. So she sends me 2 wonderful verses and I immediately love the first one, "The Lord does not look at the things man looks at, man looks at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart." I Sam 16:7. My friend shared that she felt a connection between Jake and David and that is what led her to that verse. It really is perfect in so many ways as I have so often shared with her how I desire to raise and nurture my children's hearts rather than focus on specific behaviors or appearances. So I shared it with Jake to see what he thought. He wondered what it had to do with him. I realized as he spoke that it really wasn't about him, it was about me and my parenting. So now I had the theme verse of my parenting but still no verse for Jake. Jake and I talked about my friend's idea of a connection to David and we decided we saw more of a connection to Paul as Jake is desiring to go into ministry. So now feeling a little more competent with a little direction I went in search of a verse from Paul's writings. I soon found myself in Timothy thinking about Paul's mentoring of Timothy and passing on his ministry to him. Then I found Paul's charge to Timothy and what I thought was the perfect verse, "But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus." 2 Timothy 3:14. My friend also went to work with the Paul direction and found a great one actually related to Paul, Jake..."He anointed you, set his seal of ownership on you, and put his Spirit in your heart as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come." 2 Cor 1:21-22
I feel like Jake is at a turning point in his life, has been for a while but this banquet sort of becomes the concrete turn. He is going from being my little boy who follows me and my guidance in his faith development to taking responsibility for his own relationship with Christ and continuing his growth without my direct influence. Yes I will still be there making suggestions, sending him to church, buying him devotional books, asking him to pray about things, etc. But I am past the stage of being able to make him think what I say, I am not reading a devotion book to him each night anymore and kneeling by his bed to pray. I miss those days but it has been so rewarding to see the fruit of that labor as Jake has begun to develop his own sense of his faith, has made many godly choices and is feeling the call to ministry at this stage of his life. I am excited to see how it plays out in the coming years before he leaves high school and what God does with him as he launches into the world.
So I like the first verse because I feel like it comes from that sense of starting my letting go of responsibility for his spiritual development but encouraging him to continue on the path he is on because he knows the people who have set him on that path (not just me but many people who have had a godly influence on his life), the foundation of scripture in his life and how all of that is making him wise for his future.
I like the second one because of the sense of God calling him (anointing, seal) and preparing him for the plans He has for Jake. And how God, not me, has been preparing him for that future (His Spirit in his heart as a deposit). And I think of my prayer for him since he was a baby that he would grow to serve God in whatever he does and how God knows and has always known what that will be (guaranteeing what is to come).
Sometimes I wonder if I make it too complicated. I believe for his infant dedication we chose Proverbs 3:5-6 as his verse. (This was before I mastered delgating.) I always thought it was "lame" to choose such a common and obvious verse and felt like it didn't make us seem very "spiritual". (You understand it is all about us, right?). But what is wrong with that verse? It is brilliant really. If we all just lived out that verse, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your path.", wouldn't we all end up in God's perfect will for our lives? And isn't that ultimately what I want for my son?
However, I want to appear more intellectual and spiritual so I will be choosing one of the 2 more complex verses. :) Your thoughts? Since this is my "year of Prayer" I guess I will be spending some time in prayer over the next week or 2 before I have to turn in my decision.
I am also supposed to send in a few pictures of my darling for this banquet and was planning to post the baby picture of him I have chosen but it hasn't been scanned in yet by my husband and I like to pretend I don't know how to do these things to avoid the frustration of having to actually do them myself. So check back later and I will post it when I get it. Update...apparently we need a new scanner...possibly a better quality picture if I can find someone with a better scanner...but wasn't he cute...
Side note: Lest you think my husband doesn't do the projects I ask him to do after seeing the still broken door knob in my last post and reading in the comments that my sister thought my post about fixing things was funny, you will be happy to know that my door knob is fixed, I can open my front door with ease and it cost us no money. :)