I remember those first few weeks after my oldest child’s birth. It seemed I could not take my eyes off him. I was amazed at how tiny he was, and how tightly he could be bundled in that little receiving blanket. Wrapped up just as tightly were all the hopes and dreams I carried for him. I found myself asking, who is this child? My experience is probably common. We look at each new life and ask “What will she be when she grows up? Am I holding the next Frank Lloyd Wright or Madame Curie in my arms? Will he marry? Will she choose to be a mother, too?” The possibilities for their future seem endless.
In his letters, the apostle John refers often to the people of the early churches as “my dear children”. He goes on to say in his third letter, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” Isn’t this really the very best we can imagine for our children? The greatest of all the many possibilities for their lives? What would our lives look like, what would we do differently each day if this was true for us? What if seeing our child walking in the truth was a joy greater than seeing him or her chosen as varsity team captain, going to Harvard on a full academic scholarship, or even winning the Nobel Peace Prize. No greater joy. Nothing better, more important, more worthwhile. May this be our goal, our highest good, and the motivation for all we do for our children.
Director of Children's Christian Formation
St. George Episcopal
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