The Road to Manhood

Dear Aaron Joshua

My sweet boy.  You actually refuse to go by your full name, telling me it is only for the doctor’s office.  Maybe one day.  But, for now, you’re our AJ.  It fits.  The day before you turned six, we had a wonderful conversation about growing up and making wise choices.  Godly choices.  Yesterday, you colored your belly button blue.  I can really tell you took my wisdom to heart.  Wise choices and blue skin definitely go hand in hand.

I must admit, when the doctor told me that we were going to have a son, I cried.  The kind of tears you cry when you’re scared and don’t know what you’re going to do.  Daddy held my hand and I told him that I had no idea what to do with a boy.  Boys were loud, wild, and liked adventure.  I was sure I would fail you.  You’ve made my life loud, wild, and adventurous.  You run through the halls, sing your reading assignment, and turn everything into a shooter.  I still don’t know what to do with you half the time, but I’m richer for it.  Never would I have thought I would tell someone to stop hugging the fish or to put the sword down when going to the bathroom…

I still cannot believe we’ve had six whole years with you.  You have grown so much.  Which is saying a lot because you were a big baby.  When you started out with three chins, we knew God was going to do big things with you.  You are lovable, creative, and deep.  You make me try quicker, think more, and pray harder than I ever have.  You have the fastest legs and the strongest arms of any kid I know.

I praise God everyday for protecting you from injuries and sickness.  You’ve scared us plenty, but every time, God has been faithful.  I’m pretty sure your guardian angels are fast!  As I write this, you’re recovering from a rash you got from playing with caterpillars.  I’m not kidding.

Your arms may be strong, but your heart is stronger still.  As much as you make us laugh, more importantly, you point us towards the Lord.  I am not exaggerating when I tell you that being your mommy is one of the most humbling and precious experiences of my life.  It utterly delights me to think about you growing up and becoming a man; I am so excited to see how God is going to shape you.  We are praying big, warrior prayers for you.  You can believe, my son, God will use you to further His kingdom.  So, get ready!  There’s no wasting time with the God of the universe!  He is preparing you for something amazing.

But, please heed my advice.  With amazing responsibility comes equally amazing warfare.  As your mommy, I can already tell you that the evil one is not going to let go easily.  You are too valuable of a world-changer.  I know by the questions you ask and the things you say, God is imparting deep wisdom in your little heart.  Your Daddy and I are working hard to remind you that this is a fallen world that needs Jesus.  One way the evil one will try to deceive you is by attacking your manhood.  As God wants to use you to influence the world for His glory, the evil one will try to use your talents and strengths for evil.  The evil one knows, if he can make you question your godly manhood, he will remove a spiritual leader from influencing others.

Be self-controlled and on the alert!  Keep your eyes fixed on God and be diligent to study His word.  If you know truth and are in continual relationship with God Almighty, the evil one’s temptations and attacks will surely fall short.  Train yourself to know the fear of the Lord and He will give you wisdom.  His wisdom is the only weapon that defeats the threats.

My son, remember that God has given you strength to defend the weak.  Real men protect.  They recognize that God has given them a warrior assignment.  There may come a time in this world, that godly defense will become a crime.  I pray, that you are learning now to stand firm in the gospel.  If you believe in the Word of God, you will stand firm in its defense.  You will protect God’s people.

I don’t know how God will lead you.  However, I have learned that weak prayers for you, will not do.  You are a leader.  I see how people respond to you.  You hold people’s attention and they respond to your choices.  Please always remember that your direction and identity come from God.  He chose you.  When you choose Him, people will follow.  God will be glorified and the Kingdom will grow.  I am praying you always point people to God in the examples you set.

You have a tender heart.  You love creation and babies and everything small.  Don’t let the world steal that from you.  God will use that.  He is kind and compassionate in His holiness.  He is glorified when His men reflect that part of His character.  Let that part of you grow, in purity, and God will invite you to be part of His work.

You are growing up.  You will make friends and realize soon that you can hang out with other people than your big sister.  Your body will change and your heart will probably be broken, a time or two.  You told me “hers is pretty,” when we dropped off your babysitter.  I told you that you have to learn your pronouns, before deciding a girl is pretty. You will have many opportunities to make choices.  I pray you choose God.  He is the team you will want to be on, I promise.  Everything will pass away, except for His glory.  Make sure it matters to you the most.

One last thing…okay, two things.  Don’t stop hugging me.  Real men hug their mommas!  And remember, we will always love you.  No matter what.

Love, Mommy

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