Pray them in rather than out.
When our two boys were very little, a mentor commented that fathers often pray when an adult child has made bad decisions or is in an unhealthy relationship. We should certainly pray then, but he commented, “How much wiser is it to pray earlier, for a young father to pray that the child will grow up into good decisions and good relationships, to pray them into blessings rather than out of trouble.”
Well, our sons couldn’t have been much younger when I started praying. On the first day, I asked for all kinds of things: good careers, a prosperous life, health and more. As I was praying I thought, “Does that one really matter?” I kept striking items off the list, ending with one request: “May he grow up to be a fine Christian man who marries a fine Christian woman.”
I’d like to say I prayed it every day for each of my two children. I am confident I missed many days, but I tried. As each son married, I announced at his wedding that my prayer had been answered: he was a fine Christian man and he was marrying a fine Christian woman. Stacia and I were blessed indeed.
In 2020, each son celebrated the birth of his first child. I have begun praying that each grandson would grow up to be a fine Christian man who marries a fine Christian woman.
May I encourage you, whatever their age and stage, to pray your children into blessings? Keep your list short; focus on what really matters. It is the best gift you can give them.
Dr. Randy Richards, Provost and Chief Academic Officer
Dr. Randy Richards poses for a photo with his wife, Stacia, and their sons, daughters-in-law and grandsons at Thanksgiving.