by Melissa Deal
My husband, B.J., and I had been married for two years when we found out we were having a little boy. We were so excited—and to be honest, terrified. There was so much to think about, so much to plan for. And what if we did it wrong?
But the moment my child was placed in my arms, none of that mattered anymore. All that mattered was cherishing every single minute of this new life.
That’s why I started keeping a journal for him. Just a little something filled with letters, poems, words of life, and hopefully a little wisdom. I think it’s so important for our children to know how valuable they are—to know that they are the greatest of God’s creations.
Here are some of the things I want my son to remember:
• You are beloved. The God of the universe loves you so much that He sent His one and only Son to die for you. He loves you enough to save you, change you, and hold you up. On your best days, praise Him; on your worst days, praise Him because He is lovely, and He is worthy.
• When you feel down, worship God. You may cry through the first stanza, but by the time you get to the end of “Jesus Loves Me,” there will be tears of great joy streaming down your face. Your soul longs for Him. Quit feeding that longing with something else that will leave you feeling empty.
• Laugh often. Make yourself laugh if you have too. Make others laugh, as well.
• Remember that you may never know the hurt and pain someone is hiding behind their smile.
• Treat everyone with respect, especially when they are nasty to you. This will make them question what’s different about you and will open up doors of opportunity to share your testimony about your Savior.
• Think about what you consume. It does matter what you eat.
• Read your Bible everyday and memorize Scripture. Remember that your mouth confesses what your heart possesses, so tuck God’s Word in there. You’ll be amazed at how often you recall it.
• Pray often. All day long.
• Pray for those you dislike, and you’ll be amazed at how God changes you.
• Pray before you go to church. Pray for the pastor, the worship leader, the teachers. Be prepared to worship. Be on time. Be ready to listen.
• God calls you lovely, He calls you friend, He calls you beautiful and beloved. Don’t argue with Him.
• Watch less TV.
• Never own anything that you wouldn’t get rid of at a moments notice to help a friend. If you own anything like that, I’ve got news for you—it owns you!
• Do not get any credit cards. Don’t believe the lies; you can fully function without them.
• Never own anything that you can’t share.
• This life is not your own. It’s not about you. It’s about Jesus and glorifying your Father in Heaven.
• Read. Read your Bible; read other books. Read, read, read. There’s so much to be learned! Sure you have the Internet, but it can’t always be trusted. Sit down in a comfy chair and hold a book in your hands and read.
• I’ll be honest: you can’t be whatever you want when you grow up. But you can absolutely be everything God wants you to be. So ask Him what He wants you to do.
• Always hug your mother.
My hope is that I can instill in my son the reality that life is not about him. I find myself reading these things I’ve jotted down, reminding myself that I am indeed beloved to the Master of the universe. And in light of that, what else matters?
Melissa Deal and her husband B.J. serve as Young Adult Sunday School leaders at First Baptist Church of Brownstown. Their 7-year-old son Matthew was recently saved and is starting to discover his spiritual gifts there as well. She blogs regularly at www.thelivelaughlovelifematters.blogspot.com.