Two weeks ago we moved back into the city. Little birds that we are, we read the snow and sub zero temperature report, packed up, and went…north actually, down, out of the mountains. We landed back on our block with our comfortable neighbors, familiar sirens, 10 minutes from all things convenient.
There is a new development, however. We now share a city lot with four bachelors who live in the house next to us. Bonafide twenty somethings, big trucks, single-ish, working men. I notice them leaving dressed for their respective jobs around town at all hours of the day. I hear vehicle doors slamming long after my head rests on the pillow announcing their arrival home. Sometimes, there are girls. Ladies accompanying these man-boys into their house trustingly.
I am not checking them out. Seriously. I am not stalking them either. I am apprised of all the goings on because I am watching my two little boys watch them with a keen interest.
When renter #2 starts his diesel truck, my boys flock to the window eyes wide at such an awesome rig. When another exits donning suit and tie they question where he is going all dressed up.
So, Gentlemen, as my miniature gentlemen have you on their radar you are now blinking on mine. I realize when you look to the north all you see is a middle aged, mini van driving, harried housewife hauling kids and gear in and out pack horse style. I ask you to look beyond my sweats and third day, greasy hair bun to the little boys standing tall at my waist and consider this:
Each time you enter the outside, if you see my boys, they most definitely see you.
They notice when you come and when you go. They notice what you are wearing and who is walking beside you. They hear your language. These keen sensors read your facial expressions like you read your…whatever your choice of literature may be. They know when you bring someone home with you and they ask what you are carrying in that bag in your hand.
Dear single, man-boys next door who will never read my mommy blog, please be careful. During the day while daddy is at work, my boys gather research from you on what it looks like to be a man. No, it is not your job to raise my kids. Nonetheless, YES, it is your job to set a good example. My bear cubs stop playing with their trucks in the yard to investigate you as you hop up into the much coveted real noise maker.
So, don’t spank the bottom of the girl walking alongside you to your one ton, rather open the door for her. If your pants are revealing the brand of your boxers, please pull them up. (No, I have not personally witnessed the pat nor read the waistband, just a note of encouragement to aim high.) Notice the people walking down the sidewalk in front of our houses and be courteous to them. Smile. Be honest. Work Hard. We told our kids we are fairly certain you four men love Jesus, so act like it. OK? Don’t settle just because it is easier to be lazy and apethic. Turn off the video games and turn on a sermon. Ditch the third football game for a jog. Exchange the Monster Drink for a vegetable. I know right now life is fun for you. And that is outstanding, thoroughly enjoy it. Enjoy it, don’t waste it.
There are few men out there today worthy of a worthwhile woman. Be one of them, because guess what? I have two, equally alert girls and they know you as well as their brothers do. When given the opportunity, they consider the clothing, words, and actions of the princess at your elbow. Treat her well, please. In the twenty feet from door to door we spy you, honor that young lady as if I was not the basketcase next door but her father. And while we are on the subject, why not skip dating (a.k.a. time wasting) all together and just flat out interview for marriage? Extreme, I know, but worth a ponder.
Finally, Chaps, please know that I am praying for each one of you.
Unbeknownst to you, you are now on my list of Little Shavers turning Misters for which I am praying. In as much as we need mighty warriors in the world, not gamers, please rise up off the couch and pull on the armor. We need truthful men who stand and teach, not passive boys who pass the buck. The world longs for men who go to work and pay their bills even if the position secured is unsatisfying, unadventuros, unglamorous. I implore you to meet my eyes and admit when you have done something wrong asking forgiveness rather than blame shifting, eyes diverted on the ground.
You are qualified, capable, competent. How? Because, Jesus has made you thus. Anything less than these are lies from the pit, don’t believe them.
Sirs, here is the prayer I pray over you and my boys often. May God bring it all to fruition and may I still be alive to see that fruit lived out in your lives.
- I pray that you emulate DAVID in the Bible who, although he made mistakes, was known as a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22).
- I am also praying that, like DAVID, if you are doing something you should not be, you are caught (2 Samuel 12).
- I beseech the Lord that you will preach like PAUL in the New Testament who did not stop proclaiming Jesus until all of Asia had heard His Name (Acts 19:10).
- I pray you learn to encourage people equal to BARNABAS in a world that takes every opportunity to suction until parched all encouragement out of its inhabitants (Acts).
- I ask our Father to teach you how to love paralleling JOHN who loved his friends and followers so very well (John, 1,2,3 John, Revelation).
- When you see injustice, may you rise up in the manner of SHAMGAR when he grabbed an ox goad and slaughtered 600 of those who were slaughtering his people (Judges 3:31).
- I pray the message of God burns so hotly in your heart that you have to share it like JEREMIAH for fear of the fire consuming you if you do not (Jeremiah 20:9).
- I pray you look to your family and protect and provide for those who need it as BOAZ did for Ruth (Ruth).
- I pray no matter how crazy the thing is that God asks you to do, you drop what you are doing and get to it just as GIDEON did (Judges 6-8).
- Lastly, despite everything that happens to you in your life, regardless of who or what hurts you, remain faithful as HOSEA did when his wife repeatedly left him (Hosea).
The truth is, gentlemen, I am honored to be your neighbor for a short season. In the spurts of time in which I observe you, I see character traits I would be blessed to have instilled in my little guys. Thanks so much for waking everyday and trying to do the right thing. Your faithfulness will pay off in the end.
Who knows, one day you might find youself sharing a lot with four twenty something bachelors with a gaggle clinging to your legs. I would like to know what you would say to those fellas.
Gentlemen, start your rumbling engines and go to work!
NOTE: This is part two of a two part series on praying for our kids. To view the article regarding praying for the sweet lady daughters in your home, click here.