When we found out we were going to have a child we began to dream of what he or she would become. We knew we would raise this child to love the Lord and follow His direction for his or her life. As young idealistic parents, we had no idea all that would be involved in bearing the responsibility of raising a child.
The child we had great dreams for is now a 22-year-old man. It has been amazing how quickly the years have passed. During those days we did teach him about Jesus, but we learned we could not make our son love Him. Loving the Lord was his choice. While he was young we could make our son do the right thing, but as he got older good decisions would have to be his choice. We adamantly pointed out the value of good choices and reminded him of the blessings that come from following Christ, but ultimately following Jesus was a heart issue. That is why teaching not only what we believe but why was so important. We spent time with our son and showed him unconditional love even when his decisions did not please us. At that point we taught him the effects of swift discipline to remind him next time to choose the better way. Our responsibilities were tedious at times and at others filled with laughter, joy, and tears of delight.
As this young man arrived at his 18th birthday, we knew our role would change. At that point I purchased a chef’s apron and called our family together for a ceremony. My husband officiated as we explained to our young man that we had given him everything we knew to help him be the man God wanted him to be. We assured him that we were proud of him and loved him more than words could say. With that, we presented our son with the apron. As he unwrapped it he had a quizzical look on his face. His father and I then took a pair of scissors and with great pride and yet some fear we snipped one of the apron strings. With the severing of that string we were giving him a visual example of us setting him out on his own. We reminded him of the other string and told him that on the day he is married we will cut it, symbolizing our setting him out unto the Lord to be the man God created him to be. We closed our time together with a prayer of thanksgiving and a petition that God would lead this young man.
Since that day we have followed suit with another of our four children, and we look forward to the day when we hold the severed strings of all of our children. I know we have not been perfect parents, but we have and are doing the very best we can with what we have in order to be the parents and stewards of the children God has entrusted to us.
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About Page Hughes
Page Hughes is a Jesus loving party girl who is always ready to have fun! She has been married to Dr. Les Hughes for over 30 years and they reside in Alabaster, Alabama. Les and Page have been blessed with 4 amazing children and 4 fabulous grand children who are the source of many great illustrations. Page loves people well through ministering to their hurts, cooking delicious meals, and partying with the purpose of leading others to a deeper relationship with Jesus. Page’s goal in life is to go to heaven when she dies and take as many people as she can with her.
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