“Formerly, when you did not know God,
you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods.
But now that you have come to know God,
or rather to be known by God,
how can you turn back again to the
weak and worthless elementary principles of the world,
whose slaves you want to be once more?”
~ Galatians 4:8-9
A Letter to my Children, Part 2…
When I first dreamed of you, I wasn’t thinking of the temptations and hard choices you might face in this world.
No, my sweet child.
I was thinking of ten tiny toes and soft baby skin; of sweet newborn scents and coordinated nursery decor. I wondered if you might have my pug nose – or better yet – your daddy’s good looks. I couldn’t wait to announce to the world that you had finally arrived; that God had somehow entrusted to us for a time the amazing gift of you.
As we painted your room and set up your crib, I wasn’t thinking of a world that would become more and more corrupt as you grew.
I was thinking of rocking you gently, praying over your delicate newborn frame, and dreaming big dreams for your life. I was living through late nights that became precious moments etched in my memory as I repeatedly sang “Be Still My Soul” into the early morning hours… waiting for you to finally settle into deep, peaceful sleep. All felt safer when you were in my arms.
In your toddler years, I didn’t want to think that one day someone might try to talk you out of believing that Jesus is the only way.
I was busy passing down God-stories that I had heard over and over as a small girl: beautiful stories of grace and redemption that moved me to tears – no matter how familiar – each time you plopped on my lap and we opened your well-loved children’s Bible. And as I read, I whispered for God to help you to know this Truth deeply, and prayed that you would one day capture it in your heart as your own.
As you lost teeth, grew out of that sweet baby face, and gained greater independence, I could no longer deny that this world will fight hard for your allegiance.
So we turned up the music and danced in the kitchen, singing worship songs at the top of our lungs because we have something – Someone – worth singing about. And God opened your eyes to who He is, and we danced some more when you came to know God – really know Him – personally and redemptively because of the beauty of the cross.
And we celebrated big, because grace changes everything.
Now you have begun transitioning from boyhood into a man, and I am fully aware that possessions, popularity, and pride will call out after you in even greater force.
You are secure in God’s embrace, but daily you will have the choice to either walk hand in hand with Jesus, or turn back again to the shallowness of what this world has to offer.
Arm yourself, dear one.
Be ready for battle, alert on all sides.
Suit up and daily dress yourself in Truth so that you are not easily swayed.
Stand tall in the face of opposition, confident that your King goes before you and will fight for you when you are at your weakest.
March forward with courage, knowing that your labor is not in vain.
Never forget that Jesus has already won, so fight the good fight and decide to run hard towards His voice over every other distraction calling out your name.
My redeemed child, you have been bought with a price, so live like you are FREE.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll look you in the eyes with great compassion as a fellow sufferer and I’ll keep on saying it until that day:
No turning back. No turning back…
At His feet,
LET’S TALK: What worldly thing draws your attention most off of Christ? How do you arm yourself against it?
Whitney, what a beautiful letter to your children! I would say the battle of comparison and image is the most worldly thing that draws me away from Christ. The enemy constantly puts thoughts of doubt that I am not good enough and it’s so hard in a world that uses body image to sell everything and push it in our faces daily. I’m always thinking I’m not thin enough, not buff enough, my hair isn’t long enough, my skin not flawless, and so on. These thoughts begin to steal my focus on the most important thing in my life. I will begin to think of ways to change those things and it consumes me. I believe those lies time and again. I stand firm and try to fight what the enemy says. I need to stand firm with God by my side filled with His truths. I am fearly and wonderfully made! The one true Creator made me exactly how He designed me to be. He see’s me as beautiful and perfect. I hang on to my Fathers promises and cling to them so I can continue to walk and run the race!
Cling, dear friend. Cling fiercely to those things that God says about you and those things He calls you to be! Stand firm, hold fast, and listen intently to God say “Jountia, you are enough…right now…just as you are!” Thank you for joining us in this study.
~Terria (LGG Encourager)
Oh dear one…surround yourself with godly women that can come along side of you and model to you that it’s the Jesus in you that matters and not what you look like or “feel” like. You may have to distance yourself from things that bring images to your mind of what the world thinks is “beautiful” for you are fearfully and wonderfully made…Psalm 139:14 “I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Thy works, and my soul knows it very well.” Put this to memory and fight the enemy with it….he comes to steal, kill and destroy. You are an image bearer of God… Genesis1:26…”Let Us make man in Our image…” Be blessed and have a blessed day in Him!
Thank you, Whitney for sharing such a personal letter with us. But it’s just like the letter our Father wrote for us, isn’t it? Oh how He loves us! I needed to hear that today. It’s been a struggle these last couple of weeks. I’m trying to juggle two studies, full time work, husband, grand kids soccer, self time, and I’m afraid I’ve let the “doing” of everything else crowd out my precious time spent loving and being loved on by my Father. I was especially encouraged by your last words imploring us, “No turning back, No turning back”! “Until that day”! Press on sisters and fellow sojourners, press in and press on!
It’s funny how life presses in absorbing our time and threatening our intimacy with the Lord. Protect and guard your precious moments with the Lord, Tori, for those are the moments that replenish and refresh you so that you are able to juggle life. We need His power to endure, to persevere, and to prioritize the hectic day. Thank you for sharing.
~Terria (LGG Encourager)
Beautiful! I would have love to received a letter like that from my parents better yet, I wish I had written one like it for my son when he was growing up. Thank you, Whitney for sharing. <3
I agree with you. It is such a beautiful letter! It is never too late to share your heart with those you love! Pour out all of your passion, your love, your knowledge, and your wisdom on all of those in your sphere of influence so that your legacy lives long after you are gone! Blessings to you.
~Terria (LGG Encourager)
Can’t stop crying thinking of this with my son….thank you Whitney for sharing.
I know the feeling! <> What powerful words Whitney shared! I pray that her words move you to stand strong for your son by praying for him and preparing him spiritually for life in this broken, fallen world. Thank you for sharing and joining us in this amazing study.
~Terria (LGG Encourager)
Michelle- I am right there with you and the tears. (Jennifer, LGG Encourager)
Unfortunately, the precious children God gave me to raise for Him, can also be the biggest distraction or hindrance. Focus, money, time, energy-can all be funneled in their direction, to the exclusion of other things, if I’m not careful.
While they are a priority, they should not be on the throne of my heart. Finding that balance where my ministry as a wife, mom, daughter, sister, aunt, neighbor, Sunday school teacher, on and on is hard as I find myself pulled in many directions at the same time. I wan to model the right priorities for them, but honestly, often they end up the focus, so I’m not sure I’m doing the best job of teaching them to put others before yourself.
Thank you so much for your transparency! Children are such a delicate balance in our lives. We have been entrusted by God with their safety and welfare, and yet, they can easily become idols in our lives. We have to stay determined to worship only the Giver of our blessing instead of worshipping the blessing itself. It is a very tough balance that can only be done well when our focus and our passion remains stayed on the Lord. We will be praying for you as God reveals His plan for balance and prioritization in your life! Thank you for sharing!
~Terria (LGG Encourager)
What a precious, tender an so painfully true letter to your son! I hope that you do give it to him. I regret the many times I failed to share my heart with my son’s as they were growing into manhood. Your words mirror God’s truths and are a treasure!
Sheila- Praise God that we serve a God that it is never too late. I plan to write my children letters now and they are 18, 16, 10, and 8. There is still time to share your heart so share your heart sister 🙂 Whitney’s letter to her son opened my eyes to what I need to be doing as a Christian mother. Off to write those letters. (Jennifer, LGG Encourager)
Thank You for sharing this beautiful letter. I do not have children yet. I hope to have some one day. This gives me something to look forward to and guides me in different ways on how to be a good, Godly mother for my children.
Shelby, Whitney’s letter is beautiful isn’t it? Yes, we are surrounded by wonderful and Godly women here at LGG. And we are blessed with lovely examples of Godly parenting and mothering. May God continue to direct your steps as you walk in faith. Praying blessings upon you for your future! ~ Jean (LGG Encourager)
I wrestle with the comparison trap. Never quite feeling like I measure up. I am so not trendy with fashion and sometimes feel embarrassed that my budget can on,y afford the basics at consignment shops and no extras. I am not the most creative with hair and my girls ESP my seven year old wants me to try all these fancies on her hair. I was determined to do it this am and had the extra time. Unfortunately my fingers couldn’t do anything this am and we ended up with just a plain braid. I felt so defeated but thankfully she was patient and gracious with me! Our house is never fully in order and definitely lacks those homey touches that are trendy. Sometimes I feel embarrassed and yet there’s something about it that’s home to us because it’s full of memories. We like to decorate with family pictures and furniture pieces inherited from family and artwork our girls make. But then I have to remember who I am in Christ. In him I am enough. He made me and each member in my house just the way we are. We’re simple and not a ‘keep up with the jones’ type so why compare myself against those who are? We’re a quality time family which means that other stuff can get put aside on the to do list for us to capture a moment. And that’s ok because that’s who we are. I am learning I just have to start each day with the Lord and get on my knees and pray on the armor. I am trying to learn to pray more throughout the day and learn scripture that I can claim in those moments of weakness. And just praying for God to help me see myself and my family as he made us and to embrace it and not try to be something we aren’t.
Oh Lauren, I’ve been where you are at! My hands don’t “do” fancy hair either! And my house is a home of comfort and love, not fashion or trend. It’s been said that comparison is the thief of joy, and I agree! Praying for you Lauren, that your time spent with God and in His Word will encourage you, knowing that He made you individually and uniquely to be exactly the mom and wife that you are … the one that is blessing her family through love … through sharing God’s love and equipping them with faith … regardless of what you can or cannot do! Praying also that you are able to inscribe God’s Word upon your heart, so that when the enemy approaches with thoughts of comparison you can proclaim the Truth of God’s Word! The favor of the Lord our God rests upon you, and establishes the work of your hands. (Psalm 90:17) ~ Jean (LGG Encourager)
Thanks so much for your reply. I kinda felt like my post was a downer but I was in a down spot that am and needed to vent. Thanks for your prayers and encouragement!
Brought tears to my eyes, Whitney.
I was really happy to read this. I have had the same thoughts these past few years, and specially these past few months as we face all of these changes within our country/government that affect our liberties. I brought my kids into this world thinking of the same special things you described in the letter and now I think about the challenges they will be facing and how it is my job to load them with the as much knowledge I can so they can face what is coming. We are engaging in our own Bible studies at home, and I pray that in the end the efforts put forth God blesses. I pray that over all of our children cause times will be getting somewhat tougher. This website is a very nice way to share the Word…thanks.
Wendy, thank you for joining us here. We are glad you are a part of our community! As a mother, too – I agree – the world we are raising our children in is a challenging one. Yet God remains sovereign, and He is always at work. I know that God will bless our children, as we continue to point them to God and His Word, and equip them to walk in faith. May we provide them with examples of how to live a Christian life in a secular world each and every day. And may our time spent parenting and our prayers as “momma warriors” help our children to grow a deep resolve to stand upon faith as the foundation for their lives. ~ Jean (LGG Encourager)
My heart is breaking right now reading this beautiful love letter from parent to child. I so want do overs. My parents couldn’t express feelings of love or care to me or my 2 sisters. If they expressed anything is was of abuse and anger inside. That’s what we learned to. All we ever wanted to be was loving mothers but if you don’t know how it’s hard to be one. I got my chance to be a mother the only thing was I married someone just like my dad. He didn’t want me to love my son. He hit my son which hurt me so bad. I was terrified. You prepared your son to know go out in the world.. That he has Jesus walking with him. My kids have done good thanks to the Lord. I’m jut so grateful for that. I know I’m behind on my studies. It just hurts to know what I’ve missed. Thank you Whitney and everyone whos helped bring this study together. I have to work on forgiving myself for the past.
Truly touched by your words as I sit here in the wee hours of the morning waiting, listening to my two month old waking up, about to get her and rock her to sleep praying that Jesus watch over her and give her strength.
Oh Sharon, I’m sitting here crying after reading your words. You don’t need to work on forgiving yourself; when you accept Jesus as your Savior and allow Him to be Lord of your life, you are forgiven! Repent of any sins … yes. But know that Jesus sees the posture of your heart, and the Holy Spirit is working in you – even if through groans – to speak, and move you forward. Praying for you my dear sister, that you come to know Jesus as YOUR Lord and Savior, and of His unfailing and never ending love for YOU! That you trust Jesus and His Word, and know that His promises of forgiveness and salvation are for you. My dear sister, Jesus meets us where we are at and uses where we’ve been to bring Him glory! No situation is too bad … no circumstances are beyond His redemption. I am praying mightily for you Sharon, that the Lord speak to you in the deepest recesses of your heart and fill you with an overflowing sense of His love! May you let His light shine in any and all dark places, knowing that any cracks that are there will be wondrous and beautiful filters of His love – for all the world to see! God bless you Sharon. ~ Jean (LGG Encourager)
Whitney, your letter was amazing! I am an indiana girl too and sometimes wish I could just soak in your wisdom over coffee!,! You’re amazing and so inspiring! I try to write to my daughters as well but it’s been a while! This was a good reminder to get back into that and to write out those prayers for them as well! Thanks for the encouragement and inspiring reminder of the power of prayer for our kids!
Wow-what a letter! Copied it down for my boy who will be transitioning into the world shortly. So thankful God understands a mother’s emotions and hears all of our prayers…not to mention..being closer to them then we can be, loves them more then we can and can always give them advise based on heavenly wisdom! Praise Him and thank you for sharing:)
I would have to say that my past mistakes call to me. They tell me I’m not good enough, that I will always be hopeless and will fail as a mother and a wife, as a child of the Almighty. I fight the fight of truth daily, even if only in my mind.