How He Loves

– Pastor Brandon’s article from the December 2015 Newsletter

There is a lot of silliness that goes on at our house.  We can’t help it; we have a two-year old.

We run up and down the hallway with footballs, soccer balls, and basketballs for what feels like hours.  William “The Boy” Carter routinely takes down “The Big Bad Dad” and “Mom the Bomb” as we wrestle on the bed.  We dance around like maniacs playing toy guitars, air guitars, and even baseball bats while we sing “My Lighthouse” and “Build Your Kingdom Here” on a loop over and over and over.  The craziness wakes up early and doesn’t slow down until late into the night.

The boy is developing a sense of humor as well.  He now thinks it’s funny to call us “Brandon” or “Hannah,” and he particularly enjoys calling us by the wrong name.  Yesterday, when I asked him what his name was, he laughed and answered “Jane.”  “No, it’s not,” I said as I emphasized that I knew better because I was the one who named him William Judah.  He smiled, and I held him close.

In a way, it’s kind of weird to think that we give someone else a name that will stick with him his whole life.  But, more than that, William did not just receive his name from us; he is also receiving from us a way of life.  I’m amazed at how quick he is to pick up on things and mimic our behavior.  From his love of sports and music to the way he grunts when he’s frustrated, he is copying what we do.  I’m excited that he has asked to go to church every day since Sunday.  I also won’t forget the time I told him to put a book away and as he turned to do it, he muttered, “ugghh, tupid.”  Oops.  That’s not a word we use very often, but apparently he’s heard it somewhere…   More and more, I’m impressed with the influence I have over him and the need for me set a godly example and point him to Jesus Christ.  William will ultimately make his own decisions in life, but I don’t want to miss important opportunities for influence while he’s under our care.

Anyway, that’s just a small glimpse of what it’s like to be part of our family.  There are times of rejoicing, times of sorrow, times of silliness, laughter, temper tantrums, bumps, boo-boos, and tears.  In all of this, I want William to know that he’s loved.  I watch him and wonder if he understands even just a little bit of how much Hannah and I care for him, how we long for what’s best for him, how we love him for who he is, not for what we can get out of him.  I want him to know the depth of our love.  Does he really grasp it?

Then, I ask myself, “Do I really understand what it means to be part of God’s family?”  Oh, how I need the help of my Father!

“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”  (Ephesians 3:14-21)