Mandy and I have been reading through the whole Bible lately with the goal of doing a complete read through by May 2011. I am not sure if we are going to reach that goal but we are continuing to strive for this very noble achievement. While doing so I have been struck by many new thoughts and reflections on portions that I have already read many times before. Recently I have been reflecting on the passages that mark the transition of leadership from one generation to another and the blessings associated with this. Two instances that stick out in my mind are when Isaac blesses Jacob prior to his death and when Moses passes the torch of leadership to Joshua prior to his death. These instances are not just trivial matters – they are milestone moments in the life of a group of people. Without getting too theological or philosophical (and thus missing the whole point of this posting), how does this notion of blessings for our kids pertain to our present culture?

Every time I think about this topic I have a somewhat morbid mental image of my old self lying in a hospital bed and requesting some time alone with each of my children to pass the mantle of family and faith on to them and thus to the next generation. There is no need to wait until that moment however to speak prayers and blessings of encouragement for your children. All milestones in life are opportunities for significant moments to occur much like the Isaac-Jacob and Moses-Joshua moments. The moment your children are born, when they begin school, when they graduate, their marriage, their children, when they become grandparents…and ultimately the moment when they will have carry on life without you and become the matriarchs and patriarchs of your family.

That being said let me give you a glimpse into the thoughts and blessings that I have in mind for my kids right now.

Benjamin: You made life happier and more complete than I ever imagined. I told people having you was the best thing that your mom and I had ever done in life and in our marriage. I love guiding you through life and I love watching you grow. I was told once that Benjamin was a good strong name; you are a strong person and full of drive when you have a goal in mind. Never loose that determination but always make sure that you are driving for the best goals. Your faith in God will direct you always. I love the way you pray with us at meals and bedtimes now; don’t ever stop. You will be a great and strong influence in our family and on your brothers and sisters, my eldest son Benjamin.

Sophia: Your name means ‘wisdom’ and this was no accident; always make wise decisions in life and always remain connected to God, the supplier of great wisdom. I pray that you will be as wise as Solomon and through that you will save yourself and those around you much grief in life. I see you as gentle and steady, a trendsetter not just by charisma but also by how you have lived each day over time. I love your snuggles and your smiles and the strength that you have exerted just to be here with us today. You are loved, my eldest daughter Sophia.

Aubrey: Your mom thought this name was beautiful and I have no doubt that you were too. We had a hunch you were in there but only knew for certain just one week before you left us. Though I will never know you the way I know your brothers and sisters your life inspired many conversations and moments within your family and between friends…all that in just one week. Where you are now I have never been, however my wish for you is that the story of your life will be a blessing to those here and that you enjoy your new life while you wait for your family to join you. My third child, Aubrey.

I share this in my “just for parents” category to encourage parents of teenagers who may be following this blog to embrace milestone moments in life and to allow spiritual things to continually intersect with your lives. Pray blessings for your children, continually encourage them in spiritual pursuits, and make sure to leave with them significant moments of wisdom and faith for all the days that they will live after our loving and prayerful direction has passed on.