The birthday cake was cut and the coffee was brewing. We all sat encircling the two eldest women as though we were small children again. We listened intently as they relived stories from days long past: stories of childhood chores, bathing in a # 3 washtub, the festive day they got hot running water, and the youthful trouble in which they would sometimes find themselves. These two silver-haired sisters sat and laughed for hours at the opportunity to remember what life used to be for them.
We had gathered to celebrate the 82nd birthday of Brian’s grandmother. A godly and well-esteemed woman, I see in her so many qualities I hope to someday possess. What struck me most about that day was not that we were celebrating her 82nd birthday, but the subject which took up the majority of her and her sister’s conversation: their father.
A combined 160 years of life and the thing these two women most wanted and enjoyed talking about was their father, the man he was, and the legacy he left for them.
I think about the men who play the biggest role in my life. Men like my own father, my grandfathers, and my husband. These men, by life’s selection and circumstance, have been given the platform of influence in my life and the life of many others in their own lives.
The respect and admiration I have for these men and the thought of their legacies started me thinking about our Joel Home guys. Who will tell them about the platform of influence they too have? Who will show them what it means to be a man, a husband, a father? Who will show them how to sacrificially lead their families? Who will stress to them the importance of unconditional love for their children and how important is to them that they come to their child’s athletic games and school events?
How fortunate I was to have men who knew so well how to show their love for me. How fortunate I was to have men who knew so well how to show their support for me. How fortunate I was to have men who knew so well to teach how a woman is to be treated, honored, and cared for.
And what of our guys here at Joel Home? Who will show them? Who will teach them?
My prayer is they will see these things in my husband. I pray they see the godly, big-hearted man he is and how much he cares for them. I pray they see qualities in my husband that they too hope to possess. I pray they see me admiring and honoring my husband in a way they hope their future wives will. I pray they see the ways we serve each other, love each other, build up each other, and sacrifice for each other. I pray they see Christ in us.
I also pray there are others who will come along beside us and desire relationship with these guys. I wish people could see how incredible these young men are and how much heart they have. I pray people will join hands with us as we desire to teach these young men about legacies and true manhood.
If you are reading this I have some challenges for you:
First, for those in the Colorado Springs area, if you have any interest at all in serving alongside these incredible guys we need mentors! We need men, or couples, or families, or however God is calling you, to choose to invest in these guys and model for them what the life of Christ and the life of a man looks like. If you are interested in becoming involved or would like more information, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Second, if you are not in our area, I challenge you to join Joel Home, Children’s Hope Chest, and us in prayer for these guys. Brian and I have three guys living with us in Joel Home II and there are three guys living in Joel Home I. That’s a total of 6 young men who need to be covered in prayer and be lifted up as men. Will you commit to standing with us in their corner and encouraging them, supporting them, coaching them, and praying for them?
Friends, I am so grateful for each of you who take time to read the words God imprints on my heart. I am thankful for all those men who shape and impact my life and I lift each of you up in prayer. Will you too lift those men who are special to you up in prayer and tell them how important they are? Will you remind them of the importance of their legacy? Will you build them up as men so they can become more like Christ and better lead your families, your groups, and your communities? Thank you friends for your commitment to the family of Christ and to the men in your lives.
Like Grandma Jo and her father, I pray these young men too will one day have children who, in their older age, are able to enrapture their family members by talking about the man their father was and the legacy he left behind.
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous” – Psalm 1:1-6
“Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.” – 1 Corinthians 16:13-14