Letters to little ones…

Through the years I have made it my practice to write letters to the newborn children of church members on the day of their birth.  This afternoon, I ran across a letter I wrote last year to the infant son of my associate pastor.  When I visited the hospital that first night of his life, I read this letter aloud to his entire family, who had gathered in the room.  Pastors, no sermon you will ever preach on Christian parenting will be as meaningful to a new Christian parent as a letter to their child on the day of his/her birth.  Reading it this afternoon, I stopped to pray for one-year old little Lucas Cook, who isn’t feeling well today.
October 26, 2005

Dear Little Lucas Cook:

Shortly before 3:00 p.m. today, you were brought into this world to be another voice created for God’s praise and glory.  Over the past nine months, you have been fearfully and wonderfully made.  God has knit you together in your mother’s womb, and before today ever occurred, God knew you.  Today is a wonderful day of celebration in your parents’ lives.  A little more than two years ago your mother and father met at Southwestern , and I had the privilege of watching their love for each other mature, seeing their commitment to Christ develop, and becoming their friend along the way.  Lucas, God has given you the kind of home few children have.  Today there were other children born at the same hospital – other mothers and other fathers – but you have been born into a day when many parents don’t care about their children.  Many don’t love them like they should or provide for them.  Many parents are bad examples rather than good ones.  Chances are, most of those who were born today in Harris Hospital will never know the kind of home you are going to have.

Other children were born today in places of the world where their lives are in danger from disease and epidemic.  They have been born poor, destitute, in shacks and huts to parents without the means to feed them or clothe them.  When you are growing up surrounded by love, they will be lonely.  When you are learning what kinds of food you love and what kinds you spit back up, they will be starving.  When you are feeling the warmth of home and security, they will be afraid and cold in the night. And why?  Why have you received such a better start in life than they have?  Is it because you are more special than they are?  Is it because you are more important to God?  Never let your little mind begin to think such things.  You have been born into the wonderful blessing of family, love, faith, and health for no other reason that God is sovereign and his ways are beyond finding out.

Lucas, I have come to love your father.  He is a man who seeks to follow the Lord and have victory over sin.  He is a man who seeks to love his wife and honor his father.  He is a man who seeks to serve his Creator and the church which Christ purchased with his own blood.  As you become a young man, you will be wise to learn from him.  He will not steer you wrong, and he will not give you bad counsel.  The days will come that the advice of your friends will be more enticing than the wisdom of your father – but do not listen to them.  Your father will teach you to respect women and cherish them.  He will teach you to work hard and with honesty.  He will teach you to pray, to serve, and to love.  He will teach you patience, and sometimes he will try your patience.  But in the end, his desire for you is that some day, in God’s good time, you will choose a wife for yourself who is as noble as the one he chose, and you will start a family, and he will travel hundreds of miles to smile and cry and thank God for the privilege of being your father.

And, Lucas, you have a beautiful mother.  The excellence of her charm is only surpassed by the grace in her heart.  She has dreamed all her life about holding you in her arms.  When she was a little girl, she would play house, and hold dolls, and pretend to be a mommy.  All little girls hope for such things, but not everyone gets them.  Today, your mother is lying in a hospital room holding the baby she’s always wanted with the man she always desired.  She will nurture your character, and raise you to honor your father by the example she sets.  She will teach you to behave and have manners.  She will be there to hold you when you are afraid at night, to dry your tears and bandage your knees and bake you cookies and hug you every chance she gets.  One day, you will think you are too big for her hugs, too grown up for her silly little ways of saying she loves you.  But don’t let that day come too soon.  Enjoy it to the fullest and thank God every day that he saw fit to bring you out of her womb and into her arms.  She will not mislead you, and she will not deceive you.  Sometimes she will spank you, and sometimes you will say things that make her cry.  But her hurt will pass when those times come only because of her deep love that cannot be shaken.  Your mother is wonderful, not because she gave you life…but because she knows that God has given it to you.  She knows that you are a gift from the Lord, and a responsibility.  Today she has accepted both, come what may.

And Lucas, today, as your very first pastor in the world, I wan t you to know that I am praying for you.  I want to be the kind of minister that will foster your coming to Christ at a very early age.  Little babies can be deceiving.  You look so innocent and so pure.  But the Scripture says that even as you are now, you are a sinner in need of God’s grace.  Today you have been born, but one day you must be born again.  I pray God that you come to know his rich grace and mercy and follow him all the days of your life.

With love from your pastor…

4 thoughts on “Letters to little ones…

  1. Ben,
    I have seen your Heart and Your Love for the Lord ever since I started Blogging. I also know that Dorcas wouldn’t be in a Church that wasn’t bringing Glory and Honor to the Lord. What a Lovely thing to do in writing a letter to a Newborn Gift from God. God has surly Blessed you with His Gift of Love.

    In His Name
    Wayne Smith

  2. Ben…DYNAMITE!!!! What a great idea! You knocked it out of the park with this one…allow me to say GREAT JOB PREACHER AND PASTOR…this is a great way to communicate the love we as pastor’s have for the sheep God has entrusted us with.

  3. Ben,

    I’ve heard it said that “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” Can I steal your letter for my own use?


  4. I think it would be fascinating when those kids get to be young adults to see the effect that letter has had in their life. You’ll get to see some of those kids grow up in your church, but others will move away. My guess is that, on a day when you need encouragement and when things haven’t been going well, you’ll get a note in the mail, a phone call or an email from someone who remembered.

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