It’s a good 30. He retains his curiosity and character, well blended with experience. He’s a good husband and a good dad. He is also a good sibling and a good son.
And he is not unwilling to get better at these things. He always liked to get better at things. As a child he seemed easily distracted, but was, in fact, capable of concentration in the extreme—totally absorbed in skills to be learned, problems to be solved, things to learn. He taught himself more than we ever could.
So at this milestone I’m grateful that he hasn’t changed much, except by adding more grace to his interactions and more thought to his responsibilities. This is what I would want for my children, and I am grateful when I see it in each of them.
But today, on his birthday, I have a list of wishes, even though I’m sure he has a candle to blow out—and a list of his own.
First, I continue to wish for him to have a deeper understanding of grace. I’d like him to be where I am now by the time he is 40. Or 31. And where I am right now is grateful, humbled, and alive to the power and the glory of the gospel.
I think about it all the time. He thinks about it often. But this gospel of grace is the key to understanding the work of God and the reason we can rest in it. And rest is something Christian needs.
He is a man with a demanding job. And three beautiful women to care for—his wife and two daughters. He will have opportunities each day to trust God more. And to wait on Him, without worry. And to rest in Him.
I wish I had grasped this when I was 30 and he was 2.
I also wish for him to be grounded in Scripture, so that the wisdom he finds there will always be rooted in theological certainties and specific promises. Here I wish I had done more—adding to the principles I tried to teach him a better understanding of the frameworks that sustain them.
I’m sure he sensed my confidence in the sovereignty of God, for example. But I wish we had talked about Romans 9. A lot. And that we still will. There is so much I’ve learned since he got married nine years ago. Of course there is so much he has learned too.
But only now have I begun to fully trust the God of his fathers to draw him close and lift him up and transform him daily. It was never my job to do those things, and it is ever my joy when God does.
I’m not wishing for Christian’s journey to be easy, by the way. He still has much to learn.
But I am wishing that it might be blessed. Praying, really.
And praying also that in every darkness he will see the shining glory of God.