I was slightly amazed and hugely amused. As I sat in the background quite comfy, I might add, in a cushy chair looking on as my son led a team to pray. The amusing part was where my mind went as I watched.
Come with me back to when he was a teenager…
My husband was working late and we sat around the dinner table waiting for prayer.
“Tim, can you pray for us tonight please?”
But then what happened before prayer was nothing short of a full-length comedy routine. Each time we all (his older sister, younger brother, and myself) bowed our heads, instead of prayer, we got jokes. We all laughed and went back to bowing our heads. Another joke…and then another…and then another…
“Okay, Tim, really pray now.”
As dinner got cold. There was silence at the table interchanged with laughter.
“Okay, Tim, pray now, please.”
Silence…laughter…silence…laughter…ending on silence. I waited. We waited. No one ate. We waited.
It was a good 30 minutes before the prayer was finally said.
And now, I was watching my son, who is a pastor, lead a team of ministry staff and pastors in prayer. If I wasn’t so proud I probably would have been laughing my hinny off.
God. Is. Good. And. Faithful.
I could have been harsh with my son on that prayer night. I could have said, “Tim, prayer is important [which it is!] and we honor God in this family!”
I could have said, “Your dad will be very disappointed when I tell him about this.”
I could have said, “Dinner is cold now, and you ruined our night.”
I could have taken over and said the prayer myself or passed it to one of my other kids…but I didn’t. I accepted that he was a teenager and I enjoyed the process.
The best environment for us to thrive is one where we are accepted and understood and loved, right where we are. We are all at difference places and God molds us all differently. That prayer laughing night had no judgement or criticism—only acceptance.
As God is molding your loved ones be patient.
Maybe your husband is not the spiritual leader you want him to be…
Could it be that you may need to ramp up your following skills?
Maybe your wife seems uninterested in spiritual conversations…
Perhaps more listening may be in order?
Maybe your child is questioning if they want to follow God…
Allowing safe conversations will strengthen their foundation.
Give room for God to work and love in the meantime. When we get out of the way, and focus on being loving and kind that’s when we nourish the spiritual soil. That’s when we offer the best environment for our loved ones to thrive.
And then we get to sit back and watch God work.
Lucille Williams is the author of the book “From Me to We: A Premarital Guide for the Bride- and Groom- to- Be.” Get your copy today.