Aidan you’re young
But Aidan you’re growing fast
Me and your mom
And all the love we have
We can only take you so far
As far as we can
But you’ll need something more to guide your heart
As you grow into a man
—Rich Mullins, Let Mercy Lead
Years later I’m still impressed by the lyrics of Rich Mullins. He had such a clear understanding of the spiritual. Let Mercy Lead was a poetic prayer that Rich wrote at the birth of one of his friend’s children. While Mullins never had children, this is the prayer of a father and very appropriate for parents. I hope to encourage parents to make this their prayer.
The family model of ministry demonstrates the importance of parents in the development of the next generation. That’s good. But we must be clear. Parents till the soil of faith, but they are limited. “We can only take you so far…But you’ll need something more to guide your heart.” Parents, by the demonstrations of their faith in the lives of their children, can prepare a good or a poor soil for faith to grow in their children. Any other expectation is idolatry.
The most important thing parents can do for their children is to pray.
Consider praying this part of Rich Mullins’ prayer:
Let mercy lead
Let love be the strength in your legs
And in every footprint that you leave
There’ll be a drop of grace
Till the soil of faith by demonstrating your faith in the way you live. Then, when you’re tempted to pray for power, success, or even great health, spend your time praying for God’s mercy to lead your children so that his grace will be demonstrated in their lives.