Today, my second daughter Ava turns 9. She is a sweet girl filled with a zest for life and lots of emotions. Last night, on the eve of her birthday she informed my wife that she didn’t want to grow up. The conversation went like this:
Ava: Mom, I don’t want to get older. I mean, I really don’t want to get married.
Mom: Ava, you’re turning 9 tomorrow.
Ava: I know, but I just don’t want to get older and have to pay bills. I want to just stay with you and Dad.
Ella (oldest daughter): Ava, that’s really not ok to just live with your parents when you are an adult with a job.
Mom: Girls, she’s turning 9 tomorrow. Let’s just enjoy these years. Ava probably won’t live with us when she’s grown-up.
Ava: But, I don’t want to get married.
Of course, she doesn’t ever have to get married and we’d be happy for her to live with us for as long as she needs to, but, she does have to grow up. If she chooses to get married one day, it had better be a godly man who acts like a grown up too. The apostle Paul says,
1 Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.
There are far too many young “men” who still act like children, shrugging their responsibilities, being passive and wasting their lives. My prayer is that none of my daughters will marry one of these men.
I pray for her to continue to grow in her relationship with Jesus. Last night, well after her bedtime, I heard her and her oldest sister talking in their room. When I opened the door, they were reading the Bible together. That brought joy to my heart.
I am watching them grow not only physically and emotionally, but they are doing what every believer in Jesus Christ is meant to do. They are growing spiritually.
1 Peter 2:2-3 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
In order to grow spiritually, we must be in God’s Word. We must read God’s Word, meditate on God’s Word, memorize God’s Word, live by God’s Word and share God’s Word. We also have to pray regularly.
Ephesians 3:16-19 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge– that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Paul is here praying for the believers at Ephesus, but he is praying that God will do a work to grow these believers. He asks God to grow them in strength of their inner being, in faith, to grasp His love and to be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. God is the one growing them up in the faith.
Growing up is a scary thing; with growth, comes the unknown. Growth requires us to face fears, overcome obstacles, climb to new heights, and encounter God in new ways. However, we are all meant to grow. We can’t simply find a safe place and stay there forever. How is God growing you? What are you doing to grow up in Him today?