The Grace Covering

My sons sang with the kids choir in church last Sunday.

It was a song they had been working on for a long time.  One that we even made a point to sing each night as we worshiped together as a family.

I wasn’t too sure if Whitesnake’s Still of the Night was an appropriate choice for our kids choir to sing on a Sunday morning but what do I know?

Actually they sang a song about God’s grace.  When we practiced it at night, one son approached each hand motion with surgical precision, as if all of the dead hymn writers would come back to haunt him if he messed up.  For the other, it was a show.  The removal of clothing wasn’t part of the hand motions but that never stopped him.

Sunday morning, while I watched my two sons and their friends sing about God’s grace, I prayed for the day when each kid would sincerely say that, “Grace flows down and covers me.”

God, cover them with your grace.

I was enjoying the moment and all but I was also looking forward to the day when those two boys singing about God’s grace would become two men boldly living under the cover of God’s grace.

I couldn’t wait for them to grow up.

Later that same Sunday I went to a Super Bowl party.  By the time I showed up, the Ravens were winning 7 to 3.  Everyone was eating, talking and laughing.  Everyone but my oldest son.  He was sitting on a couch next to a man almost ten times his age.  They were both glued to the screen, hanging on to every play.

And then came halftime.

While a half-naked Beyonce danced and allegedly sang, my son came up to me with a distressed look on his face.

“Dad, what is this?!  When are they going to make it stop and go back to playing football?”

It was then that I desperately wanted my sons not to grow up.  Couldn’t they just stay at this age where dancing naked women are nothing more than foolish diversions away from the things that really matter?

No.  They can’t.

Men of God aren’t developed in a controlled environment.  The Spirit leads us in the process of being more like Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18) but he does so in a world where anger, gossip, corruption and dancing naked women during halftime shows are the norm (Romans 1:18-32).

I can’t keep my two sons from growing up.  Just like their dad, they are fallen young men with a sin nature.  On Sunday night, in sheer boredom, they looked away from the TV.  But the time will soon come when everything within them will tell them to look at the image on the screen.  Look some more.  Okay, again.  One more time.

Every night I pray for God to develop my boys into men of God from an early age on.  I think that I’m just now starting to learn what I really mean when I say that prayer.

Men of God still sin.  As my boys grow up they will give in to the temptation.  They are going to need God, in his grace, to cover them with forgiveness.

But men of God also fight.  Temptation can be defeated but not in solitude.  They are going to need God, in his grace, to cover them with protection.

God, cover them with your grace.