I grew up in a house full of girls, with two sisters and a Mami that stayed home to rear us as best she could. Although my Papi worked long hours away from the home, not only was he the sole provider, but he was also the comforter in our family, the tender-hearted one. When my heart bled or I needed someone to listen, I would anxiously wait by my window sill, counting the hours, peeking outside every now and then. As the sun slipped to nothing, I would keep my eyes fixed upon the end of the street, waiting, still waiting, for those beams of light that would signal his return. Once I caught sight of those headlights shining brightly from down the street, my heart would settle into place: “He’s here.” In haste I’d run to the front door to meet my Papi, ready to burrow my head into his embrace and release the tears from deep within.
Though he was tender-hearted, looking back, I rather wonder if he thought he had boys sometimes. He taught me how to play ball, how to stand on my head, how to work on a car (well, he tried to), how to jump curbs on my roller skates, and how to properly spit … from a moving vehicle. Quite frankly, I’ve found that skill very useful in life.
My Papi is also very much a sinner, and in that, I’m very appreciative that he allowed his sin to be seen. My Papi has a very short temper. Oh boy, have you ever seen a Latino man get upset before? It’s loud and scary! My Papi is 5’6”, but just like David, his deep brown eyes can penetrate a soul and leave even the tallest and strongest among them still and afraid. I’m not even kidding. This tender-hearted Latino has a strong will, but just like David, he knows how to bow his knees and ask for forgiveness. I’ve seen him shed tears from time to time, and through that I’ve learned what it is to be broken and in need of a Savior. I’ve seen him go through struggles in life and have seen fear in his eyes. As a child, seeing fear in your father is scary; however, I’ve seen him take that fear and surrender it to the Lord. I’ve seen him choose joy and trust in a God that provides when all else would tell him to doubt. I’ve seen my family endure many trials in life, and the blessing from it is that I’ve also seen the good that comes after the rain. I’ve seen His promises fulfilled. As Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” I’ve seen my Papi read his Bible daily and pray, continually pray.
And now, here I am, raising two boys of my own, and all I can say is that I don’t know. I don’t know how my boys are going to turn out. I don’t know if they’ll make a life-time commitment to serving the Lord. I don’t know if they’ll be godly leaders in their homes. I don’t know.
But…I trust God. In that, I cling to this promise…
“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart it.” Proverbs 22:6
I praise the Lord that my husband grew up in a family similar to my own. Together, we’ve come to the conclusion that the only thing we know to do so that our boys would one day become godly men, is to be a living example of what it means to live a life in Christ.
Just like our parents did for us, we want to show them what it looks like to live a life fully committed to Him, running the race with endurance and for His glory. Through our own lives, we want to show our boys what it looks like to be in His word, to pray unceasingly, to give praise for a new day, to wonder, doubt, sin, repent, fail, and thrive. We want them to walk with us in our own lives of obedience so that they can see what it means to be saved, and journey with us through the process of sanctification and holiness.
So far, it’s been a blessing to see my boys love as Jesus loved. To stop and pray at the sound of a siren, to be gentle with their sister, to lead like their Father. I don’t know how my boys will turn out, but just like my Papi, I will choose God, obedience, and my family first. All I can do now is trust.
Diana Bauman is a mother of three, proud wife, and daughter to an amazing God. She writes about nourishing her family with good, simple food over at My Humble Kitchen. On any given day you can find her in the garden, foraging, canning, preserving and enjoying a simple life.