by Bitner (bio)
My fellow UVA alum, Tina Fey, recently posted a cute, funny, and sincere prayer, called A Mother's Prayer for Her Child. Go read it if you haven't yet.
I am the only son to my father and I am now the father of two sons. With Father's Day approaching and with Tina Fey's prayer on my mind, I have drafted the following prayer of a Father for his son(s). What would/do you include in your prayer for your son?
When my son eventually emerges from the 'girls are gross' phase of childhood, may he be a picture of self-control. Help him keep his snake in his cage and his mind, eyes, and hands to himself until he is married to his wife. Once married may he forever be a one-woman man. May he find repulsive the advances of the female colleague at work and the seductive look of the Young Women's president.
In high school, make him well-liked, but not disgustingly so. Do thy thang and keep him humble.
In the hundreds of Sunday School lessons and Seminary classes that he will attend but rarely pay attention to, may there be something that sticks. May there be enough seeds planted that faith eventually fills his being.
Give him strength to never accept the offered beer or cigarette, or myriad other substances that he is taught to avoid. May the Ginger Ale or the 2-liter Mountain Dew be the extent of his binge drinking.
During his teen years when he likes me about as much as anyone likes BO, help me, Lord, to be patient and compassionate that I not give up. He needs his father.
When the moment (and the spirit) calls for reproof, may I do so sharply, then show forth afterward an increase of love. Thou forbid, he think of me as his enemy!
Bless him with an internal drive that motivates him to work hard and seek great accomplishments. My greatest fear is a boy with supreme potential who pittles it away in idleness and laziness. In order to foster that drive, give me strength to teach him how to work hard and work smart.
Bless him to be both wise and playful. May wisdom, through learning from his mistakes and those of others, guide his decisions; may playfulness help him enjoy life in the moment.
May he develop uncommon strength of will and character coupled with gentleness and tenderness that opens his eyes to the opportunities around him to uplift others. And may he take full advantage of said opportunities.
Bless him to find a wife better than him who can help him reach his potential. That together they can raise a better family than either of them experienced individually. Help them to recognize they are standing on the shoulders of giants and that where much is given, much is required.
Bless him to be a kingly "nursing father" who "shall bring [his] sons in [his] arms and [his] daughters shall be carried upon [his] shoulders." That he and his family will someday, "bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet; for they shall not be ashamed that wait for [Christ]."
Make him willing to heed the counsel of prophets and priesthood leaders, knowing the source of such counsel.
But before all that, Lord, childhood is daily a near-death experience -- protect him, please. I cannot stop him from jumping off of the stairs and racing his bike recklessly down the street. I cannot protect him from everything.
How I love that boy!