The couple I live with is raising their nephew, Blaine, and they have entrusted me with significant responsibility for him. I’m grateful for this opportunity to put into practice some of what I’ve learned over the years about parenting.

My experience confirms that rearing a child is indeed challenging. Just this week, I’ve dealt with lying, stealing, disrespect, and neglect of chores, as well as multiple incidents of disobedience. Yet I’ve seen significant progress in these areas over the past year and a half, so I’m not discouraged. The instructions God gives in the Bible truly are effective. And besetting sins reinforce the necessity to flee to Christ for forgiveness and for strength to resist temptations. Please pray that I will faithfully teach Blaine the gospel at every opportunity.

On Wednesday, the cousin with whom Blaine shares a room presented a concern to me: Blaine likes to take apart electronic items and doesn’t always put them back together properly, resulting in broken devices and the danger of electrical accidents. In this case, rather than reprimanding Blaine, I announced that it is necessary for a scientist like him to perform experiments, but he simply needs training in order to undertake them safely.

These days at the organization where I work, our electrician Olino is busy fixing broken equipment, so I asked Blaine to come to work with me the next day to help Olino for the purpose of learning from him. He enthusiastically accepted and worked faithfully with Olino the whole day. Blaine loved it, and Olino said that he was indeed helpful, so they both want to continue working together in the future. Though I can’t say Blaine is a professional electrician yet, he has spent the weekend doing impressive things with two dismantled clocks in his bedroom.

Blaine has big dreams for the future. In addition to being an electrician, he also wants to be a doctor, a pilot, an inventor, a preacher, and a government leader. I encourage him to reach for the stars and to take practical steps towards learning the skills necessary for these jobs. Every afternoon when I get home from work, he and I watch the news together, and he reads to me from his Bible story book. God has given Blaine remarkable intellect, and I am eager to see him use it to the fullest for His glory.

Most of all, I want Blaine to be a godly man, saved by God’s grace. I see growing evidence of a tender heart in this dear boy. Yesterday he marveled repeatedly at the magnitude of Abraham’s faith. Recently he asked me out of the blue whether it is a sin to love too much. He is learning to take his problems to God in prayer and expect Him to respond. May God bless the seeds which I am sowing in Blaine’s life to bear abundant fruit for decades to come.

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