I want you both to know that I am honored to be your dad. I’m not sure how I became so blessed, but I thank God that I am.
There are some things that I hope to teach you over the years. Not just skills and knowhow, but character stuff. Things of the heart.
Right now, there’s a lack of good men in the world. There are some, but not many. I know that you boys will be a part of that minority of men who stand out. Who add flavor and light wherever you go. For this, I am proud already.
Make sure to always keep your priorities in order. Jesus 1st, family 2nd and all else 3rd. As you put Jesus 1st, you will be better men. Better friends. Better husbands. Better fathers. Trust me in this, it’s true. You’ll mess up and that’s okay, just get back up and keep trying. Rely on the grace that only Jesus can provide.
Work hard. You’ll have good and bad days, but always maintain a good work ethic. Work ethic trumps perfection.
Be honest, always. When nobody is looking, be honest. When someone asks you a question, be honest. When you’re hurting, be honest with yourself and with God.
Be courageous, strong and full of integrity. Actions often speak louder than words.
Lead by example, but also learn how to follow. You can learn a lot by hanging back and observing others.
Always be prepared to give a reason for the faith that you have. Everyone needs Jesus, some just don’t know it yet.
Don’t live your life to please others. Jesus’s opinion is the only one that matters. It’s the only opinion that lasts.
Don’t expect perfection from yourself or others. You’ll only be disappointed and bitter. We’re all searching and struggling. That’s why we have Jesus to turn to.
Respect women. Open doors, let them go first in line, pick up heavy boxes for them.
When searching for a wife, pray about it first. You’ll know when you meet her. Somebody special like your mom would be ideal, but it’s your choice. My hope would be that she loves God and appreciates the small things in life.
Always keep an eye out for people in need. They’re everywhere. Buy somebody a hamburger. Offer a smile or even a listening ear.
Please don’t take life too seriously. It’s only temporary. We have Heaven to look forward to.
Make sure to slow down every once in a while. Take a deep breath, smell the roses, watch the birds. God created them for us. It’s good to enjoy His blessings.
When you hurt yourself, it’s okay to cry or whine about it for a few seconds. Not too long though, it can be annoying. Rub some dirt on it, you’ll be okay. Scars are cool.
When you get your heart broken by a girl or somebody else, know that it happens to everybody. It hurts, I understand. Don’t let it define you. Try to look for the good through it.
Pray for your enemies. It’s a really hard thing to do, but you must. They need help too.
Forgive everybody. Jesus forgave us, and we’re pretty bad. We need to let others off the hook. They’re imperfect, just like you and I. You don’t have to agree or be best friends with them, but you need to forgive.
When you think about how you want others to treat you, treat them the same way.
Hang out with the quiet kids. The ones who aren’t so popular. They’re special and gifted, just like you.
Love, love, love everybody. If you disagree with somebody, love them. If somebody hurts you, love them. If somebody believes in a different God than you do, love them. If somebody dislikes you, love them. Love is powerful.
Be humble. Admit when you’re wrong, it’s a sign of good character. Learn to say “I don’t know” when you aren’t sure of an answer.
Find a good church to go to. One that talks about Jesus and loves kids. Don’t feel guilty if you can’t find one. Keep searching and praying, you’ll find one. It’s just a building after all. Having Jesus in your heart is the most important thing….not brick and mortar.
I think I pretty much covered the main things that are on my heart for both of you. I’m sure more will come as time goes on.
I want nothing but the best for each of you. By God’s grace, my hope is that I may somehow be able to teach you how to be men. Real men of conviction, courage and love. That in spite of my own imperfections, you would experience the love of God through how I live and treat others.
I pray every night that Jesus grips you. That He surrounds you. That He lives through you.
I don’t take my position as your dad lightly. Although I have my own hopes and dreams for your lives, I know that your life is your own.
Be comforted in knowing that no matter what path you each decide to take, I will love you no matter what. You’re my boys, my blood, my gift.
God bless both of you,