A Letter to My Sons
Teaching As I Learn
To be able to teach someone to be a man, you must know what a man is. Where can we find the definition of a true man? Public figures have a sizable influence, but we don't access to who they truly are. Many times pastors are great men, but access to lives are limited too. I had a wonderful father who taught me many things and I believe he is a man’s man...but he has chinks in his armor.
As much as these men portray manliness, my sons will look at me. This is frightening, because I have large dents in my armor as well. The only man that didn't is Jesus Christ. As I seek to be like him, and teach my sons to be like him, I am going to hope and pray that my sons will be a better men than me.
A Letter to my Sons
I am amazed with the way that you are growing. You one day you will be so large that we may even have to tilt our head to look you in the eyes. Right now you need us, but one day you will be able to fend for yourself. Right now you communicate like a child, but one day you will articulate a statement so intelligent that I will have to get a dictionary (once you’re gone) just to decipher what you said. Right now you are dependent on your mother and father, but one day you will be on your own. My goal is to equip you for that day.
I know that preparing you to be a man starts before you breathe your first breath. I am responsible for having a plan for you, son. I will not plan your life for you, but I will be strategic for your manhood. I first want to impart to you the qualities of a man and then we will work together on learning how to become those qualities.
Qualities of a Godly Man
Godly: All men have been created by God and for God. We are given the responsibility to recognize his rule and submit to Him. That means that true men seek to follow the ways of God.
Hard working: Men are hard working, son. I will tell you many stories of your Grandpa and his work ethic and I hope you see the same work ethic in me. God create men to work and gave the first man a garden to tend and care for. We will never fulfill the role that our manhood demands without being willing to work hard.
Committed: When a man makes a commitment it is a test of his manhood to keep it. Son real men only make commitment that they are ready to keep. Think through things before you make promises to other people. This is especially when it comes to your commitment to the woman you will one day marry. You are making a promise to her, and it will be a test of your manhood to keep it.
Tough: Men are tough, son. I am not strictly speaking of tough in terms of being able to handle pain, though that is important, but I am speaking of toughness that allows a man to keep going in the face of obstacles. Pain will hurt but we must press on. We will be scared but we must press on. Events in our life will be sad, but we as men must press on. This must qualify by saying, toughness does not mean “don’t feel”. By all means feel everything, but press through those feeling when they have potential to hinder us.
Tender: Men need to be tender. This is particularly helpful when dealing with the opposite sex. Women are the "weaker vessels" and should be handled with care. But it is not limited to women. Men need each others tender care as well. Also children need tender care. People that need your help will need to see your tender side.
Self-control: Men need to be able to control themselves. There are many things in life that will put pressure on you. Temptations are always close at hand. Many kids will drink at a young age and try to get you to as well. Others will pressure you and make you feel like you should be having sex when we know that sex is reserved for marriage. Let me tell you, son, there will be too much pressure on you then there should be on a young man. You must be able to control yourself before you can be called a man. I will always be here to help you learn to deal with these pressures. There are two truth that I want you to remember
1) Jesus was tempted in the same way that you and I have been, so he understands.
2) All things are permissible to a Christian, but not all things are beneficial.
Fight: Every man needs a battle to fight. Lucky(or unlucky) for us there are very many battles to choose from. As Christ exalting men, we must fight sin every day. Put to death things that are harmful to us and to others Then it is also important to get fired up over injustice. Find something you are passionate about and fight for it. Also be ready to fight for those you care about.
Providing Mindset: Someday you may have a family of your own. A man desires to provide for his family, and will work harder than anyone should have to in order to keep his family safe and healthy. In God's eyes, a man who does not care for his family is worse than an unbeliever. This is what you have been called to if you have been called to a family. If you have not been called to have your own family that does not excuse this quality, be a provider for others who have needs.
Leadership: Men must take leadership roles for the sake of our wives and children. God has given you this role. Lead your family just as Christ Leads his church.
Dreamer: Son never hinder your imagination. Dream big and then work hard to accomplish that dream. Your father is a huge dreamer, but not always great at accomplishing my dreams. Son, dream with me and we will work together to accomplish our own goals.
We All Need Jesus
These are a few of the qualities of a Godly man. We men are sinful creatures. We will never live up to these expectations in full, but that is what Jesus died for. He died for our sinful imperfections. This is not an excuse to stop working on these qualities, instead it frees us to make mistakes and know that through Christ we are forgiven.
My football coach used to say “I don’t care if you make mistakes, as long as you make them going 100 mph!” Though the coach really did care about mistakes, his statement freed us to work hard and not play uptight. This analogy works because God wants us to be freed from any hindrance toward becoming the men he wants us to be. Christ death on the cross has freed us from worry about our standing with Him based on our actions. Be freed by him, Son. If you trust in Jesus he will cleanse you and make you holy and then you will be free to act as God called you to as a Christ Exalting man.
I love you Son.
Love, Your Father
A man in need of Grace