Tuesday, 21 October 2014

A Letter To My (Future) Son


I want you to know what being a real man looks like. If you listen to this world, it’ll tell you that being a man includes earning money, driving a fast car, dating lots of girls, and having sex whenever you get the chance. It’ll tell you that as long as you are in control, you’re in the drivers seat of every situation, you are the man. And yet – there’s so much more to it than all that.

Being a man means knowing who you are, and being humble enough to place your identity in Christ. Being a man means knowing your gifts and talents, but also knowing and honoring the One Who gave them to you. Being a man has less to do with your outward behavior, and everything to do with your heart and your character. When you have that stuff sorted, when you’re committed to journeying every step with Jesus – the outward stuff will follow. Don’t get me wrong - the outward life matters too. What you do with your time, the way you treat people, will affect what’s happening in your heart and mind. But the most important thing you could ever do is realize every single day that you need Jesus, and cannot live life in your own strength.
Son, when temptation comes – and it will come – whether it’s lust or money or pride – the way through it and the way past it is learning to want Jesus. You’re not going to overcome your temptations by running from them, or trying to be stronger than them. You’ll overcome them when you learn to pursue God, to run to Him again and again – even when you don’t feel like it.

Though your identity is in none of these things I’m about to list, they matter too. I want you to know that part of living as a man means that instead of dating a million girls, you date one girl at a time, and you value and respect her. Your relationships are not about making yourself feel good, and dating the hottest girl around – they’re about being with that girl who inspires and pushes you more toward Christ. They’re about encouraging her, and drawing her closer to Jesus. You’ll laugh and have fun together, but you’ll know that love is a choice. It’s a selfless decision you’ll have to make over and over again. Part of living like a man is about knowing there is more to sex than just the physical aspect. You’ll know that purity is more than just not having sex til marriage, more than just trying in your own strength to wait. Purity is valuable, and you’ll know how and why to treasure and guard it.

There is power in respect, son. Respecting those in authority, and just being polite holds more power than you’ll realise. I know it’s easy in this world to just let things like holding the door open, or saying please and thank you slide, but those things are still important. It’s not okay to just sink into the culture around you and give up on any sort of standard for yourself.

You need to know that who you hang around is who you become. Choose your friends wisely – and know that it’s okay to be in this world – you just don’t need to become of it. Whatever you do – wherever you go – strive to be a light. Let God use you to speak life and hope and encouragement to people who never hear it. Get a solid group around you who will encourage you and keep you accountable – but never be afraid to step outside that group and reach out to others. Know where your input and your truth comes from. Learn from people – listen to what they have to say but always measure it against God’s Word.

Ultimately son, you will find that in order to be a man – you just need to be striving to follow Jesus. Looking to His example, and seeing how you can imitate that. The journey won’t be perfect, at times you will fall. But His Grace is sufficient for you. And if you allow it, He will use it all to grow you and shape you and make you more into the man He has planned you to be.

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