My son is 15 months old and I asked myself what I would tell him when he is growing up to be a man. It will probably be a letter of hope, encouragement and resilience. I hope that when he grows up, he will keep these words into his heart. I do this to share about the need to influence people towards greatness.
Here is my personal letter to him.
25 Aug 2010
I just want you to know that you are really the apple of my eye. Do you know that every time I look at you, feelings of fondness and love for you will flow out from me? Whenever you lay on your bed and sleep, I will endeavour to steal a glance and watch you slowly drift into sleep. I will walk up next to you, crawl onto the mattress and give a kiss to tell you that you are a beautiful gift that God has blessed mommy and me.
I pray that you will be a man of character, standing strong in a world where values are constantly shifting and eroding. I pray that I too will be such a man that can lead and teach you to do what is right. Sometimes the weaknesses of my soul and flesh will betray me. Even my words may not match up to my actions, but I hope that you will forgive my fallen nature and know that I am a father who is giving his best to teach you life lessons within my capabilities. Focus on building integrity and act on good intent rather than the outward appearance of looks and impression.
If you handle your inner world in a correct manner, your outer world will be great as well. Your inner beauty will radiate outwards when you hold fast to the values you are taught. Remember that situations do not make a man, but they merely reveal the size of character in a man.
The world awaits you with much excitement and snares. I am excited for you on how you will handle this journey and yet at the same time concerned for the snares of unpleasantness it can hurl at you.
Whenever life throws you disappointments, failures and heartaches, remember that everything has a season. When you are suffering in coldest winter, remember that spring is coming. When darkness is at its fullness, remember that dawn will break forth soon.
Your perspective and resilience in handling what it can throw at you will set you apart from the rest. Never give up on dark situations, but instead ask how you rise above it. When you keep asking the right questions, I believe that you will find the right answers. Emotional resilience is important in an uncertain world where everything happens so fast. Hold on to God and allow Him to guide you through.
Isaac, I also pray that you will grow in wisdom in handling situations around you. I also know that wisdom comes from making wrong choices. Therefore be courageous in making mistakes because there is always a gem of wisdom that we must learn from every one of them. Mistakes are also a gentle way of reminding us that we are still human and not as invincible as we think we are.
Let love for mankind and God guide your every action. Let it also be the guiding principle of your decision making. People around you may not respond or reciprocate in the same manner, but do it anyway. Love is an intelligent willingness to do what is the best for the other person. It is not a feeling, but an action. Do not let others influence you that love is a feeling and is only there while it lasts. There will be many times you will not feel like loving, especially when you are hurt by others, misunderstood or even hated, but do it anyway. Love need not be done in an extraordinary manner, but just you being faithful in loving people around you, is already extraordinary.
Isaac, remember that your mommy and I will always love you. We want you to know that you are precious and that having a resilient character is important. Be the man you are supposed to be and be a person after God’s heart.
With the sweetest love,
P.S.: I still look forward to watching you fall asleep.