An open letter to my kids.
“Remember, at this stage of your life, my job is to primarily be your dad, not your friend!“
I love you! I count it such a blessing to be your dad. Here are eight quick perspectives to shape your life.
1. Quick pleasure never supersedes a life with deep meaning. Your dad did some stupid things when he was young! Take it from me, no quick pleasure is greater than a heart that is at peace and has purpose. Sex, drugs, buying a new toy–nothing compares to having a life with deep meaning and purpose.
2. Don’t listen to the popular, listen to the wise. Some of the people who have the loudest voices in our culture are foolish. Just because someone can sing doesn’t mean they can think. Just because someone can dance doesn’t mean they can reason well. Let singers entertain you, but don’t let them shape the way you think!
3. Marry holy over hot. I love your mom! I remember the day she walked into grandpa’s office when we were in junior high. I have been captivated ever since. She becomes even more beautiful with every passing year. All while she complains about getting older and gaining weight, she becomes more of a super model in my mind. Want to know why? Because I found an incredible friend that journeys through life with me. I can trust her! I know she wants me to win at life and I want her to win as well! After countless counseling sessions with people who have marriages that are falling apart, I can without hesitation say, don’t forget to marry holy!
4. Follow the right “map.” There are a thousand “maps” in life. Dr. Phil, Oprah, Vogue, Runners World, and the list goes on. They are all trying to get you to follow their way of living. Ask these three questions. 1) Has this “map” really been tested by time? 2) Does this “map” offer lasting meaning in life? 3) The truth is everyone will die, so does this “map” help prepare me for what’s beyond this world?
5. Pursue people not things! When I was young there was a t-shirt that said, “He who dies with the most toys, wins.” I can say firsthand, my children, this is also stupid! Relationships are what matter most. In all my years of counseling, NO ONE has said they wish they had just one more car. Countless people have been deeply broken over lost relational opportunities. Real, open, deep friendships are more valuable than any toy.
6. Be responsible. Somehow in our modern Christian world we believe that the ability to articulate theological ideas well makes one a good Christian. This is not the case! How we live matters. Salvation isn’t based on works, but our works should be a reflection of how salvation has changed us! Take care of the poor, take care of the widows, even be geologically responsible, even if your methods are constantly being improved. Do something responsible today!
7. Keep learning! Not in the way school is being done today. Don’t just memorize facts for a test. LEARN! Ask questions, push back, and work ideas out. You know, I read a lot, and ask lots of questions. I don’t take things at face value and I always push back. Be in constant pursuit of Truth and meaning!
8. Love God and obey Him. This is it, the most important thing. I saved the best for last. Nothing can answer the metaphysical questions better. (I know you don’t know the word “metaphysical” yet, you will. I will teach you!) Don’t just follow the right “maps” through life–follow the person that takes you beyond this life, Christ.
No doubt much of this won’t make sense yet and that’s alright! I will do my best to help train you to be bold, dynamic, missional leaders. Remember, at this stage of your life, my job is to primarily be your dad, not your friend! Though I do desire friendship, I promise my first priority is to be your father! Let’s do life together.