1 min read
1. I pray for you and your mother daily.
2. I want you to always think you are the greatest kid in the world.
3. When things are hard, keep trying. You can accomplish anything.
4. School is important.
5. I am always behind you in all you do.
Inspired by 5 Back-to-School Conversations Every Dad Must Have With His Kids by Edward Lee at BlackandMarriedWithKids.com.
1 min read
What am I thankful for? Plenty, because I have been truly blessed. I’m thankful for her and them. Yes, I am thankful for it. I’m thankful for them because they always make me laugh, and for it because it always makes me smile.I am thankful for Christmas because it means Jesus was born. I’m thankful for Easter, because it means he rose. But more than anything today, I’m thankful for two things…grace and mercy. So I wanted to take 120 of my 86,400 seconds today to just say “Thank you for grace and mercy.”
3 min read
Malcolm and Matty,
It’s been a full year since my last letter to you and it has been a busy 12 months. In that time you have changed schools, made new friends, learned to swim and grown a lot. For the most part, I have enjoyed our many moments alone while your momma was away. We have cried a little, laughed a lot, and hopefully, for you, started a life that is fun and rewarding. It hasn't been a big shiny life, but it has been satisfying for me.
I don’t know if I was ready to be a dad before either of you entered my life but once you were born I knew I had to become one. I didn't know the first thing about raising children or raising a boy to be a man and you didn't come with instructions. But as your father, I like to think your mother and I are doing a pretty good job with you. We had to and still have to learn most things on our own, but much of the urgency of the early days are gone, and not by luck, but with hard work, making hard decisions, and lots of love.
Malcolm, as I find myself assisting and explaining life's little instructions to you, I can see that you are growing into such an independent man. I know at times I can be rough on you about cleaning your room or playing in church, but you are softening me up quite a bit. I promise that I will give you your space, but not too much.
Matty, When you were born I asked myself if I would I be able to handle another son? Raising you is a different experience from raising your brother for so many different reasons. Even at two I can see that you will be an extraordinary young man full of courage and heart. When I place your hand in my hand I notice how the size difference is not as much as it used to be. Sometimes I see my grandfather’s face when I look at you and I smile because of the great man that he was. Other times I see my dad and I remember what a strong man he is.
To you both I say: My wish for you, as your father, is that you find someone to experience the bigness of this world with and that you grow old with that someone. Your mother has been a great wife and is the most important noun in my life. When we met, she challenged me to be a better human being and made me shift my priorities and reassess my value system. I pray that you find someone to do the same for you and you are blessed to have children as wonderful as you are.
As each of you were born I realized I was responsible for helping you to become good men. As you are growing I’m willing to give you my time, my attention, my love, and my hugs and I am happy to give them all to you. You have been great sons, and I have tried to be a great dad for you both. I have no doubt that you will become tremendous men. I want you to always remember, I will be there for you, no matter what obstacles you may face in this life.
4 min read
“godliness with contentment is great gain.” 1 Timothy 6:6 (New International Version)
Malcolm and Matthias,
As your father, I’ve had the opportunity to think about the life ahead of you and my role in trying to prepare you to be strong and men of God. When I looked at each of you closely for the first time, I struggled with the questions most fathers ask: “Will I be able to guide you?”, “Will I be able to provide for you?”, and “What kind of man will you be?”. The dreams and goals I had for you during those early moments have not changed. I not only want you to grow, but I want you to flourish. I want you to put your marriage and children first, and I never want my mistakes to visit onto you. You are at a wonderful stage of life with so many wonderful stages still to come. I don’t know what trials you will face in the coming years, but I hope to be there to help you through them. To help you prepare, I offer this letter and the words it contains.
Be open to new things, experiences, and people in your life. When your mind is closed to new people and you don’t open your heart to them, you may avoid pain, but you also lose the opportunity to meet some incredible people. Some of these people will be there for you during the toughest times of your life and create some of the best times of your life.
I must tell you that life is not a competition, but in your life you may meet people who will try to outdo you in school, in college, or at work. They may try to have a nicer car, a larger house, or nicer clothes. They may view life is a competition — they must do better than others to be happy. However, you should know that when you spend your life always trying to impress and outdo others you are wasting your gifts. Instead, learn to enjoy life. Make it a journey of constant happiness, learning, improvement, and most importantly love.
Love. There is no better rule in life. If there is a single rule to live your life by, it should be this one: Live your life by the rule of love. While success or selfishness rules the lives of others, you should be ruled by love. A life ruled by success can be stressful, unhappy, and shallow. A life ruled by selfishness and putting your needs above the needs of others can lead to a lonely and unhappy life. Love your wife, your children, your mother and I, and your friends. Love them with all of your heart. However, you should also show love to your neighbors, your coworkers, strangers, and even your enemies; and please don’t forget to love yourself. You are not ugly, dumb, or unworthy of love unless you think you are. You are a wonderful human being, worthy of happiness and love if you think you are. Love yourself for the wonderful person you are.
I love you both and I always will. You are starting out on an incredibly wonderful journey, and I will be there for you whenever I can. At this point in your lives, you can’t read this letter or understand what this letter is about, but my prayer is that someday you will look back at this time and know that from the start you were important to me and I love you both. When you are able to read this, I hope you will find some wisdom and value in what I share with you and I hope I am doing right by the two of you.
2 min read
Originally printed in the August 2007 edition of The Voice.
Right this minute, there are people in your life who are desperate for father figures. They are looking for godly men to be godly examples. Unfortunately, many men never come to the realization of how important this powerful call to spiritual fatherhood actually is.
The Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 4:14-16 “I am not writing these things to shame you, but to warn you as my beloved children. For even if you had ten thousand others to teach you about Christ, you have only one spiritual father. For I became your father in Christ Jesus when I preached the Good News to you. So I ask you to follow my example and do as I do.” New Living Translation. There is something so precious, so wonderful, so holy about fatherhood especially a father who provides stability and security. Good fathers always know what to say and their wisdom and compassion toward others become the hallmark of their life. What an influence fathers have on their sons and daughters!
There comes a time in every man’s life to “step up to the plate” and fulfill his role as a spiritual father. People around us are crying out for it. Spiritual orphans are out there, waiting for a father like you to mentor them. Begin to see yourself as a father to those the Lord places in your life. As we men continue to seek the Lord, study His Word, live holy lives and be an example, God will equip us to do for others what He does best for us as our loving, caring, heavenly Father.
2 min read
“We are born male. We must learn to be men.” Kent Nerburn, Letters to My Son: A Father’s Wisdom on Manhood, Life, and Love
Dear Malcolm and Matthias,
Being your dad is the greatest privilege in the world. Cradling you both in my arms; lulling you to sleep on my chest; each of these moments are special to me. I’m tempted to say that I can’t wait to see what your future holds; the joys and challenges that await you and the legacy your life will create, but I’m enjoying both of you too much right now, just as you are. My prayer is that you both cherish your life’s journey as much as I am cherishing them today.
If there is one thing I successfully pass on to both of you it is: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and strength, and love your neighbors as yourself.” These are old truths that can be combined with the strength of your character. With this you have the power to change the world. These aren’t original thoughts, but they are some of the best principles to build your life around. God, who fearfully and wonderfully formed you, deserves every ounce of your love and affection.
Throughout life’s challenges, God will provide for you and will never steer you wrong. He will empower you to fulfill a destiny that’s exceedingly abundantly above all you, or anyone, could ever dream of. Leave your mark in this world by loving each and every person your life touches. God first loved you, so be sure to share that same love with your future brides, your children, your mother and me; your friends, colleagues, acquaintances, and even people you meet in passing; the people who love you and the people who don’t. True love carries no conditions, so give your love, expecting nothing in return. Love gives freely and in abundance and this allows it to multiply and grow.
You are God’s handiwork, uniquely designed to be comfortable in your own shoes. Create your own path and impact the lives you will as only you can. You may not be perfect in all that you do, but learn to appreciate your weaknesses, for in them; God will teach you what your greatest strengths are.
Copyright © — Absolon Kent. All Rights Reserved.