Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Father's letter - part 2

This is the second part of a letter a father write to his sons, suggesting to them 8 values to cherish. Here are numbers 5 to 8....

5. Love.  You will meet lots and lots of girls in your lives.  Treat them all with dignity and respect.  Care more about their inner beauty than their outward appearance.  Treat your bodies like holy temples and don’t give in to sinful behavior.  You will know you are in love when your knees go soft, your stomach has butterflies and you can’t stop thinking about her as the most beautiful girl you have ever seen.  Then what?  Get to know her, build a relationship and take the time to see if she is the ONE.  You will eventually know if she is and she will be looking at you the same way.  Be counter-cultural, do the right thing and save yourselves for marriage.  The world might make fun of you, but Jesus will love you for it.

6. Responsibility.  You have heard your mom and I say this a million times:  “You need to be more responsible!”  Well, you do.  Someone has to be responsible, why not you?  If you are involved in an activity or project, act responsible and be a leader.  If you make a mess, clean it up.  If you say you will do something, do it.  One of my old bosses told me years ago that if “I touched it, I owned it!”  This has always served me well and helped me in countless ways.  Don’t wait for somebody else to take responsibility.  It may be up to you.  By the way, do you know who is always responsible for your actions?  You are.

7. Friendships.  Be true to yourself and your friends.  Hang out with people who share your values.  Be a good enough friend to others that you always tell them the truth.  This is the sign of a true friend.  If your friends go down a path you know is wrong, stand your ground and do not follow.  The tricky thing about friendships is you sometimes find yourself alone because you are committed to following the teachings of the Church or the values you learned as young people.  Trust me on this one - never abandon your faith or your values to follow the crowd.  On the other hand, you will hopefully have a few close friends who stay with you a lifetime and they are to be treasured as gifts from God.

8. Be Real.  Don’t ever pretend to be someone else.  You are who God created you to be.  Don’t be tempted to hide your true self, your faith or what you really think from others.  Reflect on my favorite quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson:  “”To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”

I will stop with these eight lessons and we will dive into other valuable topics again in a future letter.  I hope you read this and come to me and your mom with lots of questions.  I promise we are here to help you.  Did you know your mom and I have a vocation (job) given to us by God?  Our vocation is to help our family (and everyone else) get to Heaven.  That is our number one responsibility as parents.  You are going to stumble and struggle at times in life, but always remember we are here for you and we love you.  Most importantly, God loves you and he will never abandon you.  He wants you to learn, grow and think for yourselves, but never stray from His love.

Boys, your mom and I want one more important thing for you.  We want you to be happy.  Really, truly happy!  You know what?  You can’t be truly happy unless you have joy.  Do you know where joy comes from?  Joy comes from putting Christ first in your lives and loving Him so much that everyone sees Him at work inside you.  Then, you will have true joy which will make you really and truly happy.
                                                                                      With all my love,    Dad

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