• Jena

A letter to my sons, part 2

Updated: Feb 20, 2020

This is the second part to a letter that I am making public. You are welcome to share it with your children also. The first part is here.

Dear Sons,

I told you the context in which Daddy and I first met. We were in a “senior citizen” prayer meeting. Just the fact that he was there spoke volumes about who he was and what he valued. But it isn’t enough to be in agreement with those who like good things. Those good things need to be a part of you, in order to develop character.

When people talk about developing character, it can mean a variety of things. Most often it means doing things that others would consider honorable or noble, such as opening a door for someone or waiting for your mother to take her first bite of food before you gobble down yours. But building character has so much more to do with what is going on inside of you. And if you are a quiet person, it will come out in quiet ways. If you are an outgoing person, it will come out in that way also. Regardless of your personality, character happens from the inside out.

So, how is a young man to develop this character?

“How can a young man keep his way pure?

By guarding it according to your word.

With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments!

I have stored up your words in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119: 9-11.

Daddy seemed to have an unquenchable love for the Word of God from the moment he was saved. When I met him, at the age 24, he had already read through the Bible several times through. He appeared to have studied it and was “apt to teach” at a very young age.

If you love anything more than the Word of God and God, it will show up as an idol in your life sooner or later. And you know how encouraged we are, as your parents, to see you up early reading the Word, even before you get breakfast.

And I love how these verses in Psalm 119 point the the Word of God as a way of keeping yourself pure and free from the grips of sin. It’s not that you won’t be tempted to sin or even fall into sin, but if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (I John 1:9)

It’s not that Daddy never sinned–he did. But he had such a love and reverence for God that he wanted to confess his sins and keep his heart pure before the Lord.

I hope that you, my sons, will develop a love for the Word of God in the same way.

–your loving mother


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