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Facts of the Matter

A weekly letter of encouragement and challenge to business and professional men and women
Wednesday, March 24, 2004
Dear Colleagues,

THE JOY OF A GODLY SON

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The other day I received a letter from my 32 year old son. Following are excerpts:

"I feel like I am working in my nitch which is a good feeling. Sometimes I feel guilty as I am doing what I enjoy doing most of the time. God has blessed me beyond my imagination at this stage of lifeThank you for your ongoing and unbelievable support of me during these past 32 years. You and mom are much of the reason that I live in confidence, peace, joy and success. Your role and example have given me the confidence to get to this placeI want to spend more and more time with family and ministry"

To be sure, I, as a father am experiencing the truth of Proverbs 23:24, "The father of a righteous man has great joy; he who has a wise son delights in him."

I am reminded of Proverbs 29:17: "Discipline your son, and he will give you peace; he will bring delight to your soul." That little word discipline by the way, conveys the idea of correction, instruction, punishment and reproof. (See Psa. 16:7; 38:1; 39:11; 118:8; Pro. 9:7; 19:18; 29:17) In raising Wes, we were sparing in fostering corporal punishment, but administered it when verbal instruction or punishment failed. The Scriptures are clear in their caution, "Fathers, dont over-correct your children, or they will grow up feeling inferior and frustrated. (Col. 3:21 Phillips Translation)

Here was my response to Wes letter

:

"Dear Wes, 30 years from now, Hayden (Wes 2 year old son) will write you a letter…similar to the one you have written me. Only then will you comprehend the joy a father feels toward his child. In the Scriptures, III John 1:4 states, I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. There simply are no words to convey what I feel toward you, Jeanna, and Hayden. I am convinced that God sincerely desires to favor us, if we will just live righteously, on His terms (2 Chro. 16:9).  I believe that is what you are experiencing.

"You asked, but there is no way I can predict your future. But I suspect that what you have experienced these past 16 years (since you re- committed your life to Christ) is a pre-curser of the next 5,10, or 20 years. Like an eagle, you will gain altitude, growing in grace, poise, confidence, humility (hopefully), and perspective (Isa. 40:29-31). You will discover your ceiling – and it will be OK.

"As you mature into your 40’s, stuff won’t mean very much to you. You will enjoy and appreciate it, but you will not be impressed by it. Increasingly, you will embrace such enduring values as relationships, kindness, generosity, excellence, serving others, integrity, intimacy with God, and advancing His Kingdom. Increasingly you will come to realize the sacredness of life due to its brevity. Andyou will welcome that reality.

"I love you Wes, and I am proud of youDad."

QUESTION:

Dads, given your present pattern of input into your sons life, do you have reasonable cause to be optimistic about his future? If you are in doubt, what changes do you need to make now, before it is too late?

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