Make a commitment pledge to your son in 2013.
There are many resolutions floating around the internet. One of the most important is committing to a deep relationship with your son.
Taking the time to develop a deep relationship with your son is crucial. It is never too late!
A good friend of the ManBuilders team wrote this letter to his 20-year old son. We have removed the names to protect the identity and ensure privacy. Notice the sincerity, humility, love, and transparency in the fathers heart toward his son. Read this letter and ask yourself some deep questions this new year.
Before you read, do not judge this Father or cast him down. Rather, consider that this happens to even the best of Fathers. All boys are different and many choose a rough road to walk as they become men, regardless of what they are taught.
A Letter to My Son
To my son,
By turning 20 last week, you now have begun the transition to manhood. It is a scary step to take…I know, I had the same experience some 25 years ago, believe it or not. You feel like you don’t know what to expect, who to trust, or who to listen to for advice, etc…you are alone in the tough, hard and cruel world. It was my job as a father to prepare you for manhood, but I failed you in that process. My idea was to let you be free-spirited, come and go as you please, I wanted you to not have to go through all the strict discipline I had too. In doing this, your mother and I let you pretty much do what you wanted, with whom you wanted, when you wanted. That was wrong of us. What you needed was structure. Although your mother and I provided for you and attended many events with you, we never let you take the hard road…we always shielded you from it. Now, becoming a man, you are hitting it head-on, and life is making you angry, frustrated, scared, fearful and anxious.
A lot of your anger I’m sure is geared towards me and how I treated your mother a number of years during our marriage together. I was so wrong in setting a bad example for you. You can see that what I did hurt your mother greatly and almost ruined our marriage. Please don’t let that build up anger in you, but learn from it in what not to do in your relationships. Your mother and I had a life-changing experience this last weekend and we both now realized where we failed each other and where we have failed you. We are very sorry for this and ask for your forgiveness. I ask for your forgiveness for failing you as a father. Nothing can or will ever take my love for you away…please know and understand that.
Your mother and I are very concerned about you and want to share what we feel are the answers that will relieve you of your anger, frustration and pain if you are willing to do a little work on your part. See, becoming a man in the real-world requires making relationships, so learning the correct way to deal with relationships is the key to your happiness and successful life as a man, and eventually a father some day. Do not screw it up like I have. Listen to what your mother and I are saying to you now. If you want to be happy and have no anger or frustration, and have meaningful relationships with people, listen and make the commitment on your part.
Before I share those answers with you, let me set the tone. Your brother, PRIVATE NAME, is not your enemy, he is your loving half-brother and he wants so badly to be in a relationship with you as a brother. Jealousy and anger is what your mother and I are seeing in this relationship. Your relationship with PRIVATE NAME (and/or other girls…); they are not your enemy. Those relationships always seem frustrating for you and I don’t want you to get the bad habits I have and now have to break for your mother’s sake. I want to save you from the agony I’m going through now. Your relationship with your co-workers and bosses all seem to cause you to be full of anger at times, they are also not your enemy.
See the thing that starts to happen when you let all this anger, frustration and pain buildup inside you is that you begin to have voids in your life, you are not fulfilled. You then start filling those voids with the wrong things…drinking, drugs, fighting, and tyranny towards others in your relationships. Very bad things will start to happen to you if you do not recognize this soon. Your mother and I do not want that to happen to you because we worked so hard to bring you into the world, we just failed at preparing you for it, but we can help you.
Your mother and I both learned last weekend the two most important things in your life when it comes to having good relationships. These two things I’m so ashamed of myself for not knowing them sooner and being able to give them to you earlier, but the good news is that we can give them to you now. Again, you have to listen and make the commitment on your part. Are you ready to accept that challenge?
First, you must rekindle your spiritual connections with God. This is another part of being a father where I failed you. I did not properly provide for your spiritual needs as a child and I am so sorry to be causing this pain and anger that you are having now due to my negligence. Talk to God, he listens and will comfort you if you let him. Your mother and I pray for you daily and will continue to do so. This doesn’t mean you have to start going to church, although I can tell you that helps to get you in the right environment to where you can start talking to God on a regular basis.
Secondly, you will have to learn to forgive. Forgive those who have done you wrong, including me, your father. See when your mother and I brought you into this world as a child we were really just tending to you until you become a man. Now that you are a man, you have a great responsibility to burden. You have choices to make and those choices have consequences associated with them; make bad decisions and bad consequences will result. Always remember that. So then, you say how do I know if I’m making the right decision? Talk to God, he will not lead you astray. Funny how these two things relate isn’t it.
See the enemy is the world we live in. It is full of false perceptions and hatred. Satan is the ruler of the world as we experience it. The only person that can protect you from this and make you over-come your anger, pain and frustrations, is your spiritual relationship with God. Son, your mother and I love you so very much and we will always be there for you, but as a man, only God can protect you from the world. You need to be able to reach out to us and talk to us, but you must talk to God as well. Promise us right now that you will take the challenge as I have laid it out above and make the commitment to better your life. I love you with all my heart and your mother loves you with all her heart. We both will continue to pray for you each and every day.
Your loving father,
What will you do to commit to your son in 2013?
- Are you actively engaging your son in a relationship that will endure difficult times?
- Are you watching his development and intervening as you see character problems in his heart?
- Do you have a plan for how to lead him toward authentic manhood?
- Is your own house in order so as to set the right example for him? (work, marriage, addictions, etc)
Take time during the first week of 2013 and really examine where you stand with your son. Make a new commitment to him fresh this year and back it up with action. ManBuilders will continue to post practical articles to aid you in leading your son in providing everything he needs to know on becoming a man.
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