Happy Birthday buddy!
Today, you turn five.
The day you were born brought much joy into Daddy’s and Mommy’s lives. You are a gift that we greatly treasure because God blessed us with you.
You are so much fun. We love to hear you talk. You are quite the talker. I love hearing you talk about how Batman is your favorite superhero or how Menchie’s is your favorite place to go get a dessert.
I love listening to you pray. I love how you talk to Jesus and how you pray for what is important to you.
You are a big boy and you are a big brother. Luke looks up to you and follows you and likes to do what you do. Teach him well. I believe that you will be a good big brother and you and Luke will be not only brothers but you will be friends many years from now.
I pray almost every night that Jesus would save you as soon as possible. I pray that you will be a good representative of what it means to be a Psalm 1 man. I pray that Jesus would use you to be a light in your school and that when you grow up, you will love and cherish your wife, love and treasure your kids and love and serve your church well. I pray that you will be a gospel-centered man and that you will look for opportunities to share the message of Jesus with as many people as possible.
I pray that you will be a dangerous man. Son, do not chase the things of this world that our society and culture say you must have. Do not fall for the trap of the American dream. It will lead you into a cycle of consuming things that you think will satisfy you and only leave you feeling empty. Jesus is the only one who can satisfy you.
Jesus will sustain you.
When you think you are not going to pass a test, when you feel like you are in a storm and see no way out—Jesus will be there to walk with you. God will lead you to the girl that he will want you to marry. He will make your heart fall in love with her but only after your heart belongs to Jesus. Jesus will grow you and cultivate you into the proper man that he wants you to be so that you can love your wife the way she needs to be loved.
Follow wherever Jesus tells you to go. Jesus wants to use you to accomplish what he has designed for you to accomplish. You will not always know where you are going but you can trust Jesus to take you there. Jesus is your Shepherd. You are a sheep that belongs to him. You will know his voice when he calls to you. He will love you, protect you, feed you, and discipline you when your rebellious heart tries to lead you away from him.
Jesus is your King. Serve him with your whole being. Be consumed by Jesus. Be passionately devoted to Jesus. Jesus calls you to follow. When you follow Him in obedience, you will be most content.
Your heart was designed by God to worship. Beware of idols that will gamble for your heart. They will promise you great, awesome, and beautiful things. You must know that they are liars trying to steal your affections and cause you to worship something less than Jesus. Worship Jesus. Jesus is holy, majestic, glorious. Jesus is our Redeemer, Shepherd, Lord and King. He deserves all honor and all glory. He desires for you to worship him.
Daddy loves you.
Daddy is not perfect. I am sorry for when I fail. Daddy is learning how to be a better Daddy. Jesus is teaching Daddy. I know there are times when Daddy gets easily frustrated and yells when he shouldn’t. Please forgive me. There are times when I am working and I should be playing with you. I will do better to make work time separate from play time.
Daddy wants to be the best example that he can on how to be a husband and a daddy. I hope you learn from how I love your Mommy that after Jesus, your wife is the most important person in your life. She will love you, respect you, and trust you, to the degree that she knows that you are following Jesus. She will be your greatest encourager and your best friend.
Jesus is teaching Daddy more about grace. Daddy knows that he will never fully understand. The more Daddy knows about grace, the more Daddy has to learn. Daddy also knows that he is very thankful that Jesus chose to love a sinner such as Daddy and give him a second chance.
I want to be a good teacher and teach you the things that Daddy has learned about the Bible, Jesus, church, and how Jesus wants us to apply what we have learned and live that out in obedience to Him. Then after you start learning, you can start teaching. That is what disciple making looks like.
Son, there is another thing that I want you to know. You are a preacher’s kid. I never want you to feel pressure that you have to be a pastor. I do not want you to feel obligated to follow in Daddy’s footsteps. I want you to follow Jesus. Jesus will create in you passions and desires that will lead you to the career that Jesus will most be able to use you.
Read your Bible. Do not forsake the special time you have with Jesus. Guard that time well. There are things and people that will try to take that away. Hold tight to that special time and be alone with your Shepherd as you read the very words that he wants to use to transform you into his disciple.
As long as I can, I will treasure throwing you up in the air, play—wrestling in the living room or telling you stories as we lie in your bed looking at the stars on your ceiling.
I love you my little man.