We have been blessed with two little children and I occasionally write short letters to them, even though they are not old enough to read yet. My purpose for writing these letters is to record their funny little antics in writing so that they (and we), can enjoy reading about them in the years to come. I also like to pass on some parental counsel as much as I am qualified to do, and maybe just one day these letters might save our children from making a serious mistake, or they could help guide our children through some difficult times ahead.
I recently wrote the following for each of our children, but the advice is also pertinent to you and me, so I am sharing this now with you.
For my little girl…
When you desire retaliation, put on Love.
When you feel glum and low, remember Joy.
When there is strife in your midst, welcome Peace.
When you are anxious for change, embrace Patience.
When someone is in need, embody Kindness.
When you are surrounded by cruelty, seek Goodness.
When you are facing uncertainty, treasure Faithfulness.
When you feel aggression, engage Gentleness.
When temptation arises, exercise Self-control.
(In reference to Galatians 5:22-23)
For my little boy…
Be strong and prove yourself a man. Diligently keep the instructions of the LORD your God and walk in His ways, keep His statutes and commandments, His judgments and testimonies as it is written, so you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn. Walk before the LORD in truth and with all your heart. Show kindness and mercy, be peaceful and forgiving. If you do these things the LORD your God promises to bless you.
(Based on the advice King David gave his son Solomon, recorded in 1 Kings 2)