My son Mark turned 21 today. It’s seems only yesterday when I was holding in my arms, staring into those little blue eyes and wondering what the future will behold. He was so helpless then, so dependent and so needy. But not anymore. Now he is a man.
I’m not sure why the age of 21 of so significant in our society today. Some call it ‘the coming of age’, the transition from childhood to adulthood. Whatever the reason, it’s a good milestone to celebrate.
As a way of showing appreciation for you Mark, I wrote this charge:
Be a warrior
The world needs men who will fight – not for financial gain or for selfish ends but for truth and morality, justice and integrity and honour and civility. Be the man. Stand for those who can’t stand for themselves. Protect the weak. Defend the needy. Use your strength for good, and it will be pleasing in the eyes of God.
Be a leader
Be strong. Be bold. And be courageous. Don’t be hesitant, uncertain and indecisive. I know you have it in you to lead. I know you have the strength to overcome your fears. So lead. Stand up, speak up and lift up God’s name, His people and His cause.
Be a servant
Be like your Saviour. Be like Jesus. He was strong, he was a leader, he was courageous – but he was also a servant. If he washed other people’s feet then you do the same. Don’t consider any task too low for you, nor any job too small. A servant is not greater than his master, Jesus said, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. “If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.” (John 13:17)
Be a lover
Love God, love the truth and love other people. Don’t let your love be superficial, artificial and shallow. Love strongly. Love deeply. Love with honour and passion. When you give yourself to God, to someone else or to a cause – give with all your might.
God has made you just the way you are – with all your strengths and weaknesses, gifts and abilities, qualities and foibles. Don’t try and be like someone else. Just be yourself. And if there is anything about yourself you think you need changing, give it to God. He’s far wiser than you. He’ll know what to do.
I’m proud of you son – more than you could ever realize. Now follow my example and go be the man.