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Letter of affirmation to a young man

"I thought you didn't like me!"
"This letter (modified for each occasion) has always had a dramatic effect on every teenager I have presented it to, especially if I read it aloud to them!" Editor

Jason 15 - his rite-of-passage letter

teenage boy

When Jason was 3, his father left the family and when he was 10, his stepfather committed suicide! I took Jason under my wing and he never stopped testing me to see if I was going to bail out of his life as well. At 15 I gave him his rite-of-passage and he finally stopped testing and started accepting me in a new way. His life from that point has gone from strength to strength. At 18 he sees a bright future ahead.

About the man - Jason!

I want to make it official that I accept you as 100% male and I recognise you as a man - you are not a boy in my eyes any more! To help remember this transition and make it memorable, I have made the harbour bridge trip the memory event of this recognition.

(Sydney Harbour Bridge climb in Australia is a dramatic and memorable event for a rite-of-passage!)

What does all this mean, because I'll bet you (like everyone else your age) are thinking "yeah...right...me a man...lol".

It is an attitude thing - God made you a male and he doesn't make mistakes. Physically you are definitely no longer a boy and you are absolutely not a girl, so physically you must be a man! Your body might still have some changing to do but body changes will be happening up until the day you die! Do you need to have reached your maximum physical strength before you are called a man? I don't think so because David in the Bible (the bear slayer) was still a teenager when God used him to deliver Israel. God expected man stuff from him and David delivered without effort or stress. God used all the negative circumstances to train him ready to do the big stuff later. God treated David as he would any fully matured man but he was not physically fully matured yet according to the Bible.

It is important to accept this view of yourself despite how you might feel because otherwise everyone of us guys gets locked into trying to prove to ourselves that we are worthy to be called a man - and like other stuff it can become a lifetime quest that is never satisfied.

The real story is that God has made you a man and he doesn't make mistakes. He made you just like you are and you don't have to do anything more to become that man!

Nothing you do will make you more of a man.
Nothing you can do will make you less of a man.

You are a man and that is that! If someone tries to put you down or tries to make you feel less than a man then don't worry about it - be confident that nothing they say changes the fact - you are a man and totally acceptable the way you are. God made you a man and it doesn't matter what is said or how we feel, the fact remains - you are a man (case closed)!

I want to say it again - in my eyes you are totally accepted as a male and not only that, I fully recognise you as a man. I see you as a fine young man that I am proud to be associated with.

Secret men stuff

Read http://boysunderattack.com – if you know all the stuff on that site your mind will be much more at peace with secret guys' stuff we all have!

Areas all men have to work on to be successful

The physical traits of a man happen by themselves.
The character traits of a real man must be learned.

Rejects Passivity (sluggishness, inactivity, laziness)

Adult males have a natural tendency to avoid social responsibility – are lazy. Real men reject being passive in the areas they have responsibility in.

Accepts responsibility (obligation, loyalty)

Jesus had the responsibility to do God's will while on earth. That responsibility defined Jesus as a man and He pursued the responsibility as a source of great satisfaction. The responsibility of every man is:

  1. To obey God's will (as revealed in the scriptures)
  2. To do his work (at home, at his job, in the church and the community)
  3. To love his wife (if he is married)

Leads courageously (brave, fearless)

Real men lead rather than follow. They do not ignore their principles in order to yield to the emotions and feelings of the moment. Leadership demands that men must have the courage to master their passions and control them with the principles of truth revealed in God's word.

Expects a greater reward

Life is not just work day after day. The anticipation of later joy kept Jesus obedient to God's will for Him on earth. Real manhood is liberating and a call to life. It is also a means of great reward here on earth and afterward in heaven.

Who you are

Some characteristics I have noticed with you - you are able to think through tasks better than most guys your age. That shows up in things like the way you approach the work I give you – your mind is on the job about all the steps needed to get the job done - quickly! No doubt you take this ability for granted. I don't take it for granted because I see a lot of young guys who can't do it - that's why I appreciate seeing that ability in you. One day I had a visitor here while you were working and they noted the same thing after seeing you in action!

In the physical you are tall, well built, strong and good looking with a great personality. What more could any young guy want? Your physical abilities are excellent too – once you have figured what to do, then you do a great job from what I have seen.

Your personality is friendly, obliging, teachable and relaxed – I like having you about!

The future - the sky is the limit!

God has a future already planned for you. I understand it has to do with slaying a Goliath or something like that! You are at the threshold of a long and blessed life of greatness in impacting peoples' lives. Don't sell yourself short over the next couple of crucial years - there will be plenty of opportunities to settle for second best - instead keep pushing into God and ask Him to show you the paths he has for you. You are destined for great things in God. Like so many in the Bible when they were young – it is difficult to see how God could possibly use us for anything, but things change. Being willing is the important ingredient.

(slaying a Goliath is an in-joke about how God turns bad circumstances into strength for what you need to face in the future)

Who you are to me

I consider myself blessed that our life paths have crossed! One of the things I really like about you is you are not afraid to show friendship – I know I mean something to you because of the way you relate to me. A bit of inside information here on relationships. People have different ways of receiving and giving love. There are five “love languages”. They are: words of affirmation; physical touch; quality time together; acts of serving others; gifts. There is no right or wrong about which of these languages means the most to a particular person. We are all made the way we are and all respond differently to these areas. Keep this in mind and when you find the other person's main “love language”, the relationship goes much better!

The father's blessing

Jason, I pray that God will bless you and that you will always be at peace within yourself. I pray too that you will always be protected and that you will prosper physically, mentally, emotionally, financially, spiritually and in your relationships. I claim for you the gift from God of the ability to enjoy the work of your hands and that at the end of your days you will look back with great satisfaction at the life you have lived and the great things God has done through you.

God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind!

It is great being a man. Welcome to the world of men. Enjoy!

Your friend, John, 15th August 2008

Trent 14 - "keep going" letter

teenage boy

Trent was beaten down by life, his "friends" and his family situation. After a while guys in this situation believe everyone thinks the same bad thoughts about them, because the others have never said anything at all! This letter had a good effect on Trent because someone finally took the time to say something positive to him!

About Trent!

I would describe you as "a loyal and faithful friend"! Only the other day some of us were talking about all the guys around church and when your name came up and my comment was that! If you want a loyal friend, Trent is the guy.

With the church projector work, I am very happy with your performance. It is a challenge that most people sitting in church don't really appreciate and you handle it well. Your attitude is great and your slide timing is too. I know if you are left to look after the projector, then you will do a good job whether supervised or not – thanks!

And about you – the man. You are tall, dark, strong, good looking (for a guy), well built and talented. You also have a friendly personality and good sense of humour. What else would a guy want? You have got it all!

It was your personality which I immediately liked the first time I remember meeting you – at Sydney. I was also impressed when I saw you on the soccer field – you kept a cool head under pressure and that is a talent not many guys have! Your cricket bowling ability is great too and the fact you play in teams way above your age is another story of your unique ability. The 90+ km/h bowling speed is amazing!

You probably don't see yourself as talented (just like every teenage guy does not see themselves as talented either). The reason is that when God gives you a gift at doing something it seems as natural as breathing and you wonder why everyone else can't do the same thing like you can. As you get older, it is those talents that God will normally use in you to accomplish His purpose for your life and often to give you an income – so keep developing those gifts and talents and we will watch how your life unfolds.

I have spoken to you about Russia before, but just to remind you, you were such a bonus to me – it meant so much to me having that regular contact with an English speaker who wanted to spend time with me. I really appreciate you for your time spent on MSN during my trip and at times you made the difference between me coping and not coping with it all! The difference between doing it hard and doing it easy – thanks!

So, I really appreciate that our paths have crossed and I count you as a good friend. I'm looking forward to more great times together.

John 7/12/2008

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