"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!"
Jason 15 - his rite-of-passage letter
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
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
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:
- To obey God's will (as revealed in the scriptures)
- To do his work (at home, at his job, in the church
and the community)
- 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.
Your friend, John, 15th August 2008
Trent 14 - "keep going" letter
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!
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
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 –
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
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
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.