Today at the beach you dug a cavernous hole, then asked your friends to bury you in it. The only thing sticking out was your handsome face. Looking back I think how well your sandy tomb must compare to being the oldest child in our house full of strong-willed boys.
Absolutely fed up at times. Up to your neck! I get it.
And the toughest part of all must be when I zero in on you, and your behavior, and your heart. I know it is is usually your brothers who are touching your things, messing up your room, pushing your buttons, and causing you to explode. Once again, I get it. But I want you to get this, sweet heart; our home is the perfect, God ordained, training ground for the rest of your life. All the skills you need to deal with people as a Christian man will be cultivated right here in our home.
I tell you often, "Caleb, there is only one man you are in control of. That's you. You can't control your brothers, your friends, or your bed time (most of the time), but you must be able to control your own man." My boy, when you go to College you will likely have a roommate who interrupts you and plays music you don't like. Will you be able to control your temper and be kind to him? You will be, if you can learn it here at home. You may have a boss one day who talks down to you; will you be able to keep your head lifted high, knowing who you are in Christ? You get to learn that here at home as well. And one day when your lovely wife has a list of projects she needs your help on, and three little sons all vying for your attention and affection, you will need to know how to love them in the business of life. And you will! If you commit to learning to love here and now, in our home.
On the dry erase board that hangs by our breakfast table in the kitchen nook I have writen these words:
A new commandment I give you, Love One Another;
as I have loved you so you must Love One Another.
By this all men will know that you are my disciples,
if you Love One Another. (John 13:34-35)
I sang this verse in church during my growing up years, and it stuck in my brain and my heart. It is my hope that as I sing it and live it in your presence, that you too will be inspired and encouraged to love others. For Christ loved you first, my son. That truth, that reality, that knowledge is where it must flow from. But we practice it, the loving that is, here and now at home.
I said before, I know that it's hard. I get it. But I am praying for you and cheering you on as you practice love, practice this hard thing of loving despite the unlovely actions of your brothers, and even fumbles your father and I often make. We are just sinners saved by grace, my son. All of us. So let's practice love together, that the world will know we are His disciples.
So proud of you. I'm your greatest fan!