Letters. They take special effort. You have to find a piece of paper or stationary. Hand write or print out typed words. Find an envelope, address and place a stamp you have previously purchased then carry the collection to the mail box. In a few days the recipient will receive your correspondence, open it and read what has been sent. If you are blessed, you may receive a letter in return. For hundreds of years this was the main form of long-distance communication. In our current fast-paced society, it is just easier, and quicker, to send an email. Unfortunately, an email does not carry the same emotion as a hand-written letter.
When I was young, before internet and email, getting a letter was a big deal. Birthdays held special joy since several cards would be arriving from grandmothers who had chosen special cards in my honor. Today, mail is mostly junk and bills except lately, we have been receiving graduation announcements and wedding invitations. I love seeing the beautiful faces of lives embarking on a new adventure.
A few weekends ago, we asked twelve men, family and friends, whom we have great admiration, to write our son a letter to our son. These were not just any letters, but personal notes providing insight and encouragement on one of more than a dozen Christ-like attributes, including the Fruit of the Spirit.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-25 NIV
These letters are placed in a wooden box and kept as encouragement when our son will need to hear wisdom spoken into his life. The letters will also be a rememberance when grandfathers are no longer on this earth to seek out their wisdom. The box is presented during a special event recognizing our son as a man who has learned what is necessary to walk uprightly with his LORD. The evening includes walking with some of these men to hear their wisdom, with the ability to ask them hard questions. The evening concludes with prayerful blessing for Adonai's hand upon our son's future.
All your children will be taught by the LORD, and great will be their peace. Isaiah 54:13 NIV
Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed. Proverbs 15:22 NIV
As a parent, friend and sister, I do not have all the answers. I know that there are many people who are more knowledgeable than I am, have had enriching experiences and been gifted with righteous understanding. These are the people my husband and I wish to surround our children. Godly men and women who are committed to seeking the Creator's will for our sons; ones willing to sacrifice their time, to lend an ear or a hand when it is needed.
There is a common phrase about raising children: It takes a village. Yes, the world is a harsh place that will try to defeat our individual efforts, but as we have discussed in weeks past, IF the Body of Christ, the Church, will commit to stand together, pray and encourage one another, we will be victorious through Christ our LORD.
When was the last time you wrote a letter on nice stationary? I challenge you to find some nice note paper and hand write a letter of encouragement or thankfulness to someone who has positively impacted your life. Perhaps they are a teacher who poured knowledge into your child, or yourself. Your recipient may be a mentor who invested in your professional career, or like me, told me to go home and take care of my family that was more important than my job. Afterwards, send your letter and wait with anticipation to see how God will use your small effort to bring about a blessing for the intended recipient.
Almighty LORD of Heaven and Earth, let the message of Christ dwell among us richly as we teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to You, O Father, with gratitude in our hearts. (Colossians 3:16 NIV) Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship You, Elohim our God, acceptably with reverence and awe (Hebrews 12:28 NIV). Please help us to encourage one another and build each other up. May we as brothers and sisters in Christ, acknowledge those who work hard, who care for others in the Lord and who admonish us. May we hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. (1 Thessalonians 5:11-13 NIV) To Your our Abba, Father and Your Son, our Savior, help us walk in gratitude with the Spirit, One God, according to Your plans and purposes, now and forever. Amen.