I have often written how I’d like to be … the man I’d like to be … How I want to think right, act right, and speak right … To be, in every way, more like Jesus. I know that in order to do this, I must pray more … study my Bible more … to be more-like Jesus. To see other people, and myself, the way Jesus does.
During personal speaking engagements, I try to always open with this:
“First, I’d like to say that I love Jesus.
I think we need more men who will stand up and say, ‘I love Jesus.’
I love my wife.
I think we need more men who will stand up and say, ‘I love my wife.’
I love my family.
I think we need more men who will stand up and say, ‘I love my family.’”
I have not been the best “relative” a family could have. I don’t write letters often, and, even less, use the telephone to call. I spend so much of my time writing for “others,” that I fail to put pen to paper, to write to those which mean the most to me. Which also means that I don’t get many “return” letters. I get emails and letters from my readers, which I try to always, immediately “jump on,” which takes a lot of precious time. So, those to whom I should write to, on a regular basis, don’t get a letter, or phone call, as often as I’d like. I stand convicted.
However, this does not take away from how meaningful any letter or telephone call I get from relatives means to me. I am a rare sort, I guess. I am reclusive and private; yet, there is nothing I enjoy more that being with people. I won’t talk much to a stranger (someone I don’t know), but, I will spend hours speaking in front of a crowd of people whom I don’t know.
Again, even though I am not good at writing letters or making those phone calls, when I receive either, it means “the world” to me. Like I really do belong.
I’d like to share with you a portion of a letter I received, several months ago (well over a year), from a favorite relative of mine. Yes, we all have favorites. This is a young man who has a beautiful wife and daughter. I won’t go into many specifics, as not to embarrass him (in a good way). I can remember when he was born, as I was “grown up” when he entered this world, so this will give you an idea of the age difference between us. I just want to share a part of a letter he wrote to me, following a visit I had made to Georgia, and had the thrill of visiting his home, and spending unforgettable time with him, and his family.
To prove how “too busy” I get, I have the beginning of this post saved as “Next Blog Post,” from January 14th, almost a full 2 months ago … The letter itself … I received … 11 months ago!!! It has been there, waiting … “for such a time as this.”
Within the words of this young man, I found the definition of what “a man” really is.
He began with words about Carol, which, if I repeated them, it would embarrass her (in a good way). He ended his praise of Carol by thanking her “for being a role model for my wife, my sister, and my child.” I add these words because that is exactly what I would say about Carol. Plus, she’s such a great role model for me.
What followed was the best definition of a “real man” I have ever read. Now, keep in mind, this is from a young man, who has everything in life … beautiful wife, child, home, etc. … What more could he need, according to the world’s standards? What more could he want? Here are his exact words:
“ … As I get older, I’m starting to realize what a real man really is. A real man puts his faith in Jesus Christ daily. He loves his family to the extent that he begins being concerned about their eternal security. A real man wants to set an example for those he cares about, a Godly example. He’s faithful to his Lord, ‘instant in season and out.’ He isn’t scared to say how he feels, who he loves, who he misses …”
I had just never read a better definition of “what a real man is.”
Wow! Yet again, I stand convicted, the elder, learning from the child.
Yes, a child … a child of God!
A real man, with real feelings, with a real hope in a living, breathing Savior!
If I could write like that … I’d write like that!!!
Just this simple letter … in simple words … carries the weight of all eternity, and the hope for every man, woman, and child. I think, “Am I living up to his words?” It’s enough to make someone cry, “Uncle!” Yes, enough to see the wisdom of putting our faith-daily, I believe he wrote- in Jesus Christ. To love his family enough to care about where they spend eternity. And, to be an example.
I can’t help but think of a promo like, … “If you only read one letter this year …”
This letter, I have read. Again, and again. And, that’s just today.
Real men love Jesus.
Real men love their wife.
Real men love their family.
Man, oh Man!!!