An open letter to my kids


“Remember, at this stage of your life, my job is to primarily be your dad, not your friend!” I love you. I count it such a blessing to be your dad. Here are eight quick perspectives to shape your life.

1. Quick pleasure never supersedes a life with deep meaning. Your dad did some stupid things when he was young. Take it from me, no quick pleasure is greater than a heart that is at peace and has purpose. Sex, drugs, buying a new toy – nothing compares to having a life with deep meaning and purpose.

2. Don’t listen to the popular, listen to the wise. Some of the people who have the loudest voices in our culture are foolish. Just because someone can sing doesn’t mean they can think. Just because someone can dance doesn’t mean they can reason well. Let singers entertain you, but don’t let them shape the way you think.

3. Follow the right map. There are a thousand maps in life. Dr. Phil, Oprah, Vogue, Runners World, and the list goes on. They are all trying to get you to follow their way of living. Ask these three questions. 1) Has this map really been tested by time? 2) Does this map offer lasting meaning in life? 3) The truth is everyone will die, so does this map help prepare me for what’s beyond this world?

4. Pursue people, not things. When I was young there was a t-shirt that said, “He who dies with the most toys, wins.” I can say firsthand, my children, this also is stupid. Relationships are what matter most. In all my years of counseling, no one has said they wish they had just one more car. Countless people have been deeply broken over lost relational opportunities. Real, open, deep friendships are more valuable than any toy.

5. Keep learning. Not in the way school is being done today. Don’t just memorize facts for a test. Learn. Ask questions, push back and work ideas out. You know I read a lot and ask lots of questions. I don’t take things at face value and I always push back. Be in constant pursuit of truth and meaning.

6. Love God and obey Him. This is it, the most important thing. I saved the best for last. Nothing can answer the metaphysical questions better. (I know you don’t know the word “metaphysical” yet, you will. I will teach you.) Don’t just follow the right maps through life – follow the person that takes you beyond this life, Christ.

This is just a section of my open letter. You can check out more at

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