A Father’s Reply

by Dave Beckley

Long ago, my husband wrote the following to one of our sons. To our many sons and daughters today, please read, for he longs the same for each of you.

Joanne Beckley

Dear son,

Your letter was very revealing and open, a reflection of your honesty and confidence in us. We are pleased that you feel you can share your feelings with your mother and me without fear of reprisal. I hope we can maintain your respect in that. Parents are ever on the verge of overreacting to dangerous situations for their children, and we are no exception. The seriousness of your relationship with your sweetheart is a blessing to be safeguarded. You yourself have already identified the tremendous temptations involved and as long as you keep facing the reality of the temptation, you may come through unscathed by the help of God and to His glory.

As you soar above the clouds in the ecstasy of the loving emotion, we soar with you. There is perhaps no greater emotion in life that can raise man to such rapture. Poets have attempted to describe it, and writers have tried to capture it, but still, it eludes our understanding. It is intoxicating, and there lies the rub. When one is intoxicated, he loses a sense of good judgment and decision-making, and then he loses his inhibitions and ultimately loses his head.

Soar high, son. Soar higher than any before you. But soar responsibly, in God-ward love of what is best for the object of that love and not out of a love for yourself. And while you soar, understand life has cycles of emotional highs and lows. Recognizing the cycle will not cure the "down" time, but it does let you know what is going on and thus becomes an encouragement to get up and get going in doing good.

Now that your mother and I have "reacted" to your letter, we can feel satisfied in fulfilling our responsibilities. We love you so very much and want what is best for you.

Love, Dad

"Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth; walk in the ways of your heart, and in the sight of your eyes; but know that for all these God will bring you into judgment. Therefore remove sorrow from your heart, and put away evil from your flesh, for childhood and youth are vanity" (Ecclesiastes 11:9-10).

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