A father's letter

I often write columns to the Little Black Dress and the SONS of Thunder on momentous occasions - graduations, birthdays and other events. Basically, a letter.
It’s my way of imparting some bit of hard-earned wisdom, some tidbit of life, or sometimes a simple attaboy.
Last Sunday was Father’s Day, when dads get to try out the new golf clubs, bust their knuckles putting together the new grill, or open some cards with horrendously loud music.
This past week I’ve been reflecting on that whole “dad” thing and decided it would be a good time to write myself a letter. Here goes:
When you’re about to hit your wall or questioning what’s important in life, pull this out and remember.
The most important earthly thing is your family. You are blessed. The Dress adores you and the three SONS want to be you.
Don’t screw that up.
You are the head of the household despite what liberal equality groups say. Act like it. That means be the man, the leader, of the house. The most important thing you will ever do is help your SONS develop their moral compass, find their purpose and have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
God loaned the SONS to you. They are His. You are the SONS’ steward and one day you will give an accounting to the Master of the Universe on the job you did with what is His. Be able to hold your head up and have Him say, “well done, good and faithful servant.”

The SONS value time spent with you more than anything. Time is one thing that can never be replaced. Don’t waste it. As a father, the best way to spend your time is with SONS.

Each of the SONS are different. They have their own personalities. Do not try to make No. 1 SON into No. 2 SON or No. 3 SON. Each are a gift from God and God gave each a distinct personality. Treat them as individuals, not the mass Mongrel horde they sometimes are.

Teach the SONS about money. Teach them to save 10 percent of everything; to give away 10 percent to God and worthwhile organizations; to live on the remaining 80 percent.

Help them find a sport or hobby they can participate in all their lives. They will find friends of like mind and realize life is not all about work.

Speaking of friends, remind them they will be known by their friends. That their friends will have an incredible impact on their lives and on how others perceive them. Teach them to choose wisely.

And on the same subject, help them become the type of friend that everyone else wants. That they are loyal to their friends, that they stand by their friends when everyone else is gone. That they are true “Sams.”

They are the Sons of Thunder. Teach them to live up to that - and I’m not talking about the noise level. Teach them the “thats:” That they be willing to sign their name to anything they do. That they understand their honor is one of the few things they truly possess; it is easy to lose and very difficult to get back. That they honor their commitments. That they honor women.

That they defend the weak. That they right the wrong. That they find their passion. That they find God’s purpose for their life. That they realize their passion is always tied some way to God’s purpose for their life. That they do not follow the crowd. That they love their job. That they make a difference in the world, even if it’s only one person at a time. That they bow to no man save one, a Jewish carpenter.

That they, the SONS of Thunder, become the MEN of Thunder.

That they find their own Little Black Dress.

Oh, and happy Father’s Day Winters.

John Winters is a staff writer for The Newnan-Times Herald. His personal blog (Just Flip The Dog) is at http://justflipthedog.com

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