Clayton at 21~
You are officially an adult in the eyes of the law. I think about what I hope for you as you finish college and become a independent and godly man. You are more amazing than you know. That is partly due to your own choices, partly due to your heritage and all a result of God’s grace and favor. You are more and more like your dad all the time. I am so proud of you. I hope you have the happiest of birthdays! Here is a list of some of things that made your dad the man he was. It is not exhaustive but I pray you become like him as he was a reflection of the Lord.
21 lessons from your father’s example on how to be a Man:
- Be a Safe Harbor – Be known as the one others can turn to in stormy seas. Be courageous and brave; conquering your fears is euphoric. Defend others fiercely.
- Be a leader/a mentor/a hero – Earn the adoration of others who look up to you by having character. Have goals. (Goals are our friends)
- Have integrity – A man is his reputation. Loyalty and humility are defining qualities. Be committed and trustworthy; try your best and never give up. Tough it out.
- Be joyful – even in the direst of days there is humor to be found. Be silly. Light up a room with a contagious smile and infectious personality. Gratitude and Joy are a choice so be thankful always. Never learn the language of Whinese. It will only make the journey longer.
- Be a man after God’s own heart – In all your ways acknowledge Him (Prov. 3:5.6)
- Celebrate life – it is meant to be embraced. Contribute. Get involved.
- Be a friend – cultivate real relationships that are deep and meaningful.
- Be a Barnabas – bring out the best in others and put them first. Compassion builds bridges.
- Be a family man – Your legacy is the most cherished inheritance. Never let your wife and kids doubt their importance. Honor your heritage. Embrace the wisdom of all generations.
- Be flexible – not everything will go as planned. Adapt.
- Demonstrate generosity – even the smallest gesture has a huge impact. Pay it forward. Blessings are communal.
- Be prompt – time is our most valuable asset. Respect everyone and everything around you. Consider another person’s time as important as yours.
- Make your words count. (Col. 4:6 Eph. 4:15)
- Keep your word – Throw away the key and maintain a confidence. Always!
- Choose your battles wisely. This will result in more victories. Demonstrate tenacity with quiet confidence.
- Take the bull by the horns – show initiative and if something doesn’t work, fix it. Keep a strong work ethic. Persevere. (Mt. 24:13)
- Love – let it be your compass. (Gal. 5:6)
- Grieve hopefully. Tragedies will come. Allow yourself to mourn.
- Own your mistakes. Credit where credit is due/ Excuses are for cowards.
- Be a lifelong learner. Stay in the loop. Observe and pay attention.
- Be a firefighter. Advance the kingdom (Jude 22)