potential | an open letter to my sons

To my sons –

I hope so much for you in your life.  You have so much potential.  Certainly, I want you to be healthy and successful.  But even more so, I want you to love Jesus.  I want you to be good and honest people.  Hopefully, I’ve said these things to you before, but it seems like it is important to say them again.

Don’t hit people smaller than you.  It would be nice if you never hit anyone, but definitely not someone smaller than you.  You are going to be large men, so this is going to be most people.  And definitely all women.  Use your strength to walk away.

Don’t assume you know what is best for others.  Be smart enough to know that you can’t understand every experience someone else has.  Instead, be smart (and kind) enough to take time to listen to others.  Allow others to be right.

Say important things well.  Like “I love you” and “I was wrong.  I’m sorry.”  Saying them well isn’t just uttering the words but meaning them.  They will require your vulnerability, but it will be worth it.

Don’t be silent in the face of injustice.  I know it seems easier to not get involved.  I know you don’t like to make a big deal about things. But to choose silence is to validate what is being done or said.  You have a lot of privilege and advantages – please use them to seek the advantage of others.

Be able to talk about sex.  And not just about the physical act of sex but the emotional and relational aspects as well.  Don’t assume. Always mutually consent – whether it is the first time or the 1,000thtime.  Without this mutuality and respect, sex is violence.

Stand up for yourself but remember to be humble.  I want you to be confident and be willing to take risks, but there is always more to learn and other perspectives to consider. Know your limitations but play to your strengths.

Be kind.  Each person has been created in the image of God.  Each person is loved completely by God.  I know it’s hard sometimes, but living with an awareness (and acceptance) of our shared humanity will be more life-giving to you than denying it of other. We are all broken people.  Looking for Jesus in others (even when it’s deeply hidden) leads to kindness, generosity, empathy, and peace.

I love you and am always so proud of you.  As much as I will miss you when you both leave home and move on with your life, I see your potential and can’t wait to see how you live it out.

You are the greatest joys of my life,


My prayer for you:

Therefore, as God’s choice, holy and loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.  Be tolerant with each other and, if someone has a complaint against anyone, forgive each other. As the Lord forgave you, so also forgive each other.  And over all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.  The peace of Christ must control your hearts—a peace into which you were called in one body. And be thankful people.  The word of Christ must live in you richly. Teach and warn each other with all wisdom by singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing to God with gratitude in your hearts.  Whatever you do, whether in speech or action, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus and give thanks to God the Father through him. – Colossians 3:12-17 (CEB)

Hopefully, I’ve said these things to you before, but it seems like it is important to say them again. #bekind #chooselove #Colossians3 #FMF #potential Click To Tweet


It’s Friday and that means another writing prompt from the Five Minute Friday group.  You can read other posts on potential here.

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6 Thoughts to “potential | an open letter to my sons”

  1. Jeanne Musolf

    Wonderfully written for your sons. Important words for all.

  2. Muskego Glenn

    You’re a good Mom and they know it which is even better.

    1. lifeinthelabyrinth

      Thanks Glenn.

  3. This is a lovely post- such good advice and a beautiful letter and photo!

    1. lifeinthelabyrinth

      Thank you Lesley.

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