“Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding. I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching. When I was a boy in my father’s house, still tender, and an only child of my mother, he taught me and said, ‘Lay hold of my words with all your heart; keep my commands and you will live.'”
Psalm 37:3-5, NAS
I do not remember how I actually got started writing notes to my children. Our oldest daughter, Kristin, began to write her simple childlike expressions of love for her parents through pictures when she was just a little girl. I would respond with drawings of my own to tell a story and always with a “heart” signifying my love. People have long known that the pen is mightier than the sword. All have been blessed through the ages by Paul’s letters to the churches and to his son in the faith, young Timothy. The old warrior wrote to him in the waning days of his life: “Bring … the books especially the parchments” (2 Timothy 4:13).
Truly, children need “the instruction of a father.” I was preparing for bed long after my children had gone to sleep, and my heart was filled with Scripture that I wanted to share with them. Being one who sometimes finds it difficult to express his deepest feelings, I sat down and wrote a short note to each of them and left it on their bathroom counters. I should not have been surprised that when they arose the next morning and read Dad’s “epistles” they were blessed. It started their day off right by hearing a father’s encouragement. Since then, I often spontaneously leave those little notes of encouragement and scripture verses for them to read when they awaken the next morning.
Our youngest, Allyson, recently told Janet and me: “I hope you know that I save every little note you leave me and put it in my treasure box.” Those words she will read again and again!
QUESTION: If you could write anything to any of your family, what would you write? “I, who write this letter, greet you in the Lord.” (Romans 16:23)