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  • A Dad's Hope for His Teenage Son: 'Be a Young Man of Purpose and Love'

    He gets candid about the challenges his son will face in this new stage, and also shares his hopes for the future.
    by SmartParenting Staff .
  • Edric Mendoza is a homeschooling advocate, international keynote speaker, and brand endorser. He is also an entrepreneur and former lead-anchor of ANC’s On the Money. He has six children with wife Joy Mendoza. Below is a letter Edric wrote for his firstborn, Elijah, when he turned 13 years old.

    My Dearest Elijah,

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    Today is a very special day as we formalize your passage into a young man. You are no longer a boy in my eyes, in the eyes of the men who matter in our lives, and in the eyes of your mom. In this new stage, my prayers for you are the following:

    1. Be a young man of purpose.

    Grow and develop like Jesus did: wisdom, stature, favor with God and men. (Luke 2:52) Don’t waste time doing things that don’t fall under any of these growth areas. As you do, have BIG dreams for God’s glory. Don’t fall into the culture of mediocrity. Instead, try to envision the greatest thing God can do through you with all that He has blessed you with. Do all you do for His glory, my son. (Deuteronomy 6:5-7)

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    2. Be a young man of purity.

    This stage will usher in all sorts of curiosity especially toward your body, a woman’s body, and the natural sexual interaction God has designed between the two, but in the context of marriage. As I’ve told you before, I cannot protect you (not completely anyway) from the devil’s temptations in this area—pornography, immoral relationships, and things of that nature. But I can prepare you. This is my way of doing so. Letting you know that it is a beautiful thing in the right context, in marriage. “How can a young man stay pure?” The Bible says, “By studying God’s Word.” (Psalm 119:9)

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    Remember that this is the only sin in the Bible that says “flee.” (1 Corinthians 6:18) So many times, this is what you might have to literally do when friends (maybe even relatives) expose you to temptation.

    3. Be a young man of strength and courage.

    As Joshua was charged by God to take on leadership from Moses to complete the task of bringing His people to the Promised Land, God exhorted him to be strong and courageous several times. He needed this pep talk to accomplish the great task God had laid before him.

    My son, the same is true for you. God has a great task before you. I don’t know exactly what it is, but I know you will need strength and courage. And that’s what I loved about our Apo climb. It pushed you to apply strength and courage as we scaled the boulders, pushed through the thickets, traveled the narrow paths, braved the frigid cold, endured the scorching heat, and braced ourselves against the wild cats! Life will hurl at you many of these roadblocks that will require you to be strong and courageous, pursuing the purpose and purity I encouraged you with earlier.

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    4. Be a young man of love.

    Jesus modeled this best. Fix your eyes on Him, my son. Not daddy. I will do my best to model Christ-likeness. Copy that. Where I fail, please forgive me and do NOT do the same. Love like Jesus did. Have compassion toward others. Be motivated ultimately by this. Help the poor, orphans, and widows.

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    I love you with all my heart, my young man. I am very proud of the young man you are becoming. I am here for you every step of the way, as long as God allows, and solely by His grace.

    Love, 
    Dad

    This letter was originally published in the book Letters to My Children, a compilation of heartwarming notes penned by public figures and celebrities for their kids. The book is published by Summit Books.

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