Filter by: Products Articles
Filter by:
Do you get our FREE Magazine?

A Letter to My Boys

April 15, 2024

Excerpt from To Train Up A Child-30th Anniversary

It has been 30 years now since my dad wrote the first edition of this book. At the time, I was 15 and my brother was 17.

I am now 45 years old, and my two sons are 15 and 17. It is unbelievable how fast time has flown by! I remember at 15 when my dad wrote this letter to my brother and me. We were embarrassed that people would read about us one day getting married. We said something like, “Dad, we don’t need that!”

As it turned out, I took his advice, and I met the love of my life at a missions conference down in Texas. In January of 2001 we said I do, and we still do.
We have raised our kids the way I was raised, in a house full of love, laughter, and service to the Lord.As I sit down now and read my father’s letter to his sons, it is with different eyes than when I was 15. The world has gotten darker and judgment has gotten closer. My sons must navigate a world besotted with pornography and gender fluidity that was not part of the common vernacular when I was their age.

As we reprint this book after 30 years, I will write a letter to my sons, but it will be printed alongside the one that my dad wrote to my brother and me. Because of the trail my dad blazed, the one that I followed, my sons are not starting from scratch. I invite my sons to tread our path as Paul said in 1 Corinthians 11:1. “Be ye followers of me, [and Big Papa] even as I also am of Christ.”

To Jacob and Gideon Pearl
Boys, as I try to put down some sage wisdom that will enrich your life, I must recognize how much you have enriched mine! If I had not experienced being your father, I would never have known how much life I had missed. You two, and your two sisters, have truly been the grace of life that your mom and I have experienced together. There is nothing I am as proud of and that gives me more joy in this life than to see our babies walk in wisdom.

You have seen the fun we have, the laughter and the joy of all of us working together. I need you to know that Satan wants to take that away from you before you ever get the chance to experience it. Intimacy with this world will deny you intimacy with God and with your future wife.

The world you are maturing in hates you.

I don’t want you to live a life where you must be suspicious of everyone around you, but, unfortunately, the unmitigated evil available on every cell phone has created a world full of predators. They don’t look like craven, sin-stained minions of Satan, boys; there are snakes in the grass that look just like you.

It is the unfortunate reality of our modern world that you must constantly be on guard. Whether you’re camping with friends or going on a mission trip with other church members, you need to be ready to say no and to flee the sin on so many screens.

Not being evil is not good enough; you need to be good.

You need to take responsibility for your own actions and recognize that in spite of the fact that you live in a modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah, it is your responsibility to choose virtue, goodness, and life.

Satan will constantly offer you easy, attractive, seductive fruit, but understand that partaking of this world’s wickedness is rejecting the goodness that God has in store for you.

Protect yourself!

Choose to seek first the righteousness of God in all things and don’t go with the flow.

The antidote to this reprobate world is not to stand against sin; it is to stand up for righteousness. There are a lot of sinners that hate the sin they live in. That will not inoculate you from the filth—Jesus will.

Talk about God and his goodness with all your friends and the people you work with. Talk about his words and share them with the people around you. Take responsibility for your actions, good and bad, and make restitution when it’s necessary. Express often to those around you how thankful you are to God for all that you have and don’t have.

You won’t be popular with the worldly crowd. That’s okay; be a man! Don’t get pretty hair and fancy jeans. Instead, get hands calloused from helping the people around you. You will be peculiar. However, as you serve the Lord with your whole heart, no matter what your hands are busy working on, God will direct your path. There is nothing more exciting or more terrifying than walking by faith.

Abraham had a goal that was totally unattainable in this life: he looked for a city that God hadn’t yet brought to this planet. And yet by spending his life pursuing the goal that God had given him, Abraham got rich, gained a family, and gained favor with God and men. He raised camels, rescued kings, and met Melchizedek. You can’t plan a life that abundant—but God can! Trust him, follow him, look for him in everything that you do, and then rejoice at HIS successes.

Jesus didn’t come to keep you from having a full life; he came that you would have an abundant life. Trust God. Trust that the pursuit of his righteousness is more satisfying by far than any fruit offered by the god of this world.In this world that loves divorce, blame shifting, and quitting the fight, be the kind of man that others can depend on. Be responsible, be kind, be quiet when there isn’t something edifying to say.

Be good men!

Don’t be passive, apprehensive, timid men. Grab life by the horns and wrestle it into the dirt.Be a servant—a strong, manly, godly servant of Jesus Christ.

I recommend that you take your grandfather’s advice when it is time to seek a wife. It is good advice that has served me well. But don’t make seeking a wife the central pillar of life.

Set audacious goals, pursue those goals, and serve the Lord in everything you do.

Be thankful and grateful; be full of love and compassion even while you are driving big trucks and climbing tall trees.

When you find that woman who is more interested in where you’re going than how you look on the way, you will have found your help meet.

My sons, life is exciting! I hope I get to see you wring every joy out of it, conquer every hill you find in your path, marry a woman who makes your heart race and pushes you to be even more. But if I don’t, and if you don’t, I want you to know that my family has been the best adventure I’ve ever had! I love you boys, and no matter how dark this world gets, family is the best gift that God ever gave mortal man.

You only get one life; rise up and live it to the fullest!

There is truly no greater joy than to know that my children walk in truth.

Now, go read Big Papa’s letter to me . . .
* You can read this in To Train Up A Child – 30th Anniversary

Leave a Reply