A Letter to My Sons

A Letter to My Sons October 31, 2013

Dave Willis and Ashley Willis and sons family

Cooper, Connor, Chandler and Chatham

You guys are too young to care anything about reading Dad’s blog right now, but one day, I hope you stumble across this and get something out of it. Above everything else I write, always know that you are loved. You are each a gift from God and your Mom and I are so blessed to be your parents!

Remember that the measure of a man has nothing to do with your stature, your salary or your “success”; it’s a matter of the heart. Being a man means taking responsibility. It means protecting the weak, defending the truth, providing for those under your care, selflessly serving and loving your wife, providing a genuine example for your children, and leaving every person and place a little better off than you found them. This is the duty of every man.

Each of you will be leaders, but as you lead, remember that unless you love those you’re leading, you’re not worth following. Also remember that unless you’re following Jesus, you’ll be lost. His plan for your life is the only one that counts. The Bible is your roadmap for life, so make sure you know it well.

Always look for the best in people and you’ll end up discovering the best in yourself along the way. People may let you down and break your heart, but refuse to become bitter or cynical. You can rarely control what happens to you, but you can always control how you choose to respond, so always respond with grace, faith, dignity, patience and perseverance.

Be the same person in both public and private. There’s no true success without true integrity. Real success means living in a way that the people who know you the best are the ones who love and respect you the most.

Remember that every victory is an opportunity to give praise to God and to those who helped you achieve it, and every failure is an opportunity to gain new strength and perspective. Don’t get too attached to your trophies, because you won’t be able to take them with you. In the end, your relationships will be all that counts, so don’t ever value finances over faith or possessions over people.

As you grow, the world is going to do it’s best to make you question yourself and doubt your convictions; don’t let it. If you don’t know who you are, the world will try to make you believe that you’re someone else.

Don’t build your identity on things that change (your looks, your money, your success, etc.), but build your identity on the only One who is unchanging. God’s opinion of you is the only one that counts, he He says you are limitlessly loved and called to a world-changing purpose, so don’t settle for anything less.

Don’t take yourself too seriously or your mission lightly. Let laughter be the soundtrack of your life. Laughter and joy are gifts from God that should be cherished even in life’s most challenging seasons. They’re good medicine for the soul!

When you’ve blown it, be humble enough to admit fault and seek forgiveness. Pride has been the downfall of many men.

Be always confident, but never cocky. Be always aware, but never afraid. Be always content, but never complacent.

I love you guys more than you can imagine. Remember that there’s no mistake you could ever make that is bigger than God’s grace. Your Mom and I will always be your biggest fans!

Love, Dad.

For daily encouragement to help strengthen your faith and family please connect with me on Facebook and also on twitter.


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  • Mercedes

    This is beautiful! I am raising four sons along with my husband and I truly wish we can raise God fearing men!

  • Kathy Saxon

    Beautiful letter. I have raised 5 sons. More joy than I could imagine but also some great trials. God is the only one that can get you through them. I

  • Nic

    Wow, Dave I have to really thank you.

    That was so encouraging for me as a young disciple of Jesus who hopes to lead a family of his own one day.

    You spoke so many truths from scripture that dug deep in my heart, I pray they would continue to stay there and grow.

    Bless you and your family abundantly! I pray your 4th little guy will be born healthy and covered by the Holy Spirit.

    In Him,


  • John Souther

    Keep em Rollin brother. Don’t stop til your body drops

  • Heath & Allie

    absolutely beautifully written! today is Christmas and i am sharing this with my son, who is 18. i feel like you have given words to every parents heart! thank you! Merry Christmas from our family to yours!