Here’s what I wrote to bless my sons at their weddings and my son-in-law when he graduated from medical school.
By Dennis Rainey
Dennis Rainey wrote a special exhortation called “Be the Man, God’s Man” to his sons Benjamin and Samuel, and to his son-in-law Michael Escue. He read this to Benjamin and Samuel during the rehearsal dinners before their weddings, and he presented it to Michael when he graduated from medical school. Here’s what Dennis wrote.
Be the man, Benjamin, God’s man
On the eve of your wedding day, July 13, 2001
God made you to be the man, Benjamin Rainey. His man.
Our journey as father and son is filled with memories from as far away as the Great Wall of China and smuggling Bibles to as near as our backyard and winter picnics, roasting s’mores, and shooting hoops. We’ve sought the trophy white tail in the pine thickets of South Arkansas and tracked an elk in the alpine meadows of Eastern Oregon. From your birth I’ve prayed that you would become the man God created you to be. It’s in that spirit that I now challenge and bless you.
When accomplishments and praise come your way, resist pride. Remember the gift Giver.
Be a humble man. God’s man.
When the world lures with lust, tempts with treasure, and entices with influence and power, turn away. Turn from the temporal to the eternal. Be a Kingdom man. Be God’s man.
When culture decays, step into the battle and be a spiritual warrior for your generation. Be a courageous man. God’s man.
When the Father of lies attempts to deceive, instead embrace the truth. Live the truth. Let God’s Word be the surgeon of your heart. Then you’ll be a truthful man. God’s man.
When hobbies, toys, and games beckon you back to boyhood, turn away from childish things. Step up to manhood. Step into your responsibility and pain.
Remember the Savior. He was The Man. The God-man.
When you fail, be teachable.
When you fail again, don’t quit.
When you fail others, repent.
When others fail you, forgive them 7 X 70 and give grace.
Then you’ll be a mature man. God’s man.
When doubt comes and life makes no sense, remember Tom Skinner’s words: “I spent a long time trying to come to grips with my doubts, when suddenly I realized I had better come to grips with what I believe. I have since moved from the agony of questions that I cannot answer to the reality of answers that I cannot escape. And it’s a great relief.” Benjamin, keep coming to grips with what you believe.
Then you’ll be a faith-filled man. God’s man.
When your job as husband is more difficult than you imagined, love Marsha Kay more than you love yourself. You’ve given her a diamond and your heart. Now go for the gold.
Be a one-woman man. Be God’s man.
When the evils of the world assault your family, stand tall and guard. When the burdens of the world weigh on your family, kneel and pray. When the confusion of the world distracts your family, look to the finish line and speak the vision. Be a wise man. God’s man.
And if God blesses your life with many children (I pray He does) and more of your “self” must die each day, know that you are never more a man than when you kill “self.”
Be a selfless man. God’s man.