To be fair, this must be a 3 part letter, consisting of one part for my oldest, one part my middle child, and one part for my youngest. Each one of my sons is so unique, yet so similar. I suppose this is probably true for many families. I see so much potential and strength in each one… traits which many times can be their greatest strengths and weaknesses.
To my oldest, Caleb, who has been my wife’s and my great experiment: We knew so little and understood even less when he was borne and as he grew. It was the life of hard knocks and trials. Son, you have seen us make big mistakes when we failed to support and encourage you. You have seen us fail to call you on the carpet for things no child should have gotten away with. We both know that parents and children are far from perfect. We have made mistakes, but I believe the biggest thing you can learn is that when mistakes are made, we own them, apologize, and try to make things right. We will make mistakes, as such is life. Our faith has taught us that forgiveness is the key to trust. In an atmosphere of forgiveness, can trust only be nurtured.
Never stop learning and always allow yourself the gift of knowing the more you learn, the more you discover that there is yet even more still to learn. As Albert Einstein said, “The more I learn, the more I realize that I don’t know.” Be confident always because you know Who created you and that He gave you a great purpose in this world, yet always remember humility is essential. True humility can be strong and confident. Do not second guess yourself and try with all your might. I am your biggest fan, as a father should ALWAYS be!
To my middle son, Joshua, who is so bright and quick to understand and learn: You have been our strong-willed child, not because you are rebellious, but because you are smart, confident, and driven. We know you have giftings in creativity. Your gifts may be misunderstood or even misinterpreted. Never let someone else’s experiences and life dictate yours. You are a strong and confident man. You will lead many and inspire even more. Your insight will astonish, your understanding will guide and steer businesses or churches, and your wisdom will be a source of peace and protection for your family and friends.
Remember, too, that your strongest traits can also be your greatest weaknesses. Do not always assume or think you are right. This comes from a father who has gone through the school of hard knocks on this one. I am still learning to be honest. Learn to listen and gain insight from people and friends around you. Let them make you a better, smatter, and stronger man. God has given you your brain and creativity. Use them to honor Him and glorify God, yet do it in a way that is humble and honest. Be willing to learn from your mistakes. Don’t be afraid of them and do not beat yourself up because of them.
To my youngest son, Daniel, whose humor lightens moods, who craziness is cool, and who has a reckless abandon spirit willing to try anything: Be patient, listen to friends and family, control your passions while not holding them back, and let laughter be a medicine to yourself and others around you. You have such a gift for lightening moods and cracking jokes, even at 4 years old. It blows me away your ability to laugh and make others laugh. Sometimes this is to cover up other emotions that you are afraid to deal with. Be as courageous in your fun and activities as you are in matters of the heart. Never be afraid to feel and feel passionately.
You have a gift to see a mood and discussion and bring joy and fun. I love this about you, but never allow this strength to hide who you are. You are a sensitive and kind young man. You love with passion and your passion is contagious. Be infectious in areas of the heart and faith.
One last big trickle of advice… including one or 2 things I have learned from my very rare dealings with my dad:
0. You can never make a 2nd first impression!
1. Never assume you know but be willing to listen and understand another person’s perspective, even if you disagree 100%. Respect is key.
2. Be passionate about your pursuit of God and His presence.
3. Put God first in all things, including family, friends, and work. If He is first, then these things will fall correctly into place.
4. Be honest, own up to your mistakes, and try to make them right… it is moral and right, even if it causes you to miss out on an opportunity in work and friendships
5. You need to connect with your family and friends… this is so important as this is the very thing I struggle the most with, growing up with an absent father.
P.S. – I could go on and on, but this will have to do for today, as time does not permit more words. I am so honored to be able to share this with you and thank Scotty for allowing me the honor. He is a great, long, and closest friend. I wish him, his wife, and son, Xander, much joy as Max joins the ranks of their family. I will always lift them up in prayer as they hold a very dear part of my heart.
Robert Iversen is the proud father of 3 awesome sons who have changed his life many times over. When his oldest son was born over 12 years ago, his world was rocked. Priorities were shifted and motivations were rewritten. He thought the rewrite of his life’s novel was done. Robert was wrong once again, as the twins re-plumbed his life. What would he say to these boys who will one day be men who carry and lead the next generation? He truly believes these boys will have the opportunities to be leaders and world changers in the areas of influence they find themselves.
Photograhy Gallery: theiversens5