Let me start off by saying one thing: I love you so incredibly much. Before becoming your father, I would hear parents talk about their kids being their “pride and joy.” It was cliche’ to say and never truly understood it until you came. And then it became real.
Jovi Grace, you are my pride and joy. I am blessed, happy, and so thankful to be your dad. I take immense pride in being your father. You are truly a gift from God. I don’t deserve you, but God gave you to me nevertheless. You also bring me so much joy. Your laugh, your voice, your smile — they all bring me an abundance of joy!
You are extremely loved by Mom and me. Our love for you–unlike so much love you will see when you are older–is not based on what you do, how much you know, or who you become. There is a song I currently listen to that makes me think about you. In one verse it says: “Whatever you become, I’ll always be in love.” It is so true, Jovi. Whatever you become, Mom and I will always be in love with you. Our love for you is unconditional–pure and simple. You will never do anything to make us not love you. Please never forget that.
However, there are a two more things I want you to know that are of far greater importance.
One, your worth doesn’t come from you. It doesn’t come from what society says. It doesn’t even come from what those closest to you say. It comes from God. You are a masterpiece of God, His creation. Do not find your worth in anything outside of God. Don’t look for worth and value in beauty, success, or popularity. Find it in Christ and you will be satisfied.
Two, and even more importantly, you are loved by God. He created you. He sustains your every breath. He is the reason you are alive. And unfortunately, you’ve sinned against Him, as we all have. But even while you sinned against Him, He loved you enough to send His only Son, Jesus Christ, to pay for your sins (John 3:16). And Jesus not only died for you, but lived for you because He knew you couldn’t do it.
Jovi, it is okay to admit you don’t have it all together. No matter what you hear, please remember: admitting you need help–that you need God’s help!–is the pathway to salvation in Christ. You will be told to “believe in yourself,” and “follow your heart.” Neither of those things lead to freedom, but only enslavement. Believe in God; even more, believe God, and trust in Christ’s work.
You may not remember, but I would sing “Jesus Loves Me” to you every night before bed. Don’t ever forget this song. Jesus does love you–for the Bible tells you so. Immerse yourself in the Bible, as it will show you the road to salvation and true freedom, joy, and peace.
Jovi, I love you. Forever.