A Message for My Child

Patrick Atkinson
© 1978, 2003
www.GodsChild.org

 

 

I can give you life,
but I canít live it for you.
I can give you instructions,
but I canít tell you where to go.
I can give you liberty,
but I canít help you to protect it.
I can teach you the difference between good and bad,
but I canít make the decision for you.
I can give you advice,
but I canít accept it for you.
I can give you love,
but I canít force you to receive it.
I can teach you to share,
but I canít stop you from being selfish.
I can teach you to respect,
but I canít make you be respected.
I can counsel you about your friends,
but I canít choose them for you.
I can teach you everything you need to know about sex,
but I canít make you act responsibly.
I can talk to you about drinking,
but I canít say "no" or "just one" for you.
I can warn you about drugs,
but I canít stop you from using them.
I can talk to you about having important goals,
but I canít achieve them for you.
I can teach you about charity,
but I canít make you be generous.
I can pray for you,
but I canít make you walk with God.
I can talk to you about how to live,
but I canít give you eternal life.

When everything is said and done, everybody decides for him or herself how they will live their life. I love you, I accept you, and I hope with all my heart that you make the right decisions.


Permission is granted to reprint it in whatever format you chose as long as you (1) Attribute its authorship to "Patrick Atkinson© 1978, 2005", and (2) Do not charge for its distribution. Any other use or distribution of this poem is a violation of copyright law.

Copies of this poem are available, in both English and Spanish, for free distribution to schools, community groups, and nonprofit organizations. To obtain yours, please contact: 701-255-7956 or email Director[at]GodsChild.org.