Check out this blog by Albert Mohler from 2005 about Tolkien’s relationship with his sons through letter writing.
I love the forthright relationship J.R.R. Tolkien had with his sons. Aside from the adapted movies, I don’t know much about the man as I do about his colleague C.S. Lewis. Suffice it to say, this kind of parenting is rare, thus, the article is a fresh injection of how I’d love to father if I am ever given the honor. This letter, I’m sure, was not sprung upon his boys entering adulthood but part of a lifelong education on biblical manhood.
I read a book in the same vein by Elisabeth Elliot titled “Let Me Be A Woman”. It was a book of compiled letters written as a wedding gift to her daughter. Surprisingly, as a man I didn’t feel off base allowing myself to be a student of these letters that contained principles voiced for the female sex but were nonetheless intrinsically gender neutral. All the advice on human sexuality Tolkien offered his son in the letter discussed in Mohler’s article were duly noted in Mrs. Elliot’s letters to her daughter.
Something I’ll be mindful of that this article and Elliot’s book have reinforced is that letters are such a great teaching medium. For one because it will always be accessible as a treasured item, a gift that can always be referred or reread, and second because it allows for an eloquence and depth of critical thinking that I could never personally achieve in a conversation.
I am inspired.