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Having a Father’s Heart

A father's heartAs fathers, we have a unique opportunity and responsibility. God has entrusted us to lead our children – to love them as He loves us.

Guys, the sobering fact is this – you and I represent how our children will view God. Particularly in the formative years. That’s a humbling and awesome thought, isn’t it? Our kids will look to us and see how we treat them, and that will become their reference point for their heavenly father! To do this, we have to have a father’s heart for our kids.

Are we patient with our kids, as God is patient with us? Do we value our kids, as God values us? Do we cherish our kids, as God cherishes us? Do we nurture our kids, as God nurtures us? Do we protect our kids, as God protects us? Do we spend time with our kids, as God wants to spend time with us? Do we speak words of truth and life into our kids, as God speaks words of truth and life to us (through his Word and the Holy Spirit)?

Another way to look at it – God has given you an incredible opportunity to influence the future of your children… to represent God to them! What a blessing – what a gift! Sadly too often though, this gift is viewed as a burden… instead of seeing the opportunity, we see the inconvenience.

But it also goes beyond our own children. This same concept applies to how we love God’s Church! It affects how we love those in our community, our workplace, our sporting teams.

Mark Driscoll recently released a video about what it means to have a father’s heart, which we were compelled to include here on our site.

Mark’s Video about A Father’s Heart

 

 

What Little Girls Wish Daddies Knew

Girl holding hand sepia2I’m spending the morning waiting for my car in the repair shop. Four men in flannel (I missed the flannel memo) and I sit around smelling tires and inhaling exhaust fumes while an enchanting little fairy is in constant motion around her daddy. She climbs on him, giggles, turns around, and then she’s back to twirling on the tile.

She’s bouncing and spinning around in her pink frilly skirt. Her black cable knit tights are sagging around her tiny knees, and her puffy coat makes her arms stand out further than is natural. To top off the ensemble is a shiny crystal tiara. It’s been tacked down to her head with what appears to be about 60 haphazard bobby pins.

She’s probably four years old. So little, so vulnerable. She doesn’t seem concerned about it as she sings about teapots and ladybugs in her black Mary Janes. I feel myself tear up as I watch her. I tear up as I watch him watch her. She could not possibly know at four what impact this man, his character, or his words will have on her for years to come. And, maybe he doesn’t know either.

So, to all the daddies with little girls who aren’t old enough yet to ask for what they need from you, here is what we wish you knew:

1. How you love me is how I will love myself.

2. Ask how I am feeling and listen to my answer, I need to know you value me before I can understand my true value.

3. I learn how I should be treated by how you treat my mom, whether you are married to her or not.

4. If you are angry with me, I feel it even if I don’t understand it, so talk to me.

5. Every time you show grace to me or someone else, I learn to trust God a little more.

6. I need to experience your nurturing physical strength, so I learn to trust the physicality of men.

7. Please don’t talk about sex like a teenage boy, or I think it’s something dirty.

8. When your tone is gentle, I understand what you are saying much better.

9. How you talk about female bodies when you’re ‘just joking’ is what I believe about my own.

10. How you handle my heart, is how I will allow it to be handled by others.

11. If you encourage me to find what brings joy, I will always seek it.

12. If you teach me what safe feels like when I’m with you, I will know better how to guard myself from men who are not.

13. Teach me a love of art, science, and nature, and I will learn that intellect matters more than dress size.

14. Let me say exactly what I want even if it’s wrong or silly, because I need to know having a strong voice is acceptable to you.

15. When I get older, if you seem afraid of my changing body, I will believe something is wrong with it.

16. If you understand contentment for yourself, so will I.

17. When I ask you to let go, please remain available; I will always come back and need you if you do.

18. If you demonstrate tenderness, I learn to embrace my own vulnerability rather than fear it.

19. When you let me help fix the car and paint the house, I will believe I can do anything a boy can do.

20. When you protect my femininity, I learn everything about me is worthy of protecting.

21. How you treat our dog when you think I’m not watching tells me more about you than does just about anything else.

22. Don’t let money be everything, or I learn not to respect it or you.

23. Hug, hold, and kiss me in all the ways a daddy does that are right and good and pure. I need it so much to understand healthy touch.

24. Please don’t lie, because I believe what you say.

25. Don’t avoid hard conversations, because it makes me believe I’m not worth fighting for.

It’s pretty simple, really. Little girls just love their daddies. They each think their daddy hung the moon. Once in a while when you look at your little gal twirling in her frilly skirt, remember she’ll be grown one day. What do you want her to know about men, life, herself, love? What you do and say now matters for a lifetime. Daddies, never underestimate the impact of your words or deeds on your daughters, no matter their age.

See the original post at  http://tarahedman.com/blog/

Daddy God?

The idea behind “Daddy God”

The Fatherhood of God is the central theme of the message of Jesus Christ. When teaching the disciples to pray, Jesus began with the words “Our Father which art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.”

Although we know this passage as the Lord‟s Prayer, I think it would be more accurate to call it the Disciple’s Prayer, since it was a response to their request, “Lord teach us to pray.”  Jesus told the disciples that when they prayed they were to address God as their Father. Remember that Old Covenant Jewish custom held that the name of God was so revered that the scribes refused to write it down. Even today, I know Messianic Jews who write the word God as „G__D‟ to avoid spelling it out…

The fact that Jesus spoke of God as His Father and encouraged his disciples to do the same so enraged the religious leaders of His day that they plotted to kill Him for doing so. In light of this, we can only imagine the shock and horror of the Jewish contemporaries of Jesus, if they had heard Him pray in the garden of Gethsemane. It was there that He addressed God not in the formal way as “Father,” but rather in the familiar manner in which a child might speak; Jesus calls Him “Abba.” The name Abba can be loosely translated as “Daddy” or “Papa.”

The apostle Paul, as well, would seem to trample upon this sacred ground.  He suggests that even you and I might address God in a more intimate and personal way, as Abba (Daddy). Certainly, to the religious leaders of the day, this would have been considered outright blasphemy. I can remember myself cringing the first time I heard someone refer to our heavenly Father as “Daddy God.” An interesting point to mention here is that slaves were forbidden to use the name Abba when speaking to or referring to their masters…

Daddy God

Fatherhood is more than a title or an office; it is also a function. The purpose of a father was to represent God to his family. In fact, a father‟s authority is ultimately derived from and limited to his representation of God the Father.

The manner in which we as fathers are to represent God’s Fatherhood is to serve as the priest, the prophet and the king (or ruler) of our home. As a priest of our home, a father is to represent his family before God. The event of the Passover will serve as an illustration for this. The fathers held the exclusive responsibility to select a lamb for each house, to kill the lamb, and to spread the blood on the doorposts of the house. In this example, the father as the priest held the power of saving his family from the destroying angel. He could not delegate this responsibility to another member of the family.

As a prophet, the father was to represent God to his family. As mentioned many times in this book, the father in the home is the representative of God. He is to set an example for his children through his words, attitude and conduct. 11 Finally, as the king of his home, the father is to rule by leading his family. Reiterating upon our theme that the pathway to fatherhood is by modeling sonship, his leadership is by way of example. Thus, a father serves by leading and he leads by serving.

Before we continue, I must mention a vital quality that every genuine father possesses. Every father should desire that his children be more successful than he is. Any man who does not desire that his children surpass him should not bear the name “father”. As it is true in every situation, Jesus and His Father set the example for us. Along this line Jesus said, “For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and greater works than these will He show Him, that you may marvel.”

Later Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to the Father.”  Simply analyzing these two passages makes it clear that the Father wanted Jesus to do “great works.” In like manner, Jesus desired for us to excel and do even “greater works than these.” ”

Want to know more about Jim’s “Daddy God” idea?

Grab Pastor Jim McNally’s free ebook, Becoming Sons, here: http://www.becomingsons.com/downloads.htm to learn more about the Daddy God concept.

What Does It Mean For A Husband To Love And Lead Like Jesus?

This 13 min video elaborating on Ephesians  5 provides some powerful insight into how men can lead according to God’s word.

It’s a massive call to live up to but one that is a tremendous privilege, I could not recommend strongly enough take the time to watch this video.

 

 

Works Like a Charm

Men I read this story today and I thought it was a great practical eg of discipling a daughter.

If you are a Dad of a son you may like to consider how you can instill this kind of respect and and love in him.

The Charm Bracelet
fiction by Sarah Kistler

Sweet 16 had finally come! I never thought I‘d make it. But I did. And it was amazing. My parents threw the birthday party of the century, and I had more people than I could count. The whole day had been awesome. But as I watched the sun begin to set, I knew the best part was soon to come.

It was late in the evening. Confetti had been swept up, helium balloons had started to sag and gift wrap had been folded neatly and tucked away for my mom’s later use. As I sat at my window studying the dusky sky, Dad peeked into my room with a smile.

“Ready to go, Sweetie?” he asked.

Was that a trick question? I wondered as I scrambled to my feet. I’d been waiting for this night for five long years, and it was finally here! I was now officially allowed to date!

The plan was for my parents and me to go to my favorite restaurant on the night of my 16th birthday and officiate the agreement, go over standards and discuss rules and such. And now we were finally on our way.

I sat across from my parents in a quiet corner booth. Having just placed our orders, I figured it was time to get on with it. “So. I can go out with any guy I want to, right?” I squealed, hardly able to contain my excitement.

Mom and Dad chuckled. Dad answered, “Well, we agreed to that, didn’t we?”

“Sweet!” I exclaimed, doing a little victory dance in my seat. My parents had held me off for years, but now that the time had come, they would let me date any guy I wanted! Of course they knew I had a good relationship with God and wasn’t too short on common sense, either.

“Now wait just a second,” Mom interrupted with a smile. “You have to agree to a little something yourself.”

I was expecting a lecture of some sort, so I was already prepared. “So what do I have to do now?” I asked, leaning forward on my elbows.

“Just open this,” Dad answered, producing a small white box. He gave a mysterious smile.

One Little Rule
I hesitated a moment before untying the curly pink ribbon. I slowly opened the lid and saw a beautiful silver bracelet. But not just any bracelet. It was a charm bracelet. And they weren’t just any charms. They were gemstones, small but gorgeous. A dozen dainty charms dangled gently.

“Wow.” I didn’t know what else to say. I wasn’t expecting this at all.

“Now you have to understand this isn’t just any bracelet,” Mom informed me.

“I know,” I said. “It’s so beautiful!” I studied it closer. There were six small charms alternating with six tinier ones. The smaller ones were a deep blue. Sapphires, I guessed. And the other six were each different. One appeared to be just a rock, one was pink, a white one, a red one, green . . . and was that a diamond?

“This charm bracelet is symbolic,” Dad explained, leaning in closer to study it with me. “It represents you and your purity. This is what will guide you through your dating relationships. Your mother and I can only tell you what’s right. We can’t make you believe it yourself. Hopefully, this will.”

I looked up solemnly. “I’m listening.”

“This represents the first time you hold a guy’s hand,” Mom said, pointing to the gray one. “It’s just a piece of polished granite. Seemingly cheap, yes, but it’s still a part of your bracelet. This is pink quartz.” She gently rubbed the next one between her fingers. “It represents your first kiss.”

“This green one is an emerald,” Dad continued. “This is your first boyfriend. The pearl is the first time you say ‘I love you’ to a man other than me.”

I giggled. This was so amazing.

“The ruby stands for your first engagement. And the diamond represents the first time you say ‘I do,’ ” Mom finished.

After letting it all sink in, I cleared my emotion-clogged throat. “What do the six tiny sapphires stand for?” I asked.

“Those are to remind you how beautiful and valuable you are to us and to God,” Dad replied. “Now here’s the hitch in all this, the one and only rule you’ll ever have to follow when it comes to dating.”

Only one rule. Sounded good. But little did I know . . .

“Whenever you give one these actions of love-a kiss, an ‘I love you,’ a hand to hold-you also have to give the recipient the gem to match.”

I must’ve misunderstood. “I have to give him the gem?”

“You have to give it to him,” Mom restated.

I was silent for a moment. I thought they must be joking. But they weren’t even thinking of cracking a smile.

“But Daddy!” I suddenly shrieked. “These are insanely expensive! I can’t just give them away!”

He gave a soft, loving chuckle. “Did you hear what you just said?”

I thought about it.

“Baby, your purity, your heart, they’re far more valuable than a few little rocks. If you can’t find it in your heart to give away your little charms, I don’t think you should be giving away the things they represent.”

I could feel my insides melting, ready to gush out my tear ducts. On the one hand, it made me feel valuable and precious. But on the other, it made me furious. It made no sense. But it would.

 

Priceless Gems
A few weeks after that night, I was hanging out with my friends at the beach. Chad wouldn’t swim because I wouldn’t swim. I was more interested in reading than getting caked with sand, and he was more interested in sitting with me than swimming with his buddies. He was sweet. He was cute. And he tried to hold my hand.

I was thrilled for a nanosecond when a certain piece of ugly granite flashed through my mind and made me move out of his reach. I was severely annoyed-annoyed at my parents, annoyed at my bracelet-turned-handcuffs, but most of all, annoyed at myself. I was letting a little rock dominate my romantic life.

I furiously glared at it during the whole embarrassing walk to the bathhouse. But then God hit me upside the head with a shocking epiphany. I couldn’t give up my little chunk of granite. It was a part of my bracelet, which in a sense made it a part of me. I wouldn’t be whole without it. It wasn’t a priceless gem, yet it was still valuable. It made sense after that.

Kevin came along eventually. We had fun. We hung out a lot. I thought I might love him. I thought I might tell him so. I thought of my pearl. It turned out that I didn’t love him as much as I thought I did.

So my parents had been right. They couldn’t make me believe the things they wanted me to believe. So they let God and my bracelet do the work instead. Among the four of them, I figured out how valuable I was. How valuable my purity was. How not valuable guys were who just wasted my time and emotions. If they weren’t in it for the whole bracelet, why should they get one part of it?

Nate. He thought my bracelet was awesome. So he never tried to hold my hand. He never tried to kiss me. But he asked me to marry him.

I never knew that so many years of torture could amount to so much happiness. I’d thought it was silly. I’d thought it was overrated. But now, I‘ve never been more glad of anything in my life. As I gave my husband the charm bracelet in its entirety, I wondered why I had found it so hard to hang on to those little rocks when it was so amazing to give them all to the man I truly loved.

But it didn’t end there. Now our daughter wears it.

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