Thanks for giving me a daddy. You knew just what I’d need! In case you need to make daddies for other kids, I thought you might like to know what I like best about the one you sent me:
A good dad …
1. knows everything (like how to tie shoes and drive a car)
2. is really smart (he even knows where the wind goes after it blows through the trees)
3. has a forgiving heart (for when I mess up)
4. is loaded with patience, patience, patience (he probably won’t need it, but just in case…)
5. has a comfy lap and a big laugh (you understand about that, don’t you?)
6. tells me all about you and your son.
P.S. I almost left out the best part! A good dad has real strong arms (to catch me when I fall. He says you’re just like that, too).
The Lord made an agreement with Jacob and gave the teachings to Israel, which he commanded our ancestors to teach to their children. Then their children would know them, even their children not yet born. And they would tell their children. So they would all trust God and would not forget what he had done but would obey his commands. (Psalm 78:5-7)
“My heart beats for you and my love for you stirs up my pity. I won’t punish you in my anger and I won’t destroy Israel again. I am God and not a human. I am the Holy One, and I am among you.”
A GOOD DAD TREASURES HIS CHILDREN
1. One step into the classroom and the cat of curiosity pounced on Jenna. And I walked away I gave my daughter up. Not much. And not as much as I will have to in the future. But I gave her up as much as I could today.
• In what other ways will Jenna (or your boy or girl) have to be given up in the future?
• Does it help to know that all this “giving up” doesn’t have to be done at once? Why?
2. I gave up my child fully aware that were she to need me I would be at her side in a heartbeat. You, God, said good-bye to your son fully aware that when he would need you the most, when his cry of despair would roar through the heavens, you would sit in silence. The angels, though positioned, would hear no command from you. Your son, though in anguish, would feel no comfort from your hands.
• Why did God give up his son so completely?
• Imagine, if you can, what it might have been like in heaven’s throne room while Christ suffered on the cross. What is the mood of the angels surrounding God — somber? Sad? Happy? Angry? Confused?
3. Before the day was over I sat in silence a second time. This time, not beside my daughter but before my Father. This time not sad over what I had to give, but grateful for what I’d already received.
• Living proof that God does care.
• What is the “living proof” to which this passage refers?
• How do you respond to this “Living proof”?
A GOOD DAD MAKES GODLY DECISIONS
1. Consequently, it is possible, even common, for a father to forget about fathering—to emotionally disconnect himself from his children. Throughout the day, everyday dads need to renew their “dad” decision.
• What is a “dad” decision?
• What kind of decisions have you had to make as a parent?
• What are some creative solutions to the time demands each dad faces?
2. Kids have a unique set of antennae—not only are they able to see much and hear more, they replay the behavior they see in their parents.
• Do you agree with Max’s statement?
• Have your kids ever replayed something they’ve observed in you? How did it make you feel?
• What is the most important attribute you hope to model for your children?