God is our good Father; he has dealt mercifully with us
Fathers, bring your children up in the instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4).
I want to encourage us fathers at Stone Hill to harness the power of little things. So below is an excerpt from an article by Tim Challies (www.challies.com) entitled “7 Things a Good Dad Says.” Alas, I could only quote from 5 of the 7:
I love you. I remember several friends who lived with uncertainty in their relationship with their parents, and their fathers especially. They longed to hear words of love and approval. But I saw other kids who had total confidence in that love and approval. Often the difference was little more than three simple words repeated regularly: “I love you.”
Let me kiss it better. As a young child I remember observing two different kinds of fathers in my church. When children fell and scraped their knees, some fathers tell them to get over it. “You’re fine. Walk it off!” There were other fathers who would say, “Let me kiss it better.” Sure, there are times to tell your child to walk it off, but there are far more times to extend love through bumps and bruises and through the bigger sins and mistakes that come with age.
Please forgive me. Every father sins against every one of his children. He probably does it every day. Fathers need to be in the habit of identifying their sin to their children and asking forgiveness. The good dad is the one who humbly, carefully says to his children, “Please forgive me.”
You’re forgiven. The father who asks forgiveness also needs to be willing to extend forgiveness. Here I think of a father I know—a father I admire—who taught me that a good dad doesn’t just say, “It’s okay,” but always goes further to say, “You’re forgiven.”
You can’t do it. We live at a time when parents are known for being extravagant in their praise for their children and assuring them, “You can do anything.” But the good dad assures his children that in the most important area, they can’t do it. They simply can’t. The dads I love and admire are the dads who assure their children, “You can’t do it,” and who quickly lead them to the gospel and to the Savior who can.