One Million Arrows Christian Parenting Blog

Posted in: Parenting

"I Wish I Had A Dad Like That..."
Guest Author: Nathan Wilkerson
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Psalm 127:3 says, "Offspring are a reward from him." I work with children and I know that if you offer a reward to kids, it better be something good. Ice cream is a better reward than broccoli. In some homes, ice cream might be a reward for eating broccoli. Simply put, kids are a blessing-priceless treasures that we get to enjoy. They help us remember to play. They make us laugh. They can be a source of great gratification as we watch them grow and become who God wants them to be. And, ultimately, they will care for us when we are old. It's like the old saying goes, "Be nice to your children, they get to pick out your nursing home."

So how should we as parents and other caregivers react to God's extravagant gift of children? Well, not to sound too cheesy, we should treasure them. How do we do that? First, we need to make a decision to be intentional about affirming them. Once we take hold of the truth that our children are unique creations of God put here to bless us, we should make sure they know that too.

If saying positive words to your children seems awkward to your or seems to have little effect, just keep doing it. Write them letters or texts. Write on their facebook wall. Just start by telling them you love them. Take the Nike approach to this—just do it.

We should react to the fact that children are a heritage from the Lord by enjoying them. Just playing with our children communicates to them that they are worth our time. I remember when my fourteen-year-old, Christina was about five. We went over to visit my cousin and her husband. During the course of the afternoon, their children and ours began a game of tag in the back yard. At one point I looked out the window to see my cousin's husband, who is about 10 years older than I am and probably 50 pounds heavier, running around, playing tag with the kids. After we left their house, Christina said right in front of me, "I wish I had a dad like that." She didn't mean to hurt my feelings, but her words taught me a powerful lesson.

I can take my kids to the pool or the park and watch them play or I can get out there and play with them. I can sign my kids up for baseball or whatever, but nothing can replace actually tossing the ball around with them. When we're playing together, I gain my children's trust. They come to want me around more. Most importantly, though, I get the unparalleled privilege of getting to know them. I discover their idiosyncrasies and preferences. Playing with our children is stopping to smell the roses in life.  

P.S. On Friday, I was fixating on the third revision of this teaching material that I would be giving on Sunday. At about 6 PM, Jadon comes into my room where I'm feverishly typing away and says, "Hey dad, let's play baseball." I said, "Not right now, Jadon, I really need to finish this." To which he replied, "I really want to do it right now." So, I looked down at the page where I had just been writing all of this stuff and got really convicted. Guess who ended up playing baseball?

wilkersonNathan Wilkerson is a Bible teacher and member of New Heights Church. We appreciate his contribution of this parenting series!

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