June 17, 2010

Generous Dad

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- June 17, 2010

“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 7:11-13

How much do I give to my children? I can give them too much money, but not too much time. I can give them too much stuff, but not too much love. I can give them too much responsibility, but not too much preparation. I can give them too much freedom, but not too much prayer. A generous dad is able to discern how much is enough for their child.

Each day a giving father prays about the needs of their son or daughter. What does my child need from me today? What are they asking of me with their words, body language, unspoken requests or bad behavior? Extroverted children are not shy to ask for too much, while introverted children need time and space to express their needs. Treat each one according to their unique requirements. A generous dad is able to give good gifts because he understands his child. Gifts are not to compensate for our guilt, but to express our love.

For example a good gift for a son may mean time away with dad at a sporting event, or a great adventure of hunting, fishing or hiking. However, your daughter’s gift motivation may revolve around time with her dad at daddy-daughter camp, a theatrical production or visiting the beach. Discerning dads structure good gifts around a block of quantity time.

Maybe you invest in your child with an every other week date night or father/son time. Ask them to pick the restaurant for dinner and/or the activity for entertainment. Your verbal and written words are a valuable gift at any age. Encourage their tender hearts, discipline their defiant hearts, affirm their humble hearts and chide their selfish hearts. Use birthdays, graduations, proms, ballgames, auditions and weddings to write them notes or letters of how proud you are to be their dad, and how much God loves them.

Lastly, give your offspring good gifts because of how your heavenly Father has lavished His good gifts on you. Pay forward God’s gifts to you of love, patient, holiness, humility, hope and faith. The greatest gift of salvation in Christ Jesus is meant for you to receive and give to your child. There is no greater joy than to see your flesh walking by faith.

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” (3 John 1:4).

What good gift does my son or daughter need from me? How can I give them the free gift of grace?

Related Readings: Ezra 9:12; Jeremiah 32:39; Luke 10:21; Hebrews 12:7-9

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