“Children will want to know about God when dad nurtures them like God!”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – March 24, 2023
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger [do not exasperate them to the point of resentment with demands that are trivial or unreasonable or humiliating or abusive; nor by showing favoritism or indifference to any of them], but bring them up [tenderly, with lovingkindness] in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4, AMP
Moms need not have all the fun, ha! Dads are also called to be nurturers to their children. Provider in many families, yes, but being a provider does not give a father permission to neglect nurturing. Many moms are also providers, so how can mom and dad nurture their children together, with one or both providers? First, let’s nail down a helpful definition of nurture. Like the nurture of a tender seedling, it’s the emotional/spiritual care of a child’s sensitive heart and imaginative mind. An intimacy of shared feelings and secrets that build trust and heal hurt. Dads, when you stay in the process of learning the skill of nurturing, you are saying to your child, “I want to really know you,” “I love you, and you matter,” and “I want God’s very best for you.” Nurturing gives your children life and prepares them to do life as the best version of themselves.
Paul starts with a negative call out to dads not to cause their children to become angry…incited by dad’s impatient anger. Children typically follow the model of their dads. When dad is patient, his child grows more patient. When dad is honest about his feelings, his child feels safe, to be honest about her feelings. Paul goes on to share the wisdom of loving each child equally but relating to each one uniquely. No favoritism (this is what got Joseph and his dad in trouble)! He further explains how to raise your child: with tender, loving-kindness in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Children will want to know about God when dad nurtures them like God!
“And that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15).
Moms make sure to give your child’s dad the opportunity to nurture. Be patient. He may not be naturally as good as you are at automatically comforting and caring for your child’s heart. As he emotionally bumbles and stumbles along, encourage his willingness to be brave and vulnerable and model for him how to grow as an effective nurturer of your children. Helpful words, “I am so proud of you for taking the time to ask questions and listen to our daughter.” “So brave of you to be vulnerable with our son about your childhood experience with bullies and being afraid.” And dad, learn from your bride how to engage with your child emotionally…she is the expert. Moms and dads who nurture their child together are able to cultivate their child’s love for Jesus!
Above all, dad, be intentional about being nurtured by your heavenly Father. Nurturing dads are nurtured. Be emotionally vulnerable with your friend Jesus, “Lord, right now, I am afraid, affirm me with your loving presence, remove my worries with a reassuring word from your Word…the Bible.” As you acknowledge the presence of God in your life, He gives you the presence of mind to bring to mind His truth: “I will never leave or forsake you,” “You are my beloved son,” “I am enough, and through my power working in you, you are enough.” You are being nurtured by the Holy Spirit when you know in your heart a peace that passes all understanding, and your mind is being transformed by truth and not being conformed by lies. Like a software update on your phone, take the time to download the Spirit’s latest operating system so you are secure from the enemy. Nurturing dads are being nurtured and are nurturing their children to be nurtured by God.
“We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about his power and his mighty wonders” (Psalm 78:4, NLT).
Heavenly Father, nurture my heart with your love, so I am able to nurture my child’s heart with my love, Christ’s love, and in Jesus’ name, amen.
In what ways can you uniquely nurture the heart of your child?
Capital City Music: Child of God
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