Today, I bragged on Joel to a complete stranger for my "first."
I have bragged on Laura and Hannah Grace to complete strangers for "firsts" already this year. I've been looking for an opportunity to brag on Joel to someone in his presence. After school, I was in town with both kids. Hannah Grace suggested that we stop in at the yogurt place and get a doughnut. This was after she suggested that we stop at Dairy Queen. While we were in the yogurt place, I bragged on both kids to the lady working there. After that, we met Laura and she took Hannah Grace to where she needed to go. Joel and I went by the store on the way home to get some supplies. I bragged on Joel to the guy at the store as well. I wanted him to have his very own bragging. I told the guy at the cash register that this was one fine young man. I told him (with my arm around Joel) that Joel was very smart, responsible, well-mannered, polite and respectful young man. I also mentioned that he would climb very well. Joel is pretty proud of his climbing abilities. The guy at the cash register said, "Hmmm." Wow, is that the best you can do? Hmmm? I resisted the urge to slap him. Just kidding, kind of.
It is easy when children are young to correct them a lot. I do correct my children a good bit, but I don't want them to hear my voice mainly in correction. I want them to hear me telling them I love them, I'm proud of them, and I am glad God let me be their Daddy. It's a great privilege for the Lord to entrust us with children. Children are a gift of the Lord. They belong to God and I'm responsible for teaching them about Him. God doesn't simply correct us; He loves us, protects us, encourages us, lives with us, and forgives us to name a few things. I'm to be something of a model of God's character to my children. God wants me to be an example of His love and grace. Part of that is letting my children know I'm grateful to be a part of their lives.
As I was thinking about that, I've thought this week about the need to minister to our children at church. They need the love and grace of Christ expressed to them by the church family and not simply their teachers. It's easy to sort of not really notice the children. Jesus loved children and had time for children. Think about how you can express the love of Christ to a child (not just yours) this week.
As I've sat here writing this blog, I thought about a story that Max Lucado wrote about in his book titled "Grace." He wrote, "Many years ago I traveled to my mother’s house in West Texas to see my uncle. He had journeyed from California to visit the grave of my dad. He hadn’t been able to make it to the funeral some months earlier. Uncle Billy reminded me of my father. They looked so much alike: square bodied and ruddy complexion. We laughed, talked, and reminisced. When time came for me to leave, Uncle Billy followed me out to my car. We paused to say good-bye. He reached up and placed his hand on my shoulder and said, “Max, I want you to know, your dad was very proud of you.” I contained the emotion until I pulled away. Then I began to blubber like a six-year-old. We never outgrow our need for a father’s love."
Take a minute to love a child. You both need it.
Grateful that children are a part of the abundant life
3 things I think God for today
3. God is my Father