Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Summer Engaging: Engage Emotionally

This week we're looking at three ways to connect with our kids over the summer. The second way we can encourage our children and not embitter them is by engaging emotionally.

Being present is the large amount of time you spend with your child that allows you to have the moments to engage emotionally. In his book As For Me and My Crazy, House Brian Berry writes:
 “Quality time is an accident that happens in quantity time.” 
Being a father brings a lot of blessing, a lot of joy, and a lot of fun and laughter. But it is also quite costly to be a father. The biggest cost is not financial; it is emotional. Fathers must make an emotional investment in their kids. Kids need affirmation, encouragement, and expressions of love. Most of all kids need to be pardoned and forgiven.

In all honesty, the Bible gives us a whole bunch of examples of inadequate fathers:
Noah wasn’t a perfect father: he got so drunk he passed out and his children had to cover up his naked body.
Jacob had multiple wives and exhibited such immense favoritism to one son that his brothers threw Joseph in a pit and sold him into slavery.
David failed to discipline his oldest son, creating a rebellious child who attempted to take the kingdom from his father and eventually died.

Realistically, there is no example of a perfect father here on earth. To find a perfect father, we need to turn our eyes to God the Father.

It was a big day for Jesus as He walked down to the Jordan River to be baptized. As he came out of the water, Scripture records what happened next. Speaking from heaven, God the Father makes a bold declaration to the world saying, “This is my Son!” In other words, He’s saying, “No one make a mistake about it, He belongs to me. I am his Father and He is my Son!” God the Father makes no ambiguity surrounding His relationship to Jesus Christ. God was affirming Christ during a monumental time in the life of His son.

The affirmation doesn’t stop with God boldly declaring Jesus is His Son. God goes on, “This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.” Affirmation is powerful and we all desperately need it! Right here God tells the world that He loves Jesus and is well pleased with Him.

Think about this. At this point in His life Jesus has not yet, preached a sermon, healed the sick, raised the dead, cast out any demons, called any disciples, or done any miracles. However God the Father validates Jesus not for what He has done or for the future works he will do. The Father affirms Jesus solely because of who He is—His beloved Son! What an encouragement!

If you’ve experienced a lack of encouragement from your father growing up, please don’t hold back encouragement in your children’s life. The power of our words can bring life to our children. Fathers with older children, keep in mind the age of Jesus at His baptism. God remained engaged in Jesus’ life through every step and every stage of His life.

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