He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers … Malachi 4:6a (NIV)
Note: For almost 15 years, Erik Rees has been a pastor at Saddleback. In March, doctors discovered an inoperable brain tumor in Erik’s 12-year-old daughter, Jessica. He wrote this powerful reminder that the time we have with our children is a gift from God.
D-Depend on God!
Start each day asking God to give you the wisdom and strength to be the best dad you can be. Never ever sacrifice your family on the altar of work. Yes, God is first in your life, but your family is second, and work is third. This also means stop looking at your phone during dinner or emailing while watching TV. My kids know when I'm engaged and when I'm just in the room.
A-Always Love Them!
Give your kids a hug and tell them you love them each and every day. No matter what age, hug them and talk to them. Don't replace authentic love with texting and emails. Use your voice and use your arms to convey love. It will reassure them that they are your priority. If you don't know the love languages of your kids, learn them so you can connect with them through the way God wired them.
D-Devote Your Time!
Kids spell love T-I-M-E, so make time to be with them. I don't know what this means for you and your kids, but find a way to give your kids the best part of your day (instead of the leftovers). It is too easy to slip into busyness and allow other things to suck your day away. Be deliberate in finding ways to give your kids your time.
I hope these reminders help strengthen your relationship with God and your kids. God gives us the gift of fatherhood, and we need to fight to be the best we can be.
We ask for your prayers for Jessie Rees. You can learn more about her at www.jessierees.com. You can also post a prayer on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/jessicajoyrees. To see how Jessie is helping other children, go to www.joyjars.org.