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by Amanda Murray on February 12, 2014
One of the best parts of my job is that I have the opportunity to sit in on many different Christian presentations, whether from a visiting church that is utilizing our facilities or a presentation from our own talented Summer Camp staff. Recently, I had a chance to sit in for part of our very first SkyMoms Retreat, which is the sister-organization that actually led to the creation of the SkyDads program.
The retreat went very well and the moms had a great time of fellowship and sharing. If you have the opportunity to encourage your wife, daughter or other female family member to attend one of these events, please know that the SkyMoms team will genuinely minister to them and give them new insights on issues facing moms of all ages.
The program included a selection of videos that were specifically chosen for the audience. One of the videos was a guy giving a dramatic speech on the importance of women and how they are strong, confident and beautiful, regardless of any benchmark the world may have set or a benchmark that they set for themselves. (Who You Are – A Message to All Women: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWi5iXnguTU)
As I watched the video, I felt convicted that I had not said these kinds of affirming statements to my own wife and daughter often enough over the years. As fathers, we’re not always the greatest at expressing emotion, but the fact of the matter is, we need to step up and create the opportunities to speak truth into our kids’ lives and give them a firm foundation of confidence to help stand up against the world.
Chapter four of Proverbs contains several references written about children listening to their parents, and if the child is expected to listen, the parent is expected to teach and share truth with them:
Proverbs 4:1 – Listen, children, to a father’s instruction and pay attention so that you may gain discernment.
Proverbs 4:10 – Listen, my child, and accept my words, so that the years of your life may be many.
Proverbs 4:20 – My child, pay attention to my words, listen attentively to my sayings.
Sharing truth is not always easy. A lot of guys are reluctant to expose their feelings for fear of being seen as weak or somehow unmanly, but the fact of the matter is, it takes courage, awareness and intentionality to speak with our kids. My encouragement for dads everywhere is to look for opportunities to speak to your children, which may mean turning off the television, putting down your phone or setting aside the work you brought home from the office. In my own experience, driving in the car, just before bedtime, walking together in a mall or other public places are all great opportunities for some honest talk. Oftentimes, our conversations would begin with simple questions like, “What do you think about the way the kids are dressed tonight?”, or, “Which of your friends do you like the most?”
When you talk with your kids, be careful to avoid being judgmental. As soon as your son or daughter senses that you are responding negatively to what they are saying, they are likely to stop sharing, as they can sense the tension starting to rise. This is a time to be calm and to keep your voice low. As they grow older, they become experts with the one word responses, but keep at it. There is something inside them they want to share, it just takes some work to bring it to the surface. There are plenty of people who want to talk with your kids and to bring them into their way of thinking, so our obligation as their protectors is to make sure that we are the consistent, dependable source of godly advice.
Being a dad is never easy, so here’s a cool video all about us to remind us that we have a great role to fill. Dad Life – http://vimeo.com/12714406
– Tom Romans, Senior Director of Operations
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