Fathers! What have you planted in the minds of your children, especially your sons? I say, “especially your sons,” because boys need special attention. If fathers are not available there needs to be a substitute. There have been 74 school shootings by boys and young men since the Newtown, Connecticut tragedy in December 2012. While men make up 49 percent of the U. S. population, they make up 92 percent of the prison population. Boys need special attention indeed.
Have you wondered if you are raising your son and daughter right? Do you ask yourself, “Am I demonstrating the right example?” “Have I said the right things?” “Am I responding the right way?” How would you like to be sure that your son and daughter are headed in the right direction? You can, using God’s perfect example. You will reduce the number of times your child will disappoint you.
The perfect example is found in Matthew 3:17 and 17:5. It’s also in Mark 1:11, Luke 3:22 and 2 Peter 1:17. It’s what the Father said of His Son. “… This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Jesus had not yet begun his ministry or performed his first miracle, changing water into wine. He did not yet have any disciples nor had he been tempted by Satan. He had just been baptized by John. He had not yet taken on the role of Messiah. Yet the Father was already well pleased with His Son. What else could the Son of God do but go around doing good.
Think back to the day your children were born. You loved them immediately did you not? They had not done anything except poop in a diaper. They had not yet done anything to please you. But you loved them and that big grin on your face told the world that you were well pleased. Suppose as soon as your son could understand, you introduced him to a group of your friends saying, “This is my son, (name) , whom I love. I am very well pleased with him.”
Your son or daughter has heard you say, “I love you” at home in private. This is different. They need to hear you say to others that you love them and you are well pleased with them. That is huge. It is no longer private. It is announced to the world (your group of friends). The world knows of your love for your child and that you are already pleased with him or her. More importantly your child knows that the world knows. Hearing you tell others in their presence is a tremendous character building experience. Remember, God said this of His Son not to His Son. He said it to the world.
|Raymond, Zair & Lloyd Johnson - Three Generations|
Most parents wait until their child does something good before complimenting them. “What a good boy. I’m proud of you.” That is after the good deed is done. God used it before the good was done. I did this at my church with my own son. I don’t remember the exact circumstance but I remember using the words of Matthew 3:17 in introducing him. He was either a teenager or young adult. What were the results? You will have to ask him. When I look at or think about my son, Raymond, I see a man … what the Jews call in Yiddish a mensch (i.e. - a person of integrity and honor) a loving husband and father. I see a God fearing man in whom I am more than pleased. I feel the same way about my daughter, Ericka, too.
Before I pat myself on the back for something I might have done, I am reminded that two of us raised our son and daughter. I love them both and I am well pleased with both. But I did not do it alone. Alongside me was my wife, their mother, Dora. With us were grandparents, aunts, uncles, God-parents, church family and close friends. Most importantly, God is at the center of our lives. We are guided by God the Holy Spirit
As soon as you can, tell your friends in the presence of your son and daughter that you love them and that you are well pleased with them. It will remain planted in their hearts forever. <><