They were discussing her desire to be in honors band. Band was not the dad’s forte but he was willing to hang with her as she worked through the various audition pieces. She was driven by a very competitive nature. As dad tried to encourage her to take a deep breath and just let it flow through the clarinet, frustration percolated up. She shouted, “Dad! You just don’t get it!” as she stomped upstairs and slammed her door.
Dad found himself sitting alone in the living room wondering what just happened. He had two choices before him: He could go ahead and do some work he needed to get done until she came back downstairs; or, he could go upstairs, open the door and talk with his daughter about what just happened. He wisely chose the latter and had a wonderful conversation that shed light on the level of frustration she was experiencing. As she shared more about her day, he began to hear how overwhelmed she was feeling. They talked it through, hugged and went back to work on the audition pieces together.
The Lord called Samuel a third time, and Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” Then, Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy. So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if He calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” – 1Samuel 3:8-9. Three times the Lord called Samuel and each time he assumed it was Eli calling. The fourth time, with the help of Eli, Samuel tuned in to the Lord to hear what He had to say. Similarly, dads may assume they are hearing all they need to hear from the kids. Then a door slams or tempers flare and dad realizes he was not really tuned in as he should have been. Kids need to know their father is listening to hear all they have to say. With the help of the Holy Spirit dads can hear well, discern and provide Light in his children’s lives.
There are too many things out there at work 24/7 to engage kids in activities that do not bring glory to God. The hand-held computers with access to the internet, a plethora of apps and all kinds of games can make for unhealthy engagement. It is dad’s and mom’s responsibility to work harder to engage the kids in conversation, to eat dinner together five times a week, conduct family devotion time and hear well all that is happening in their world.
Prayer guide: My Father, thank You for the opportunity to be a dad. I confess I have been passive, more disengaged than engaged in my children’s day to day life. Forgive me Lord. Help me be more intentional in efforts to tune in to the kids and hear well all they have to say. Grant me discernment to engage appropriately and be Your Light in the midst of shadows that impede relationship in family and with You. I pray this in the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
A faithful father hears well, discerns and provides Light in family.