He was not a good reader, never was. A high level of sports activities overrode the importance of reading any book of significance through high school. As a dad, he wanted better for his son. He made time to read Bible stories and other books to his son early and often. At a young age they would alternate reading paragraphs, then he would read a page and his son would read a page. When the boy started reading books, he would shadow read them so they could talk about key aspects of the book. Dad was teaching well.
Kids typically are learning to read up to the second or third grade and then the tables turn to where they are reading to learn. The investment of time by dads and moms early on the reading front conveys importance and healthy prioritization. The philosophy is the same with sports – A dad spends hours teaching kids about the fundamentals of fielding and hitting in baseball so they will learn how to play the game. Then the tables turn to where they have to play the game to learn more. Healthy growth academically, athletically and spiritually depends on dads teaching well.
He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.” – Matthew 5:2-11. This was foundational teaching for His disciples to prepare them for the journey ahead. They had to learn to love as He loved if they were in turn going to love others into the Kingdom. His teaching equipped them to teach others in the Way.
As his son matured, reading well served him well academically. In high school he took Advanced Placement English and History classes that qualified for college credit and he went on to get a college degree. He also continued to mature in his faith by reading the Bible regularly. God provided good return on a dad’s investment of time as ‘teacher’ early in his son’s life.
Prayer guide: Lord, thank You for the life You have blessed me with. You have been with me through the valleys and mountain-top experiences. It was not always with enthusiasm that I asked, “What are You up to in this situation?” It was more in frustration and doubt. Forgive me. I love You Lord and thank You for the valleys, the mountain-tops and every point in between. You are the Potter, I am the clay; You are the Teacher, I am the student. Help me as Your representative in family to teach well at every opportunity You present. Thank You Jesus. Amen.
A faithful father invests time well through the ‘teacher’ season of fathering.