Donuts for Dads – February 24, 2020
This word of encouragement was shared by Tony Tench to the Dads and Granddads who gathered with their children at Mother’s Morning Out today! The MMO schedule allows them to have a Mother’s Day Tea with the Moms but they are not in session for Father’s Day so they always look forward to Donuts with Dads in February!
Thanks Dads and Grands for gathering with your children today and hearing these words of encouragement for the journey before us. We are praying for you, and for all of us who are Dads and Grands, as we take our next steps into these fundamentals I share with you today.
When my daughter was born, my life changed for the great! I am so proud of my girl and have been so proud from the start! Back in the day, I would push her around in the stroller in our little rural town and, as we walked, often people would speak to us and they’d say to me, “Oh, I see you’re babysitting today?” I’d just smile and say, “Nope.” When asked I’d explain: Babysitting is something you do for others’ kids – any number of people can be a babysitter. But when I’m with my girl, I’m being Daddy – no one but me can fill that role for her.
It’s a lot like in the old Superman comics when there was a problem that NO ONE ELSE could handle – “Oh, how we need Superman,” the citizens of Metropolis would say. Clark Kent would soon step into a nearby phone booth and emerge as Superman! Well, we Dads are needed in ways that NO ONE ELSE can fulfill. So, every day, we have to step into a near by phone booth and emerge as DADDY!
Here’s how we can make sure we emerge well for the sake of our children! We’ll spell it D-A-D-D-Y:
DAILY TIME WITH GOD – Bible and Prayer!
Jesus said to Martha and Mary as Martha was busy about the chores of the day and Mary was simply sitting with Jesus and listening to his teaching: “You are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed….Mary’s doing it.” Luke 10:42 It makes the difference all day long when we do the ONE thing needed, viz. sitting in the presence of Jesus’ teaching!
Joe Gibbs (former Head Coach of the Washington Redskins and these days team owner in NASCAR racing) likes to say: “When I go to bed at night, I throw my shoes as far under the bed as I can, so when I get up in the morning I have to first get down on my knees and while I’m down there, I pray!” And he’s got the right idea. When we start the day with God in prayer and Bible reading we find what we need to be the DADDY our kids need for us to be.
ATTITUDE OF CHRIST – Humility
“Your attitude should be the same as Christ Jesus…in humility value others above yourselves,not looking to your own interests but each of you look to the interests of others” (Phil. 2:4). Humility IS the attitude with which Jesus lives before us. As C.S. Lewis once put it, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less!” That’s what Jesus did going to the cross for our sin and to win our victory over death. Humility is his attitude. So, when we think of our wives interests, our children’s mother’s interests, our children’s interests above our own, we live out the attitude of Christ.
Vince Lombardi, famed coach of the Green Bay Packers would spend time listening to his players. He’d hear all kinds of crazy questions and to some of them, he’d simply reply: “When all else fails, just react like a football player.” Jesus has come as God’s way of saying to us – when all else fails react like Jesus — have the attitude of Christ – think of others above yourself.
DISTRACTIONS ASIDE — FOCUS ON KIDS!
Jesus would not be distracted by the crowds and the order of the day as his disciples were. When others were pushing the kids aside Jesus was all about saying: “Let the little children come to me…he focused on them!” Luke 18:16. Likewise, it is to us to push aside distractions so that we eat, read, play, build, work with our children! When we give-in to distraction is when we get beat.
It was that way in the NFL when Jim Brown played for the Cleveland Browns– he was a fierce running back who would intimidate with distraction! Before a game he would circle his opponents like a lion picking off the weak. When he was tackled, he’d lay hurt and limp back to the huddle only to ram the ball down their throats on the next play, not hurt at all. Diversion. Distraction. It’s when we give in to it that we get beat.
There is way too much to distract us these days! It’s all just noise. The real game is with our kids!
DEMONSTRATE THE WAY FORWARD
The Scripture says: “Train up a child in the WAY they should go…” (Prov. 22:6) and “Fathers bring up your children in the training of the Lord” (Eph. 6). These passages call us to model for our children the values God expects to see in all our lives. We are to demonstrate to our children the way life is supposed to be lived. And, sure enough, they will catch on to everything we show them.
One day my granddaughter, Mattie (5 years old), came home from school and told her Mom about something happening that day where they had to wait in line. It was frustrating for her to do so, she said. She knew she needed to have patience but she didn’t want to wait. “So what did you do?,” asked my daughter. Well, said Mattie, “I leaned in to God and he helped me be patient!” Now, that’s not the kind of behavior a 5 year old comes to on her own – that has been modeled my Mom and Dad.
Our children catch what we model.
YIELDED TO THE WILL OF THE LORD
When all is said and done, with all there is to catch our attention and cause us to worry though our lives, there is one verse of scripture that wraps it all up together as Jesus declares: “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and ALL these things will be added to you as well (what you will eat and wear and where you’ll live…) Matthew 6:33. We will be the Daddy and Grandaddy our children need when we seek God’s kingdom, yielding to his will each day.
Adolph Rupp was the legendary basketball coach at the University of Kentucky who had a standard that he expected as a “basic” for every player on the team. He found out if prospective players met that standard when they came for a visit to his office: If they had to bow down to enter the office then they met the basic standard because the doorway was only 6’2” tall – no one shorter was accepted.
Our kids need to see us BOWING to the Will of God so that we are living out God’s standards for our lives – that’s what it takes to live out a WINNING TRADITION.
Yes, many people can be babysitters for our kids but we are the only ones who can step into a nearby phone booth and come out as the DADDY they for us to be.
D aily time with God — Bible and Prayer.
A ttitude of Christ — Humility.
D istractions aside to Focus on the Kids
D emonstrate the way forward
Y ielded to the Will of God.
We are praying for you as you do!