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February 22, 2019

Donuts for Dads: A Reflection About Being the Parents Our Children Need

A Mother’s Morning Out Fellowship at First Baptist Church

by Tony Tench

Dads and Grands, and a few Moms, fill a plate with goodies!

Annually, about this time of year, our Mother’s Morning Out (MMO) ministry hosts a Friday morning fellowship called “Donuts for Dads.”  Since MMO is not in session in June when Father’s Day rolls around, like they are in session in May when Mother’s Day arrives, February marks an opportunity for the children to celebrate their Dads and Granddads! The MMO teachers bring in the goodies to eat and the Dads and Grands accompany their children for a tasty brunch.  How thankful we are for these men who come to let their children know the importance of their lives in this way.

This year Clara Spangler, our MMO Coordinator, asked me to share a devotional message with the Dads.  The message went like this:

Thankful to encourage Dads and Grands today!

DonutsI love some donuts.  I have been known to single-handedly knock out a dozen of donuts in a morning.  They are sure enough fun to eat. And then, there are donut holes.  Which are equally fun to eat! I have never tried to count how many of them I can eat in a sitting – but that would be a fun thing to try sometime!!

You know the idea behind “donut holes” is that donuts are made sort of like cookies with cookie cutters. When you make the donut you cut the hole out of the middle and, thus, leave a “hole”. Well, if you cut a hole in the middle of the donut then there must be some dough left over so you have something from which to make the bite-sized donut hole.  And that, my friends, is how the myth of the donut hole goes — it’s made from the left-overs.

Dads and Grands enjoy their little ones around the table!

And, I always believed the myth UNTIL I was standing in line at the Krispy Kreme doughnut store at Myrtle Beach years ago. While standing in that long line (because everyone loves donuts at the beach) I got to watch the whole process of how the batter squirts out of a huge hopper into the frying river that they float on and then get flipped over so they fry on the other side and then they go under the shower of sugary glaze before ascending the ramp to dry and be delivered to the box that ends up on your table.

That’s when I noticed it.

When the batter comes out of the hopper and hits the fryer – it’s already formed in a circle with a hole in it. Which means NOBODY CUT it out – there was nothing to cut out in the first place. There was no “left-over” to use to make the holes.  Which means: If you want to have “donut holes” you can’t depend on the “left overs” instead you have to intentionally make them!!

Yes, the sweetness of the little donut hole is the result of an intentional plan NOT simply trusting that “left overs” will be enough to make them happen!

That makes me think that the same thing is true for our lives as DADS and GRANDS:

  • We have a lot to do with keeping up at work and all the jobs around the house and some sort of hobby on top of that. So much so that we can run in some real circles.
  • AND we might hope along the way that there will be sufficient time left over for our kids.
  • Like the “myth” of a donut hole being the result of left-overs, so is the myth of left over time being a good strategy for parents.
  • BUT the truth is, the time and love and affirmation and blessing we give to our kids will only come from us, to them, if we INTENTIONALLY make it happen every day!

Busting the Donut “Hole” myth.

HOW can we go about such an intentional life?

H – HOLD them up in your prayers:  Get up in the morning and PRAY for your children.  When we pray for them God inspires us how to talk with them.

O – ONLY see them at some point in the day:  Plan a part of the day to be when you FOCUS on them.  Play a game, eat some ice cream together, take them to work on a chore beside you.  Attend a Donuts for Dads event like you are this morning!  Just you and them — that focused time — communicates how important they are to you.

L – LOVE them by SHOWING them your love by being attentive to their ideas, problems and creativity.  Show them your love by the way you love their Moms.  Show them how to love others as Jesus has called us to do.

E—EQUIP them with life lessons as you SHARE with them what you are learning as you trust God everyday!  Following Jesus teaches us the ways of the Kingdom of God that we are able to share with our kids.

Our children learn so much, so fast, and they develop their own personality for dealing with life.  Our granddaughter is such fun to watch.  She will suddenly come out with something and no one knows where it came from.  She hit me with one of those times a couple of weeks ago. I had been messing with her by mispronouncing words or putting the emphasis on the wrong syllable or saying words backwards. Pancake, Bojangles, Coca Cola, Branch from Trolls can all be easily mispronounced.  So I finally said, “Mattie, BrAAnch went to Bo-hangaleeez and ordered aloc-acoc to drink with his pon-kakeys.”  She rolled her eyes and said, “Grandaddy, I can’t work like this!!”

Yum!!!

Well, that was all in fun but the truth is our kids Can’t Work Out Life if we don’t give them a well-articulated and intentionally modeled approach to their days.

We Dads and Grands can give them the right stuff to work with when we remember the donut H.O.L.E.:

H – HOLD them up in your prayers!

O – ONLY see them at some point in the day!

L – LOVE them by SHOWING them your love!

E—EQUIP them with life lessons God is teaching you!

You see, the Bible puts it like this: “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. “Deuteronomy 6:6-7 It’s all about being intentional and planning to share God’s lessons all throughout the day and not simply settling for leftovers!

A good day with Dads and Grands!

God says to us,  Be holy because I am holy (1 Peter). When our kids see this HOLE in us, it will be the right kind of “hole in one” that we can be proud of.   Prayers for all of us Dads and Grands as we live such “Hole-y” lives!