Posts tagged developing character

Dads, speak words of life into your children



MatterhornI’ve always been a little jealous of King Solomon. When he took over as King of Israel from his father David, God appeared to him in a dream and invited Solomon to “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” Hoping one day this happens to me, I’ve begun compiling a list of things I’d like and am currently ranking them in order of what I want most. Because of my love of the outdoors, right now owning the country of Switzerland is at the top.

Back to the story – you probably know how Solomon answers. He asks God for wisdom to lead the nation. God was pleased with this response and gave Solomon the understanding and discretion he asked for. Plus the answer was so good he also got everything else he didn’t ask for: wealth, long life, the death of his enemies, etc.

There is no exact age given for when Solomon took over for his dad, but most scholars agree he was in his middle to late teens. How many teenagers do you know are given a blank check for anything they want and they cash it in for wisdom? But that’s exactly what he did.

I’ve often wondered how Solomon knew to ask for wisdom and recently I found my answer! In 1 Chronicles 22:12, David is close to death and calls his son Solomon to his bedside and speaks this over him, “May the Lord give you discretion and understanding [a.k.a. wisdom] when he puts you in command over Israel, so that you may keep the law of the Lord your God.” David did not pray for his son to have wealth, long life or reprieve from his enemies. He prayed that he would have wisdom. And when Solomon was given a chance to ask for whatever he wanted, he knew what what was most important because of the words his dad had spoken over him and so he asked for wisdom. I wonder what Solomon would have asked for had David not put this in his heart by praying it over him?

This does serve as a great reminder to us dads to speak words of life and meaning into each of our kids. Solomon even said so himself when he wrote Proverbs 18:21, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” And then again in Proverbs 25:11, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.”

Speak words of life you want to see in your children

I don’t believe we as fathers fully grasp the amount of life-changing power – for either good or devastation – that we possess when it comes to speaking into the lives of our kids. But we are the most powerful force and with that comes great responsibility and accountability. We must be intentional to speak words of encouragement and empowerment into our kids and we have to be intentional in controlling our tongues so we do not speak destructive words of death that haunt them for their entire life.

One thing I’m in the process of doing, and would encourage you to do as well, is to come up with five to seven words that are character traits you see in your child or are trusting God to give your child. For example, with one of my sons, the words I’ve come up with so far are: Strong, Courageous, Industrious and Loyal. I’m letting these words simmer for a few weeks as I pray over each of my four kids, asking God to give me the right words for each one. I’ll then take those words and create some type of poster and hang the words in their bedrooms. By doing this, every day they will be reminded of what I see in them and who God created them to be.

I may never own Switzerland, but if my kids grow up with their identity in Christ set and secure, I’ll take that over the Swiss Alps any day!

4 reasons why I am very thankful today



I’m sure that you all know about the devastating tornado that ripped through Moore, Oklahoma, recently.  What you don’t know about me yet, is that I am from Norman, Oklahoma, and I live in Central Arkansas, which is relatively nearby. Watching the tragedy unfold on TV, and witnessing the loss of property and lives, my family and I were deeply touched and saddened, as I’m sure you were also.

My sons and I are involved in the Boy Scouts of America together, and we resolved to collect money, bottled water, and other much-needed items, and deliver it to Moore. We also participated in some cleanup work.  Everywhere we went we saw survivors picking up the pieces of their homes with American flags flying high. I love my fellow Okies. God, country, and family are in our blood.

I am so proud of our scouts and how they have stepped up to help others.  The trip we made to Oklahoma was intended to bless the folks there, and I’m sure what we gave, and what we did, was helpful to them, but it was also a huge blessing to me.  I got to see my sons and the boys in my troop reach out and give help and the things they collected to folks that really needed them.

Today, I am very thankful for the kindness, sharing, and giving hearts that I see in my sons.  I see our Father in them, and I don’t mean me.  I see our Heavenly Father reflected in my children’s hearts.  And, I’m so thankful for that.

Seeing all the devastation and loss has made me even more grateful for the three children that my Father has entrusted to my care.  I’m even more resolved to be a good steward of the children God has given me to raise.  I came home from our trip looking forward to speaking a blessing over the ones I have at home.

What about you?  What are you thankful for today? What good traits are you seeing in your children?  Please visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/mensteppingup and share all of the reasons why you are thankful for the traits you see in your children.

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