I cannot begin to grasp the emotions that filled that space when Rachel uttered her last words. Another son…but one that she would never hold…never cradle in her arms…or kiss it’s sweet cheeks…so mustering her last ebb of strength she uttered the baby’s name Ben-oni. And it was true…he was the son of her sorrow.
I can almost see Jacob, shaking his head no as he announced firmly, “His name is Benjamin…”son of my right hand.” A name close to the original…but entirely different. Not Ben-oni, but Benjamin.
His actions speak volumes to me. In the horror of that event, his father gave him a new name! Jacob refused to allow this crushing event to label his son…to dictate his destiny. He renamed him.
With the new name, Jacob was declaring his son’s destiny. He will be my indispensible helper. He will be my most valued personal assistant.
Culture wants to label your sons and your daughters.
It’s easy to buy into our culture’s ideology. It can help us understand them, teach them and develop them. But the problem lies in the fact that circumstances can also define and limit your sons and daughters destiny! God has a higher plan for your children.
Fathers, get a faith vision of your child.
It’s easy to settle for what you see with your natural eye, but as believers we must believe God to fulfill His plan in our children’s lives. Don’t let culture, or circumstances or even fear define your child’s identity! Step up with courage and faith to declare over them what God says about them.
I had to include fear, because Jacob’s consuming fear; fear that something would happen to Benjamin caused him to be overprotective. Is fear influencing your parenting?
Fathers have a huge job!
There is no perfect dad. And no two children are the same.
That’s why the strongest dads …
- are praying dads.
- strong enough to admit their mistakes when they make them.
- strong enough to humble themselves before God and ask for His strength.
- strong enough to seek God’s wisdom.
Loving dads are listening dads…
they listen to their children…
they listen to God.
Both the written Word and the discerning prompting of Precious Holy Spirit.
Loving dads…speak life and not death over their children.
Whether their children are young or old… they use words to build up and not destroy.
Your words have the power to destroy hopes and dreams and destiny.
What does God’s Word say about them? Declare God’s promises over them. It’s not enough to simply not say negative things.
Your words are seeds. What do you want to grow in their hearts? Don’t call them stupid or loser or any of those other names you hear people call their children in public places.
Loving dads see their kids faults differently than everyone else.
He doesn’t deny their faults or excuse them. He simply gives them insight and tools to overcome them. Don’t see them as lazy! Teach them to work and make them accountable for their actions.
Rename your kids.
Today is a good day to do that. Whether you are reading this on Father’s Day or in the weeks afterward! I celebrate all of you dads. I thank you and honor you for all you’ve done to invest in your children.
Rename them in your heart.
It’s easy when you are holding that tiny newborn in your arms to call them sweet things.
It can be a totally different thing when they are glaring and/or screaming at you from across the room. But that’s why we run to Jesus for help and wisdom and love!
Don’t let someone else’s opinion of them define who they become…even in tough circumstances….
- Fight for your kids…on your knees…with God’s Word…with faith…with weak faith sometimes….
- And keep fighting…believing…trusting…
- Because this is a battle that is winnable!
- And victory is sweet!
So thank you Dads!
Thank you to my dad whose gentleness and kindness shaped my life. And thank you to my husband whose wisdom and love has shaped our children’s lives. Happy Father’s Day!