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Yesterday, I needed a break. It had been awhile since I had a vacation day, and after a weekend in which I was not the greatest person to be around (it’s not a good sign when your wife and kids are calling you “Stumpy Grumpy”), I took the day off. After the wife and kids headed out to vacation Bible school, I headed out to one of my favorite places: Colorado’s Garden of the Gods Park. It was a beautiful day, so I took a short walk up to some incredible rocks and I spent some alone time with “my other Dad.”
It had been while since I spent time with Him.
Well, I do pray each day and spend time in His Word. I also attend church, and am involved in a men’s small group, too. We also participate in a daily devotional time at Focus on the Family …. so, I am really busy for Him.
But it had been awhile since it was just me and Him.
Quick question: When was the last time you spent some alone time with your other Dad?
So, I listened to some music: “Be Still” by Seeds Family Worship. The song is based on Psalm 46:10, and I wanted to “be still” before my other Dad and just hear from Him. I wanted to hear what He had to say.
This is what He revealed to me:
• I have you …. As I sat on the rocks and settled down, I began to notice the birds. They were flying everywhere; they were beautiful to watch. I recalled Matthew 10:29, where Christ talks about the sparrows. My other Dad was letting me know to stop worrying about stuff … that He had me.
• You have all you need … Me. As I read Matthew 10, it struck me that as Jesus was sending out His disciples, He gave them power and authority to heal and cast out demons and told them to not worry about where they should go and what they should say. He would give them what they needed. They were equipped to do His will.
• Focus on you by manifesting the fruits of the Spirit …. God revealed to me that I was relying too much on my flesh and not enough on His Spirit. I focused on Galatians 5 and the Fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Research has shown that when dads have “shared activities” with their kids, it only strengthens their relationship. Kids feel closer to their dads. I don’t think it’s any different with our other Dad. I walked away from my time with my other Dad feeling a strong peace about things.
I love my other Dad. You see, my other Dad means something very special to me. In my work with at-risk kids, I had the awesome privilege of being a “father to the fatherless.” My intent was never to replace the biological father of the kids I worked with (only a small percentage of those dads engaged in their kids’ lives), but my intent was to be His image-bearer in their lives. Father’s Day is when I often hear from the girls and boys I have worked with (“Happy Father’s Day to my other dad …”).
There is something special about that for me, and I think there is something special for our Heavenly Father when we spend time with Him and just rest in His presence.
Can I just encourage you, if you haven’t in a while, to just spend some time with your other Dad – to take a moment to hear from Him? Or maybe you have the opportunity to be an “other dad” for someone who is longing for a father figure in their life. Step up to the plate. It isn’t always easy, but heavenly Dad would be so proud of you.
There are lots of decisions being made in our society that make us feel like we are losing the battle. Truth is, the battle starts with us. The investments we make each day in our homes have tremendous implications in our culture. We desperately need our other Dad to give us everything we need for the fight – the fight to keep our families strong not just for now...but for generations to come.
May we lead and love our families well.
Roy Baldwin (@baldwin_roy) is a contributor for Dad Matters and the Director of Parenting & Youth at Focus on the Family.
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