Thursday, May 19, 2011

Following God’s Model: Acceptance

We have already seen that God displays the characteristics that all fathers should imitate. He sets the standard for all fathers. Let’s look at some practical ways these characteristics could apply to fathers today.

The effect of a father approval or rejection is one of the most enduring experiences in our lives. Acceptance of our children is one of the most powerful ways to express our love to them.

We can show that we accept them by accepting our children as individuals. God has gifted each person in different ways. Remember that our children are His and He has gifted each of them.

We can also show acceptance by teaching respect by respecting our children and their spouses. Nothing pushes people away like a hurtful word spoken in anger. Children’s intellectual maturity does not allow them to distinguish sarcasm from plain talk. Sarcasm can be deeply damaging to children and adults alike. Lies are equally damaging. Truth must be told in age-appropriate ways, but no white lie is ever a good substitute for the truth told in love.

Praising our children when they do something special is excellent way to demonstrate to them that we except tem. Do not give empty praise, they will grow to expect it even when it’s not deserved. But praise is a great reward for effort!

Nothing can substitute for physical contact as a way to express love and acceptance. When we hug and kiss our children, it is a very concrete way for them to understand love and we also teach them what appropriate affection looks like.

One of the best ways to show our children respect, love and that they are valued by recognizing our mistakes and asking their forgiveness. It is okay to make mistakes, relationships are not severed when we make mistakes, they just need to be repaired. Forgiveness is something we learn to give and receive. It’s never too early to get started. When we do, God’s amazing grace and forgiveness will not be a strange thing to receive.

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