As the year continues and I look for devotionals about dads, the next one that came up is called What Dad Needs. I am walking through the devotionals in the order that the Bible.com plans show them when I do a search for dad. It is different from the previous devotionals I have worked through this year but to make it something that will and can honor God, I am allowing the search results to determine what devotionals to work through. What Dad Needs is a 5-day devotional and is described on Bible.com this way:
Fathers are people who constantly sacrifice for their families with very little recognition. There are many ways to give back to these men in our lives, but it is sometimes difficult to know what they are and how to implement them everyday. As you dive into Biblical ways to recognize and strengthen your relationship with your earthly dad, you will also see the many ways they reflect our Heavenly Father.What Dad Needs
“There are those who curse their fathers and do not bless their mothersProverbs 30:11
I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.Proverbs 8:17
But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.1 Corinthians 11:3
Let’s get a bit more context for our first verse. Let’s take hold of what God has to say and is describing in relation to characteristics of godless people or a godless generation. Let’s take hold of what God has to say in speaking to hateful and wicked people.
‘“There are those who curse their fathers and do not bless their mothers; those who are pure in their own eyes and yet are not cleansed of their filth; those whose eyes are ever so haughty, whose glances are so disdainful; those whose teeth are swords and whose jaws are set with knives to devour the poor from the earth and the needy from among mankind. ‘Proverbs 30:11-14
Looking a bit deeper into the verse we find that the people being referenced in the Hebrew is generation. So “those” who are the generation and are speaking to a generation with these characteristics. From this Proverb, we discover that a godless generation is one where the children are ungrateful and demonstrate it by dishonoring their parents. We see how this contradicts the Commandment about how to treat your parents, the fifth commandment that comes with a promise of blessing being: ‘“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. ‘ – Exodus 20:12. We see how this can or could impact a generation when they don’t care or don’t bother to learn from their parents. It speaks to how such a family will be dysfunctional causing a rebellion that will go beyond the family unit itself. If we don’t have a framework for wisdom to be transferred or downloaded to the next generation, it is a recipe for disaster. When this happens we see people casting off healthy restraints and boundaries. When this happens we see people making up their own definitions of love and peace compared to God’s definition and in so doing turning to things like drugs, sex, and other such behavior that can impact generations to come if they don’t turn back to God and pursue Him and His plans and purposes.
Proverbs next speaks to us those who love wisdom. Not the emotional type of love but the love that acts in preference for others. Wisdom speaks to how it loves those who love wisdom. We need to be acting out or living out our lives with godly wisdom. We need to be living out our lives with godly wisdom which is true!
‘Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say; I open my lips to speak what is right. My mouth speaks what is true, for my lips detest wickedness. All the words of my mouth are just; none of them is crooked or perverse. To the discerning all of them are right; they are upright to those who have found knowledge. ‘Proverbs 8:6-9
We need to be living out our lives with godly wisdom that is true, as what we sow we will reap, and as we see from the above verses, in combination with the verses that follow, it will be more likely that we will see good results.
‘Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.
With me are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity. ‘Proverbs 8:10-11,18
So let’s lead with love, true love, the kind of love demonstrated by God when He first shows us love through giving us, Jesus. We see in the verse that there is also a need to seek wisdom. We see in the old and new testament how God speaks to the importance of seeking God and God’s will. We read in Jeremiah 29 (where we learn about God’s plan for us) how it is important for us to seek God:
‘For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.” ‘Jeremiah 29:11-14
We read in Romans how God’s truth isn’t hidden if we want to find it if we are willing to seek it out.
‘The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. ‘Romans 1:18-20
So we need to love, true love, with action, not just emotion. We need to seek, seeking to find, with the willingness and desire to receive.
So today let’s grab hold of God’s plans, God’s purpose, God’s hierarchy. Ever found people grab one verse and use it as a platform to drive debate or division without taking into account the full context? Today’s verse from 1 Corinthians is an example of just such a thing. God’s set up a hierarchy of authority on purpose, for a purpose, with a purpose. God gives authority as we see when He gives it to those in leadership over us and we take hold of Proverbs 21 which tells us that the heart of the king is in God’s hands. It is interesting to see how people try to twist words or make up their own interpretation. Some may try to twist authority to mean superiority which isn’t the case. So let’s grab hold of God’s plan and God’s structure so that we can live it out to the full.
Today’s devotional has been provided by Gregg Matte from Houston’s First Baptist Church (more details can be found https://houstonsfirst.org/)
Reading through today’s devotional, here are some takeaways for me: (check out the devotional on your own too to see if you pick up other nuggets, and please share your findings in the comments)
- Do you realize it is hard to be a dad?
- Do you realize it isn’t an easy role?
- We are each unique and God created us that way.
- The role of dad is huge and very important.
- Do you ever consider the weight of being dad brings with it?
- Do you ever consider the weight of being the head of the household?
- Do you ever consider the expectations that come from or with being dad?
- Do you ever consider that dads are human too?
- Do you ever consider how just like every other human that is imperfect and make mistakes, dads aren’t perfect.
- Ever noticed how we can be our own worst critic?
- Dads don’t need you to help pile on the criticism of their shortcomings but rather need your encouragement and signs of gratitude.
- Ever seen how showing gratitude to your dad has lit up the room?
- Do you realize that to show gratitude or affirmation doesn’t require some huge or grand gesture?
- Do you realize that there are practical ways to be able to do it daily and not break the bank?
- Let’s decide that we will use gratitude, affirmation, and appreciation to help build our relationships with our dads and strengthen our relationship with them.
- Let’s decide today to not only do this for our earthly father (if we have a relationship with them) but also with our Heavenly Father whose greatest desire is to have a relationship with you.
- Let’s not grow weary in doing good, let’s consider and reflect upon what God’s Word tells us to do to fill the needs of dad.
- What Dad Needs provides insight and guidance through this 5 day devotional.
- Let’s prepare our hearts to learn.
- Let’s not only look for ways to be the dads for our wives but allow our wives to build and strengthen their relationships with us.
- Let’s not only look for ways to be the dads for our children but allow our children to build and strengthen their relationships with us.
- Let’s not only look for ways to be the dads for our friends but allow our friends to build and strengthen their relationships with us.
- Let’s allow the importance of our relationships with our earthly and Heavenly dads be built up and strengthened.
- Today’s devotional closes with the following prayer:
- “Prayer: Lord, today we thank you for who You are as our Father in Heaven, and the way You have created our earthly fathers to reflect Your love. Open our eyes to see how we can encourage and love the dads you have given us. Strengthen our relationships with them, and teach us how to reflect and love You more deeply as we grow close to our fathers. In Jesus’ name. Amen. “