06.02.2011 The Blog No Comments

The Duel with Daddy

The shrill scream could be heard past the food court and well down the length of the terminal. Walking through the airport with his parents, this child had eyeballed a sweet-treat that he apparently had a hankering for. The scream was the response given by the child when his father told him, “no.” Kicking and screaming I witnessed this father stand his ground as he patiently carried his son away from the counter and down towards terminal E.We have all seen this scenario in restaurants, grocery stores, movie theatres, or wherever your travels may take you. Too often, the parents succumb to the child’s request, if not before the scream, then quickly thereafter.

Granted, we all have those days when we know that giving the child the treat will not only prevent the screaming but may also provide a moment of quiet peace for us as parents. But what is this teaching our children as we hand-over the treats to quiet a public disturbance?

I think, too, of our oldest daughter when she was just a baby and still transported in a carrier from house to car to store etc. Caitlyn could often tell when the time had come for her to be removed from the carrier and would proceed to reach for her mother or I as we struggled to get her unbuckled. Her reaching, however, impeded our efforts to release her from her captivity. Here we were, trying to give her exactly what she wanted and needed, yet her own selfishness was getting in the way of our provision.

I find myself doing that with God sometimes. Unwilling to admit that God knows exactly what I need, and striving to attain that which I want or need, only to eventually realize I was the one impeding the process.

Not only do our children need to learn that they cannot have everything they ask for, not to mention the problem with screaming to get it, our children must learn that just as God gives good gifts, so, too, we as fathers strive to give good gifts, not necessarily every gift (Matthew 7:11).

About the author

Ryan is the Founder & Director of Daddy Discipleship and the Associate Editor for The Journal of Discipleship & Family Ministry.

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