It time for another small excerpt from “RETOOLED: Shaping Your Fathering from the Inside Out”. The book centers on how the Fruit of the Spirit empowers our fathering skills. This snippet is from the chapter on love entitled “What’s Love Got to Do With It?”. I appreciate any comments and feedback. God Bless, Jay
The Lingo of Love
Different languages are cool and I am considered a linguistic marvel in my house. Those who know me personally (after reading this) are laughing right now, and that’s fine, because I’m also big on forgiveness! The laughter might something to do with my talent of inventing new words, I’m not sure. It could also be the amount of words I use, although I describe myself as a man of few words, my son Matt reminds me with “yes Dad, but with really long sentences.”
None of this discourages me for I speak seven different languages, all with varying degrees of expertise and fluency. Still, I often find that I need to brush up on one or more those languages. A while back I learned a valuable lesson in this area. You see, although I had studied this particular dialect for eight years, there were several phrases I couldn’t grasp. Consulting my Heavenly language instructor helped, He reminded me the best way to learn any language was to immerse myself in the culture of the lingo that I’m trying to learn. Father God said simply “You have to take the time to know how your son speaks”
So I left the culture of “JAY” and moved to the couch of our family room, sat down with my then eight-year-old son and conversed in the language of “Matthew”. There was one area in Matt’s life that needed adjustment and to this point I had not been fluent enough in Matthew-ese to help him make that change. Over the course of the next hour, through the help of the Father, I was able to pick up some much-needed phrases and connected with my son. When I saw in his eyes that he knew that I fully understood him, it was remarkable. The floodgates opened, he released his spirit and we cried together for some time. We had bridged a gap together, and it took his father though a journey of self-discovery as well. That is the fruit of love, and it speaks volumes.
Strategic fathering is a purposeful, planned and practical incursion into the lives of our children. It’s actively seeking and wanting a potent relationship with them. It’s more than raising “kids” it is a focused journey alongside them. There is a culture to discover deep within each of our children, that culture has a language to learn and customs to observe. A language is best learned by total immersion, by listening closely to the dialect and the flavor of speech. It’s the lingo of love.
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him” 1 John 4:16