It’s time for another small sample of my soon to be released book “RETOOLED: Shaping our Fathering from the Inside Out”. This one is from the chapter on goodness, I hope you enjoy! Please leave feedback…I love it!
One warm summer afternoon, I was having this great Nerf battle with my then six-year-old son Matthew. Armed with the latest Nerf technology, we chased each other around the yard and in and out of the house. I was in hot pursuit of him when he exhausted his supply of soft, plastic arrows. Ducking inside the house he ran up the first flight of steps and onto the first landing. That’s where I caught and cornered him. Assured of my successful victory, I said to my diminutive captive; “Well, what are gonna do now kid?” Without skipping a beat he said; “Dis!” He preceded to whap me across the head with his hard, plastic weaponry. The surprise blow sent his former captor down the stairs, landing in a humble heap with a cut across his nose. Matt and I shared a laugh and the small Nerf conflict came to a close. Except for the “war stories” told by my son to the rest of the family! What does this have to do with goodness? Well, this “show me what you got moment” left a significant mark (a really “good” one) on his Dad and got me to thinking.
Goodness fruit understand that my every word leaves a mark and every action an impact. Everyday my kids measure out the steps of my leadership. Does my stride allow for their stride, their ability to stretch out their walk? Or will my pace frustrate them as I worry over my personal comfort? I think they should be like these fathering steps in Proverbs.
(10 “Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of your life shall be many.
(11) I have taught you in the way of wisdom; I have led you in the right paths.
(12) When you go, your steps shall not be narrowed, and when you run, you shall not stumble.” Proverbs 4:10-12)
The truth is simple brothers, our lives produce ripples, and from the moment our eyes open in the morning, what we focus on our children will see reflected in our life. Goodness retooling concentrates on our personal journey with God first, giving us the strength we need. A father must lead the way of relationships; modeling solid, healthy and life-giving connections between God and family members.
The point is that Father God (because He’s good) redeemed us. He restores us for relationships even to the point where he desires intimate friendship with us. God's acceptance has nothing to do with what we have done or who we are. It has everything to do with who God is! The journey with God imbeds us in a relationship that will change us and benefit the world around us.
“He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth Jehovah require of thee, but to do justly, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with thy God?” Micah 6:8
“Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their afflictions, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world” James 1:27
The impact, the ripples on the pond of life are far-reaching when we honor Him by living out these Scriptures. The Father’s goodness inspires me, He shows me what is good and then I can show my children. There are two relational rules in my house; they’re called relational rules because…well, they help promote relationships. Here they are:
1. Nothing is more important than loving each other
2. The people that walk through our door are either someone we love
or someone who needs to be loved.
These simple rules help connect my family with God and His goodness. When we commit to retooling our goodness we gain so much more than we give. You see, He offers sonship, fellowship, friendship…that’s a whole fleet of relational and personal involvement in our lives.