Friday, February 8, 2013

The Daddy/Daughter Dance

I've said it before but I grew up in a church that was totally against dancing.  The mantra was "A good Christian stays away from pre-marital sex because it can lead to dancing!"   Well, some of the folks at my old church may be turning over in their grave if they knew that I was now planning dances!  

One of my absolute favorite events is happening tonight at our church.  It's our Daddy/Daughter Dance.  The reason I love this event is because it gives a dad the opportunity to help his daughter feel cherished.  You don't have to be a child psychologist to know that if a child feels loved, that feeling (or lack thereof) will greatly affect his/her behavior and self-esteem.  A child who believes they are loved will, among other things ...
  • Be confident
  • Feel secure
  • Be at peace
  • Have joy
  • Show the courage to try new things
And, daughters especially will be less likely to search for love in unhealthy ways because they are feeling incredibly loved already by their fathers and are being shown how they should expect to be treated by any guy fortunate enough to catch their eye.

This is why we do the dance.  We believe the family, the community, and culture overall is positively impacted when a dad steps up and loves his kids the way kids are all longing to be loved ... especially our girls.

I can't wait to take my two beautiful princesses out tonight.  I think they are more excited about eating a cupcake than dancing with me, but I'm totally OK with that.  They will have a great time and at the end of the night they will know their dad is absolutely in love with them.  


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Yeah ... this is cute!

So ... assuming that you have a pulse and are not a cold-hearted psycho-path ... this picture probably evokes a sense of "Awwww.  That's cute" from you.  This is our son, Judah, and to date, this is my favorite picture of him.  It was just me and him on this night having fun together.  His smile lights up his whole face ... and my heart.

I believe that we have feelings within us that only a baby can evoke.  Even the hardest of men can be softened by a baby's laugh or smile.  This picture melts my heart, fuels my love for my son, and ignites every fatherly urge I have to protect and provide.

Monday morning I was reading the Bible and came across this verse:  "'Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,' says the LORD, who has compassion on you." (Isaiah 54:10)  The specific Bible study I was going through described the original Hebrew word for "compassion" like this ... "to soothe, to cherish, to love deeply like parents ... this verb usually refers to a strong love which is rooted in some kind of bond ... small babies evoke this feeling."  

Reading that literally caused me to stop in my tracks, probably because my wife and I are, once again, in the midst of raising a small baby.  The study continued to say that all our lives God retains the same feelings toward us that infants evoke in their parents.  Wow!  I look at the above picture of my son and my heart melts, my love is fueled, and my urge to protect and provide is ignited.  Those are the feelings that are evoked in me.  I have to believe that when God looks at me, to some perfect degree, He experiences the same type of feelings.  No matter how I feel about myself ... no matter what is going on around me ... no matter what others think about me ... every time God looks at me, He looks at me with a strong love that is rooted in a bond that will never be broken.  And, while the ultimate goal of my parenting is to raise my children to become less dependent on me, the ultimate goal of God's "parenting" is to raise His children to become more dependent on Him.  

"The LORD is like a father to His children, tender and compassionate to those who fear Him."  (Psalm 103:13).  How thankful I am to be loved like that!

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