“I Love You, Daddy”

In everything set them an example by doing what is good.
Titus 2:7

It’s a well-known fact that kids identify their parents—and especially their fathers—with God. One day when I (JCD) was out of town on business, Shirley asked our son, Ryan, then two years old, to pray before their meal. Though Ryan had watched his mother and me pray at mealtimes, he had never been asked to say grace before. The invitation startled him, but he folded his little hands, bowed his head, and said reverently, “I love you, Daddy. Amen.”

When Shirley later told me what had happened, the story unsettled me. I hadn’t realized the degree to which Ryan linked me with his heavenly Father. I wasn’t even sure I wanted to stand in those shoes! But I had no choice, and neither do you. We parents have been given the awesome responsibility of representing God to our vulnerable little children. That’s why it is critically important for us to acquaint our kids with the nature of God—in particular His unfathomable love and His justice. Your example can lay a firm foundation of faith for your children.

Jesus said, “The Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing” (John 5:19). Let’s reveal the heart of God at home with our every deed.

Before you say good night…

  • Do your kids identify you with God?
  • Do your actions at home reveal the nature of God?
  • What can you change to set a better example for your children?

O Lord, help us to remember that no matter what we do, others are watching—little eyes, grown-up eyes, and Your eyes, too. Help us to live carefully, handling life as a precious treasure, leaning on You for strength. Amen.

Listen to today's broadcast of My Family Talk at OnePlace.com.
For more from Dr. Dobson, visit the resource center at familytalk.org.

This devotional is taken from Night Light for Parents. Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reservedUsed with permission.