Double Exposure – Listen Up!
Key Bible Verse: A word to you Fathers. Don’t make your children angry by the way you treat them. – Ephesians 6:4
Bonus Reading: Psalm 78:4-8
Most fathers complain that their sons don’t listen to them. But we have it backward.
As we’re leading them to view God as intimately safe and entirely faithful, we’re called to be listeners. Listening is a powerful relational tool. If you commit to being physically present and listen with undivided focus, your son will eventually believe you actually care about him—what he thinks, what concerns him, and how he sees and experiences life.
At first this may be tough; we’ve been conditioned to think our role is to direct and define our sons’ lives. But if you steadfastly “waste time” with your son, you’ll soon find opportunities to connect with him. He’ll begin to sense that you have his best interests at heart, and you can season your listening with words of encouragement to trust God.
It’s as if Ephesians 6:4 is saying to Christian dads, “You want to create an environment for your son to discover and experience me? Treat him with respect, love, and tenderness. Correct him with great care, and appropriately discipline him with specific and clear reasoning. Do what you can to affirm his basic manhood. Then … step back and watch me work.”
—Chap Clark in From Father to Son
My Response: Could ways I correct or push my kids be exasperating them?
Thought to Apply: We cannot overestimate the power of an active, engaged parent and what that can mean to a child.—John Ashcroft (former U.S. Attorney General)
Adapted from From Father to Son (NavPress, 2002)