Check your local bowling alley’s schedule for discount days or special events like neon bowling nights. Then head over there at your set date time, rent your shoes, pick your ball, and have a great time bowling some games. Make sure to use the bumpers on the lane if your daughter is a beginning bowler. Celebrate your strikes and spares, and save your score sheet as a keepsake for your daughter. Then sit down together with something to drink and talk about the following ideas:
Did your daughter use the bumpers to keep her ball in the lane? Wouldn’t it be great if grown-ups could use the bumpers, too? The bumpers in the bowling lane are a lot like the boundaries a dad puts around his daughter. The rules and limits he puts over her are for her protection and well-being. They keep her from falling away from the right path or from getting into dangerous situations.
The bumpers probably made the bowling games a lot more fun for your daughter, compared to losing her ball in the gutter over and over. Sometimes it’s hard for her to appreciate your rules that much, though! Read the following verses from Psalm 119 together:
I will always obey your law,
for ever and ever.
I will walk about in freedom,
for I have sought out your precepts. (vv. 44–45)
Parents give limits and rules out of love, not to steal your daughter’s joy. Being corrected isn’t always fun. But we’re given the promise that loving discipline “produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:11). Aren’t you glad that God loves us enough to correct us and keep us from going the wrong way?
Dear Father, Thank you for your Word that teaches us how to live. We know that when we obey you, we find peace and freedom. Thank you for my daughter and for loving her so much. Please give me help in setting wise boundaries around her. I want to be kind and fair, and to help her be safe and stay on the right path. Please help my daughter receive my discipline and limits with a thankful heart. Help her to know that I want to obey you by the way I watch over her. Amen.