Father Like The Father

Day 4 of 7 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Pursue


Adam and Eve knew they had blown it. God had given them one simple rule. He told them what would happen if they ate from one particular tree (Genesis 2:16-17). They knew they should have listened. They knew that they had plenty of other foods to choose from, but they chose to disobey God anyway.


As the reality of what they had done sank in, they did what most children would have done in that situation … they hid.


If you’ve been a father for any length of time, you’ve seen this pattern play out before.


Perhaps you’ve heard your children proclaim, “I didn’t eat the cookie”—while sitting in a pile of crumbs and wiping chocolate from their lips. Or perhaps you’ve found them hiding under a blanket in their room moments after a basketball mysteriously crashed into your favorite mug.


When children break the rules, their first instinct is to hide, or attempt to shift the blame, or change the subject … anything to avoid having to face the consequences for their behavior. Like Adam and Eve, our children often hide just when they need us the most.


God knew what they had done. He knew they needed His forgiveness and He knew exactly where they were hiding. He could have taken that opportunity to remind them of His power or the futility of trying to hide from the all-knowing, omnipresent, almighty God, but He didn’t. Instead, He pursued them—gently. And His pursuit communicated more to them than any lecture could have.


His pursuit demonstrated His desire to restore the relationship. It also taught them that they could come to Him if they ever got in trouble again.


To father like the Father, we must pursue our children. We can’t always wait for our children to come to us in a spirit of repentance. Sometimes they will hide because they know they have done wrong, or they may withdraw simply because they are getting older.  


As our children grow, their independence and ability slowly begin to mask their need for parental involvement. Left on their own, older children will often retreat into their music, video games, and cellphones.


After years of hands-on parenting and crisis management, this quiet period can feel like a welcome relief.  But even if there are no overt issues, we cannot let our guards down. Whether they realize it or not, they still need your guidance.


It’s up to you to make the first move.


Pray that God fill you with perseverance and humility as you purse the hearts of your children. 


For more help listen to, “Pursuing the Heart of Your Teen” on FamilyLifeToday.com.