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Friday, June 5, 2009

Easy Now, Daddy!

I can relate to the following:

A young father in a supermarket was pushing a shopping cart with his little son, who was strapped in the front. The little boy was fussing irritable, and crying. The other shoppers gave the pair a wide berth because the child would pull cans off the shelf and throw them out of the cart. The father seemed very calm; as he continued down each aisle, he murmured gently: “Easy now, Donald. Steady, boy. It’s all right, Donald.”

A mother who was passing by was greatly impressed by this young father’s solicitous attitude. She said, “You certainly know how to talk to an upset child - quietly and gently.”
And then bending down to the little boy, she said, “What seems to be the trouble, Donald?”

“Oh no,” said the father. “He’s Henry. I’m Donald.”

Of course, it’s not as bad as all that - most of the time. God’s Word tells us how patient our Heavenly Father is with us:

The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. He will not always strive with us, nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him (Psalm 103.8-11).

God is praiseworthy because He is gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. These attributes belong to godly fathers. My boys are very young; I feel very old. My twins will be a year old on July 6 and my fifth boy comes, Lord willing, August 19. Henry is three and Johnny is seven.

“They’re just boys” has taken on a most profound meaning to me. I need to remind myself that foolishness ought to be expected and addressed. I love my boys and as Father’s Day approaches, I’d like them to know that. Even in the midst of my very busy schedule, I think of them often and yearn to be more involved in their lives.

When all is said and done, I pray that my boys would learn, in some measure, the grace, long-suffering, and mercy of God in their father. I love you boys!