The hand of a Grandfather is holding the hand of a young toddler child, putting a Red Admiral butterfly on his finger outside in the summer.

CHILDREN…arrive in this world needing two primary people in their life. God has ordained these two to create life and to sustain it. Right; a mom and a dad! There are others but these are absolutely critical. He has made them similar but o so different. Mom has all the bodily features to conceive, carry, give birth and feed when born. Dads, I hate to tell you, but you only play one role. I’ll give you a few seconds to figure out that one. Time’s up!

But in addition to her bodily parts, she has in her DNA the instincts and desire to care for it at every stage of life. God wired her that way. Many men stop at their only chore. The child arrives and he leaves. Maybe not for good, but in a variety of ways! Make room for mommy, grandma, doctors, nurses, babysitters, childcare experts, teachers…you get the picture! I call it passive abdication. “I’m the man; I gotta make a living to pay for all these new added costs of raising my kid(s).” And that’s really good. Some don’t stay around to even do that.

But I want to address the other body parts you have that need to be used in your children’s lives. Here goes! Feel free to add yours.

  • Strong arms to hold them so they sense strength and security, man hugs
  • Big hands to lift them when they fall, or to toss them into the air for fun
  • Broad shoulders to straddle and let ’em ride piggy back, carry them to bed when they fall asleep
  • Fingers to massage their head, stroke their hair, tickle their tummies, for them to hold onto early on, point in the right direction
  • A mouth and tongue to express your feelings and to speak their love language, to teach them many things only you should-like to your son “you have what it takes” and your daughter “you are lovely”, read the Word to them, pronounce daily blessings over them, pray with and for them
  • Two ears to listen to their cries, jokes, needs, laughter, plans, questions
  • Watchful eyes to oversee, enjoy and protect
  • A big lap for them to snuggle into and fall asleep
  • Feet to walk with them during good and bad times, and your little girl down the aisle to hand her off one day to someone just like you
  • Knees for them to sit on, ride ‘horsey’ and to bend as you pray daily
  • A heart to worship God and show compassion to them
  • A mind that plans for your family, offers wisdom and knowledge

I know moms can do many of these, but not the way God has designed you. You are your daughter’s first boyfriend and your son’s first hero. Why would you not do everything possible to use every body part, every gift from God to be their dad…on purpose? Absentee, disengaged fathers just can’t employ them for the purposes they are intended.

I admit, many of my body parts are a little worn out, but I have a thousand memories of all I have been able to enjoy with my daughters and grandkids. Some parts I can still use. And I dare say the kids have memories too. Don’t miss out on the joy of utilizing all your body parts in your kids’ and grandkids’ lives. “Gitty up, horsey!!”

Life Today
Bill C. Dotson