Which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him (Luke 7:9-11)!
How much do I give to my children? I can give them too much money, but I can never give them too much time; I can give them too much stuff, but not too much love. I can give them responsibility they’re not ready for, but not too much preparation. I can give them too much freedom, but I will never be able to give them too much prayer.
A generous dad is able to discern how much is enough for his child.
Each day, a giving father prays about the needs of his son or daughter. What does my child need from me today? What is she asking me with her words, body language, unspoken requests, or bad behavior?
Extroverted children may not be shy to ask for too much, while introverted children need time and space to express their needs. Treat each one according to their unique requirements.
A generous dad is able to give good gifts because he knows his child and understands him. Gifts should never be given to assuage our guilty feelings about something. Instead, they should flow from a heart of love and reflect that we know our children’s needs, often, even, before they ask.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights …
– James 1:17
A good gift for a son may mean time away with dad at a Football game or a great adventure of hunting, fishing, or hiking. However, your daughter may prefer a visit to the beach or a trip to the theater. Discerning dads know not only what kind of gifts their children need, but also the ones they will like. Maybe you invest in your child with an every-other-week date night or father/son time. Ask them to choose a restaurant for dinner or a place to go have fun.
Verbal and written words of affirmation are a blessing. Use birthdays, graduations, proms, ballgames, auditions, and weddings to write them notes about how proud you are to be their dad, and how much God loves them.
Discipine is a gift too – even when it doesn’t feel like it. Children who have learned to accept discipline from their father may better recognize and respond to discipline from the Lord (Proverbs 3:12).
Finally, give your offspring good gifts because of how your heavenly Father has lavished His good gifts on you. Pay forward God’s gifts of love, patience, holiness, humility, hope, and faith to you. The greatest gift of salvation in Christ Jesus is meant for you to receive and give to your child.
There is no greater joy than to know your children are walking in God’s truth (3 John 4).
Generous Father, give me your heart of generosity for my family, in Jesus name, amen.
What good gift does my son or daughter need from me? How can I give them the free gift of grace?
Ezra 9:12; Jeremiah 32:39; Luke 10:21, 11:11-13; Hebrews 12:7-9