One thing we all enjoy receiving is encouragement. Encouragement is defined as, “the action of giving someone support, confidence, or hope.”
Think about your favorite teacher, your favorite coach, or your favorite boss. Chances are, they were very good at encouraging you. Great teachers, coaches, and bosses motivate us to believe that we have what it takes to achieve our goals. We all love to know that someone believes in us, right?...Our kids love that too!
God is a Father that believes in us. He believes we have what it takes because He made us in His image. But we also need to know that we don’t have what it takes apart from a relationship with Him. We have what it takes because of what we were born with, combined with our beliefs, actions, choices and our faith and reliance on God.
Our sons and daughters want and need the approval of their dads. Whether it is through words, written notes, facial expressions, or hugs, they need to know we believe in them.
Let’s look at an example of how we can give encouragement and confidence to our children. This is a great example of instilling confidence that is rooted in God and not in our own abilities apart from Him.
In this passage from the Bible, King David is nearing the end of his reign as King of Israel, and getting ready to turn over the reign to his son, Solomon:
Then David said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous and do it.
Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed, for the Lord God, even my God,
is with you. He will not leave you or forsake you, until all the work
for the service of the house of the Lord is finished.”
(1 Chronicles 28:20-21 ESV)
“Be strong and courageous and do it.” That’s an awesome vote of confidence to Solomon from his earthly father!
The Lord God will “not leave you or forsake you.” That’s an awesome vote of confidence from his Father in heaven!
If we can pass on this kind of belief and encouragement to our children from both their earthly father and their heavenly Father, our kids will experience a lot more confidence and hope.
Your children may be adults or they may still be growing up. Regardless of their age, there is a very good chance they may still be thinking and asking, “How was that, dad?” or “Did I do OK?”
Here are some ways to let them know you believe that they are doing great and that they have what it takes:
• When you are in the stands at their sporting event, and they look over, make sure you are giving them a thumbs-up and a smile, not a scowl
• Let them tell you their ideas and make decisions as part of the family (e.g., where to eat, how to get somewhere, how they should solve a problem, etc.)
• Leave encouraging notes on their bathroom mirror, in their backpack, or on text their phone overnight
• Send them an encouraging bible verse or short text message to let them know you are thinking about them, praying for their big test, etc. Tell them “They got this” and “God is with them.”
Let’s review some truths about God and you:
1. God loves you unconditionally
2. God is proud to call you "son"
3. God is for you and not against you
Let's apply these truths as dads so that your children hear, see, and know these three TRUTHS in their hearts:
1. My Dad loves me unconditionally
2. My Dad is proud of me
3. My Dad is for me, not against me
As we enjoy being sons of God that are approved and believed in, may our children enjoy knowing & being children of both an earthly father and a heavenly Father that loves, approves, and believes in them too!
Brian Goslee is the Director of Programs & Outreach at Encouraging Dads. He is active as a speaker, writer, and minister. He's been married to his amazing wife Andrea for 27 years and they have two great children, ages 22 and 21. You can connect with Brian at email@example.com. He is the author of Changed Through Faith: Four Steps to Activating a Life of Peace, Purpose & Fulfillment. You can learn more about Brian at ctfaith.com.