[guestpost]Jason’s words rocked our world. Justin and I have both adopted this credo: “How Can We Say Yes?” in every aspect of our life: marriage, parenting, careers…you name it, so that we can make better choices. Pastor Jason shares the depth and story behind this philosophy. I know you’re gonna love it![/guestpost]
How Can We Say Yes
A father’s desire to reveal his heart to his daughter
My daughter, Becca, is only six years old, yet I’m already thinking about the day when I give her away to some other guy. I know that time is many, many, many years away, however, every time I hear her say, “I am going to marry daddy” I also hear the preacher say, “Who gives this woman to be married to this man?”
I know that I have what seems like just a few years to reveal to her the type of man she is to marry. So with this knowledge, I want to take every opportunity that I have to reveal to her my heart, and by doing that, also reveal to her the heart of God.
My relationship with Becca is so sweet. Just the other day I was blessed to be able to take her out on a daddy-daughter date. We went to breakfast and talked over all kinds of things.
After breakfast, I took her to get a manicure. Such a sweet time.
Right now Becca’s biggest questions or requests deal with sleeping in the living room or asking for a piece of candy. These may seem simple but each of the simple requests presents an opportunity for me, as her father, to reveal my heart toward her.
I know that in the years to come she will ask much more complex requests of me; and the simple ones are affording me the opportunity to handle those in a manner that keeps our relationship sweet.
It’s Friday night and Becca wants to stay up late to watch TV. With her big blue eyes, she looks at me. “Daddy, can I sleep on the couch tonight?”
Seems like a cut and dry yes-or-no answer, however, I recognize that I can’t let this moment pass, for in this moment the future of our relationship may rest.
Rather than just saying yes or no I say, “Let’s see if we can say yes.” I already know the answer because I know that she has to be up and at a basketball game that starts at 8 AM the following morning. I know the challenges of getting up early on a Saturday and getting the entire family out the door on time but she is unaware of this.
In this moment I have an opportunity to reveal my heart for her.
My heart’s desire is for her best. However, what she sees at the moment may be quite different so through the question of whether or not she can sleep on the couch both she and I get to go on a journey of revelation. Our conversation goes something like this…
Becca…”Daddy can I sleep on the couch and stay up late tonight?”
Me… “Let’s see if we can say ‘yes’ to that.”
Becca (in the sweetest voice ever)…”ok.”
Me… “Do you have school tomorrow?”
Becca…”No, it is Saturday…So can I, can I dad?”
Me… “Well do you remember what you have to do tomorrow?”
Me… “You have your first game to cheer for”
Becca…”Yeah I am so excited”…(then she goes into one of her cheers) “Dribble it, Pass it, we want a basket…”
Me…”Well your game is at 8:00 so we have to get up very early to be ready for it, and I think you should get a good night’s rest, so the answer tonight is no.”
A conversation like this may seem irrelevant but I think it of utmost importance.
Sure, she is going to be disappointed, and being only six, she may cry. But through the discussion, she can see why I would say yes or no rather than it being “just because I said so.”
Taking the time to answer her request is very important for me. I never want to let any of my children think that I don’t care about them, their needs, or their wants. I also believe I know what is best, but that is something that has to be discovered by them–and the sooner they discover it, the better life can be for the whole family.
Choosing to answer the question by including her allows to her to see (and know) why the answer is yes or no. It also allows her to see that I am not dismissing her without considering the question. It seems to me many parents say no just to dismiss the child from their presence, and their child knows this.
Feeling dismissed, I believe, is one of the main causes for children dismissing the instructions of the parent. The dismissal of the parent’s word to the child may not even reveal itself until the child has grown into a teen; at this point the consequences could be life altering.
I don’t want to teach my children to base their decisions on their own heart’s desires.
The Bible teaches us that the heart is desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). Listen to what Solomon reveals to us about the heart, “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.”
As I answer the simplest or most complex questions, it provides an opportunity for Becca and me to see the heart of God. I see the heart of God as I consider her request as He considers the request I ask of Him. She will be able to see God’s heart in me as I reveal to her the reason for the answer.
The whole point is quite beautiful—I want my daughter to know my heart is a heart after God’s heart. I want every action or word I speak to her to show her the love of the heavenly Father. So even though there are times I have to say no, I take the time to see if we can say yes.
[reminder]What areas of your life can you apply the “How Can We Say Yes” philosophy? [/reminder]
Pastor Jason currently serves as the lead pastor at Skyway Community Chapel in Palmetto, FL, and is founder of mr. ministries:™ helping men resume the role for which God created them. His heart is one that loves to serve and develop other people. God has given him a great desire to help men become the men God intended them to be. He believes his greatest ministry is to his family and is proud to be married to his wife, Elizabeth and to be the father of Isaiah, Elijah, Rebecca, and Ezra.