Jim Daly is president of Focus on the Family and host of the ministry's daily Focus on the Family radio program. He is the author of several books including ReFocus, The Best Advice I Ever Got on Parenting, and The Good Dad—the book from which these readings are taken. He and his wife, Jean, have two sons and live in Colorado Springs.
What he Said … Like an Old Oak Tree
[As I think about a father's role as provider and protector], a picture comes to mind: a big, old oak tree that spreads its branches across the sky like open arms, an oak that kids filled with energy run to in the morning or sit beside for comfort in the afternoon.
Just the other day I had a conversation with [my] youngest son. We planned to attend a play later that afternoon, but he had a bad cold and sounded like he could use some chicken noodle soup and rest.
"Are you sure you want to go?" I asked.
"Oh, I do want to see it," he said.
"Well, you want to sit next to me so I can put my arms around you?" I asked. "Would that make you feel better?"
His countenance brightened. "Yeah!" he said.
That's a pretty special feeling as a father, knowing your hug is as healing, in a way, as a bowl of chicken noodle soup. And even though that sounds very nurturing and motherly, I see it more as that old oak tree, always there to provide and protect.
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Heavenly Father, my children truly are gift s from you. Forgive me for those times I've neglected these precious gifts in my pursuit of other things. Help me to begin each day with a desire to be a good dad.
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