For You From The Word
Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! (Matthew 7:9-11, NIV)
For You To Think About
Fourth in a series on fatherhood
In Matthew 7:9-11, Jesus explains God’s ability to hear and answer prayer by comparing Him to a loving father. “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? Though you are evil, you know how to give good gifts to your children.”
Jesus’ lesson is based on a given: an effective father hears and answers his children.
Yet studies show that the average person listens at only about 25% efficiency. A father who hears just one out of four requests from his child will miss knowing what his child needs. And what child has not experienced the frustration of wondering whether or not his father heard him?
The passage provides a tidy formula in effective listening for dads.
- Pay attention. Hear the information your child shares.
- Process. Show your child that you heard what he said. By verbally repeating back a child’s request, a father can offer that assurance.
- Respond. By taking action, you can provide for your child’s needs.
For You To Pray
Thank You for hearing us and answering us. Fill fathers with that ability. Give them ears and hearts to hear their children’s needs. Allow them to respond to those needs wisely.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.