Wisdom (3 of 3): Wonderful Wounds | Devotions with Dad

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Wisdom (3 of 3): Wonderful Wounds

This devotional for Father’s Day should encourage you. Also, enjoy the video my son put together for his dad:

http://youtu.be/FF3hIh_eXys


For dad only:

Parenting by Grace, not Law

Do you tend to answer your children’s requests with “No!” before you think through a response? Do you blow your stack when things are not done exactly the way you wanted? Do you answer “why” questions with “because I said so”? Do you nag about shutting doors, running in the house, cleaning the room, and similar issues? If yes, you are a law-based parent, not a loving leader.

Law have mercy

Law-based leadership makes rules and turns children into robots who do things “just because.” As soon as such a dad is not looking, they will try to do the opposite. He then becomes a frenetic control freak, trying to keep everybody doing what they are told even though they never do it well enough. Such a parent burns out quickly.

Law works wrath

As a Christian dad, you have certainly seen the phrase “do not provoke your children to wrath” (Ephesians 6:4). However, look at a similar phrase: “the law brings about wrath” (Romans 4:15). If you lead your home by law instead of by love, you are creating an angry, explosive environment. Legalism discourages your kids.

Grace empowers godliness

Jesus did not bring us another list of rules. He brought us His favor. He smiled on us and showed us right living. Then He invited us to join Him. What if you lived that way with your family? What if they saw joy, self-control, and diligence in you? And then you invite them to follow.

Our homes can be heaven on earth if we will let God’s Word transform our lives, dad, instead of using it as a rule book to whack them with. Rather than just telling them what to do, help them do it. God works in us His desires and helps us carry out His will (Philippians 2:13). That just might work for earthly fathers, too.

_________

Read this to the kids:

Painful Teacher

Last time, Rusty’s friend Carter drove a 4-wheeler recklessly across a field and hit a log. (Click here for the first part of this story.)

Rusty, Dad, and Carter’s dad ran to where they saw Carter go flying into the tall grass. Rusty’s heart was beating like it would blow out of his chest. He ran as fast as he could, but Carter’s dad passed him up and got to his son first.

Carter had knocked a path in the grass when he flew off the quad. Rusty saw Carter’s dad stop over his son. As Rusty came closer, he could see Carter lying crumpled on his right side—not moving.

“Carter!” his dad said to him, shaking his shoulder.

Rusty stopped and looked down at his friend. Dad came up beside them.

“In Jesus’ name!” Dad said, kneeling down by the boy.

Carter inhaled deeply and blinked his eyes open. “Whoa! What happened?”

“Be still,” his dad told him. “You had a wreck.”

“A log,” Carter said. He tried to look around. “There was a log in the grass.”

Rusty suddenly noticed that the quad was still running where it had landed. It looked like it had flipped over the log with Carter and had somehow landed standing up like it was riding a wheelie. Rusty shut it off. He saw Grandpa coming across the field.

Dad and Carter’s dad removed Carter’s helmet and looked him over carefully.

“Do you hurt anywhere?” Dad asked Rusty’s friend.

“All over, I think,” Carter moaned.

“Is anything broken?” Carter’s dad asked.

“I don’t know… do you see anything missing?” Carter said with a sigh.

“Young man, you were not paying attention to us. We were trying to get you to slow down.”

“I know, I…” Carter rested his head back again.

“You just stay there until you feel like you can get up,” Dad said.

Carter looked up at Rusty. “Did you see that?”

“Yeah. That was crazy,” Rusty said.

“Does it hurt here?” Carter’s dad asked, touching along his shoulder, neck, and down his back.

“No.”

“Here?”

“Nope.”

“Here?”

“Ah!”

“What’s wrong?”

“That hurt.”

“Your shoulder?”

“Yeah.”

Carter’s dad pulled back the boy’s shredded shirt sleeve and looked at his shoulder. It was red with a road rash and was starting to look bruised already. Several small cuts were oozing blood.

“That is going to be a big black-and-blue bruise.”

“Can you stand up?” Rusty asked.

“I think so,” Carter said.

Grandpa had walked up and was looking at the four-wheeler. Carter’s dad went over to apologize about his son’s behavior. He helped Grandpa set the quad down on all four wheels again.

Carter was moving around like he was ready to move.

“Do you think you can sit up?” Dad asked.

Carter’s dad came back over.

“Yeah,” Carter said. His dad grabbed his left hand and helped pull him into a sitting position. Carter ran his left hand through his hair. “That was crazy.” He leaned forward and tried to get up. When he leaned toward his right, he tried pushing himself up from the ground with his right arm. Suddenly he let out a yelp of pain. “Oh!” he said, grabbing his right arm with his left.

“It’s broken,” his dad said.

“Are you sure?” Dad asked. Rusty leaned in to look at Carter’s arm, too.

“Yep,” Carter’s dad said. “See how his arm is bent? He must have landed on it—probably put it out to stop himself and all his weight came down on that one arm.”

“Oh man, man, man!” Carter moaned.

“You are going to be all right,” Dad encouraged him.

It took them a little while to get a vehicle into the field so they could load Carter up. Dad and Rusty road with Carter and his dad to the hospital. Carter was pretty banged up, bruised, and scratched up. He began to feel all his pains while they sat and waited for him to be admitted at the emergency room.

“I was so stupid,” he said, moaning. “Why did I ignore you guys? I think I was showing off. Dad, I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay, son. I just don’t want to see you be so rude again. I hope you have not hurt that man’s four-wheeler.”

“That was so rude, and selfish, and just stinkin’… wrong. …ow… Rusty, I am sorry. I hope you are not in trouble with your Grandpa.”

“We’re fine.”

“Is he mad? Did I break the quad?”

“I don’t think so,” Rusty said. “Don’t worry about it. We just have to get you fixed up.”

Just then, a nurse came out and called for Carter. He and his dad went in for his examination.

Rusty and Dad prayed together for him.

Afterward, Rusty asked, “Was that the judgment of God because Carter was not doing right?”

Dad shrugged. “I would say it was the natural consequences of his reckless behavior. He wanted to do his own thing and not listen to anyone and that is what happens to us when we behave like that. The Lord does not judge us yet. Right now, there are enough natural results that punish us.”

“I hope Carter doesn’t do something like that again.”

“If his heart is soft, he won’t,” Dad said. “See how his attitude has changed already? I think this will be a good learning experience for him.”

“He’ll be wearing a cast for a while. Do you know what the Bible says about this?”

“Be sure your sins will find you out?”

“Well, yes. But look what it says in Proverbs 20:30, too.”

_______

Now discuss it!

What does Proverbs 20:30 say?

 

What does that have to do with Carter’s accident?

 

When have you gotten hurt because of sinful behavior?

 

What did you learn from that experience? How did the pain help teach you something?

 

What does Proverbs 22:15 tell us about how pain can help teach us important lessons?

Of course this does not justify child abuse and no parental punishment should bruise a child or break the skin. Sometimes sufficient pain is inflicted by taking away privileges or some other form of discipline that makes the child cry (in a repentant way, not in anger).

 

What if fire wasn’t painful? Would you stick your hand in it and catch on fire? What if it didn’t hurt to get run over by a car? Would you play in the road in front of a dump truck until it smashed you? How is pain—or the fear of pain—a healthy thing?

 

What are some good things we have to do, however, that are painful? What is the difference?

_________

Read God’s Word together:

Healing Wounds

 

Pilate spoke again to the crowd, “What, then, do you want me to do with the one you call the king of the Jews?”

They shouted back, “Crucify him!”

“But what crime has he committed?” Pilate asked.

They shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!”

Pilate wanted to please the crowd, so he set Barabbas free for them. Then he had Jesus whipped and handed him over to be crucified.

The soldiers took Jesus inside to the courtyard of the governor’s palace and called together the rest of the company. They put a purple robe on Jesus, made a crown out of thorny branches, and put it on his head. Then they began to salute him: “Long live the King of the Jews!” They beat him over the head with a stick, spat on him, fell on their knees, and bowed down to him. When they had finished making fun of him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes back on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.

On the way they met a man named Simon, who was coming into the city from the country, and the soldiers forced him to carry Jesus’ cross. (Simon was from Cyrene and was the father of Alexander and Rufus.) They took Jesus to a place called Golgotha, which means “The Place of the Skull.” There they tried to give him wine mixed with a drug called myrrh, but Jesus would not drink it.

(Mark 15:12-23, Good News Bible)

_________

Let’s talk about it!

 

How do you think it felt for Jesus to get whipped? What do you think the crown of thorns felt like? What about after they hit Him over the head with a stick on top of those thorns? What do you think the nails felt like?

 

Why did Jesus get whipped? What did the wounds on His back do for us?

Answer from Isaiah 53:5 and I Peter 2:24.

 

Why did Jesus die on the cross?

Answer from Isaiah 53:7-11.

 

Since He took wounds for us, do we have to try everything ourselves and get hurt by sin? Do we have to learn every lesson the painful way?

 

How do we get His wounds to help us? How do Jesus’ pains cleanse our sins?

When we repent and ask for His forgiveness. I John 1:7-9.

 

God has permanent wounds so we do not have to. Have you thanked Him for that lately? Let’s do that now.

 

Are you willing to be hurt for what you believe?

 

Do you avoid what is wrong just because it will hurt you or because it might hurt others? How does our sin hurt God?

_________

Memorize it!

Proverbs 20:30

 

The blueness of a wound cleanseth away evil:

so do stripes the inward parts of the belly.

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