Love Puts Others First (6 of 14) | Devotions with Dad

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Love Puts Others First (6 of 14)

For DAD Only:

Shaping the Future

“They grow up so fast.” What parent or grandparent hasn’t said this? The longer you live, the shorter life seems. We must ask ourselves often: “Am I making a good investment in my children?”

Some of us dads think that we are heroes for putting up with “those kids” for eighteen years. We can’t wait until life returns to normal (whatever that was). But God hasn’t called us to “put up” with our children.

Preparing for life. We hold in our hands the clay of childhood. Heavy handed dads squash the life out a kid. Inattentive dads let them collapse into crumpled and flattened personalities. Those who care about their children create valuable masterpieces.

How much thought do you put into preparing your young men to provide for their future families? Are you teaching them skills? Do you give them opportunities to experience different occupations? Do you push them to try new things? Do you encourage them to expand their interests and improve their talents?

Just because I love words doesn’t mean my children will grow up to write or speak publicly. They might turn out to be locomotive engineers, singers, construction contractors, or accountants. Even while they are young I work to head them down the path to their personal best. Too many young people depend on high school counselors and college career fairs to determine what they will do for the next forty years. Who knows your child better? You, who spends almost two decades with him? Or a school employee that only sees him in the classroom for a few years?

More than money. A child needs more than a way to earn a wage. Jesus said “lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.” A child needs to be molded into being an asset for the Kingdom of God. Will he or she be a children’s church teacher? an altar worker? an intercessor? a church musician? a personal evangelist? A kid’s heroes should be godly singers, preachers, and missionaries.

People need a purpose bigger than themselves to live for. In the few years you have with them, what life goals are you establishing in your children? Perhaps they won’t find the alternative for fossil fuels, but they need something bigger than themselves to live for.

In everything, remember that we have not been left on our own to raise our children. Dad, you and I must seek God’s guidance often, saying, “now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand” (Isaiah 64:8).

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Dad, read this story with your kids:

Be Ye Kind

“I can’t wait to go roller blading!” Rusty said as he dug his skates out of the closet.

“Mom, can I go to the church skate night, too?” his sister begged.

“Now, Misty. Your foot still isn’t well enough for you to even run yet, how could you go skating?”

Misty’s eyes followed Rusty as he set his skates in a duffel bag and zipped it up. She shrugged and said, “It would be fun just to watch my friends.”

“Okay, but no running. And leave your skates here.”

“Thanks, Mom.”

“You’d better hurry. The Johnson’s are coming soon to pick you guys up.”

* * *

Rusty and Misty thanked the Johnson’s for the ride and hopped out of their van with the Johnson boys, Kyle and Ian, who ran ahead. Rusty walked slowly with Misty as she hobbled across the parking lot. He held the door open for her as they entered the building.

Christian music was playing over the speakers in the building. Rusty dropped his duffle bag and pulled out his skates. Many of the kids were already skating around the hardwood floor rink. He quickly tied on his in-line skates and stood up. Now Misty looked short, sitting on the bench by herself. “Bye,” he said, as he skated out to his friends.

Rusty leaned forward and pushed his wheels faster and faster until he was racing through the crowd of his friends. “Woo-hoo! I’m flying!”

Kyle yelled, “Look at me!” He swerved through the skaters, showing off his new blades.

“Oh yeah? I can catch you,” Rusty shouted as they followed the turn. As Rusty passed Misty, he shouted, “Whew! I’m really moving!” He saw Misty smile. She was still sitting there on the bench.

“Hey, why’s your sister just sitting there?” a girl asked.

“She hurt her ankle.”

“Why did she come?”

Rusty shrugged and looked back at her sitting there. “Maybe someone else won’t want to skate and can go play a game with her.”

“Not me, I’m here to cruise!” the girl said.

Rusty skated up to their friend Shoshanna. “Hey, could you go be with Misty? She looks lonely.”

“Not right now. I’m skating,” she said.

As Rusty skated past his sister a second time he didn’t want to look at her because he wanted to keep skating. He didn’t want to feel bad. He glanced back anyway. “I wish she could skate, too,” he said. Nobody heard him. They were all having too much fun.

“Hey, I thought you were going to catch me,” Kyle yelled.

Rusty shrugged.

“Come on, Rusty,” someone else said, “are you sleepy?”’

“No.”

“Then let’s race!”

Rusty slowed down as he got close to Misty. “I’m going to take a break guys.” He slowed himself down on the handrail and walked off the rink into the sitting area. He sat down next to Misty.

“What are you doing?” she asked.

Rusty bent over to unstrap his skates. “I wanted to do something different. No one is playing air hockey. Do you want to?”

“I love air hockey!” Misty said. She walked slowly over to the air hockey table.

Rusty followed her while stuffing his skates back in the duffel bag. He bought some tokens and asked the lady behind the counter for permission to use one of the stools so Misty wouldn’t have to stand on her bad foot while she played the game.

Rusty put two tokens in the game and it started up, blowing soft air up through the holes in the table top. He slid the thin plastic puck to his sister. “You start.”

“Okay!” Chink! She smacked the puck with her slider, sending it zooming across the board to Rusty.

Chink! He knocked it back.

Chink! Chink! She sent it spinning toward the goal and Clink! “I scored!” The sign over the table flashed up 1 point for Misty.

Rusty and Misty continued the game for quite a while. Occasionally, Rusty would look out to the rink to see what his friends were doing. Sometimes they skated with crazy lights flashing. A few times they got to skate to a silly song. He and Misty were having a lot of fun.

Soon their friends took a break from skating to come get some drinks and snacks. While the kids waited in line at the snack counter they watched Rusty and Misty play. Misty was winning this round and Shoshanna called the next game after Rusty lost.

Rusty watched the two girls play for a minute before putting his skates back on. He rolled onto the rink with a few other kids who had already returned. He got to skate around several times before Shoshanna finished her game with Misty.

Most of the kids were back on the rink by now and Rusty could see that Misty had been left alone again. He came back to the game area. Misty said, “I’m all right. You can skate for awhile.”

“I didn’t buy your drink yet.” Rusty walked with her up to the counter.

The lady behind the counter was bringing out a new big bucket of ice cream to put in the display. “What can I get ya?” she asked.

Rusty ordered a Root Beer and Misty asked for Sierra Mist.

“Okay, small or medium?”

They both chose medium-sized cups and thanked her when she handed them across the counter.

While Rusty paid her for the drinks, she asked, “Do you guys like ice cream?”

“Sometimes,” Rusty said, knowing they didn’t have enough money for ice cream now that he’d bought the tokens for the air hockey game.

“Well, I’ve got to put in this new ice cream since one bucket is almost empty. I think there is enough for two ice cream cones. Do you guys like cookies-n-cream?”

Misty nodded and Rusty’s eyebrows went up. “Sure,” he said. “What will they cost?”

“Well, for a brother and sister that care about each other,” she smiled and said, “they’re free.”

“Wow, thanks,” they both answered.

Rusty sat with Misty while they ate the ice cream. They used up the last of their tokens on another game of air hockey. The kids on the rink were playing a game of limbo, so Misty told him she wanted to see him compete.

He got to skate and go under the limbo pole with his friends for quite a while before they went home.

___________________________

Why was it hard for Rusty to decide whether to skate or spend time with Misty?

He was struggling with the desire to have fun and the desire to be kind to his sister.

What is the golden rule?

What does Philippians 2:3 say about how we should think (esteem) about other people?

How did Rusty obey Philippians 2:4?

Philippians 2:5 tells us that when we consider others, we are most like whom?

Who can we treat this way other than brothers and sisters? How does this apply to friends at school? People at church? Moms and dads?

What does I Corinthians 13:5 say about thinking of others?

Charity does not seek only its own interests.

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Read the following scripture with the family:

One to Another

So He told a parable to those who were invited, when He noted how they chose the best places, saying to them:

“When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place, lest one more honorable than you be invited by him; and he who invited you and him come and say to you, ‘Give place to this man,’ and then you begin with shame to take the lowest place.

“But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, go up higher.’ Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Luke 14:7-11 from New King James Version, © 1983 Thomas Nelson. Used with permission.

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What does this parable tell us about putting others first?

What about trying to get the window seat in the car?

Have you ever been in a situation where you got “put down” when you were thinking about yourself?

When have you put someone else first and benefited from it, too, like Rusty did with Misty?

Role play: You have been saving up for some new shoes. Finally you have enough money to buy the pair. When you arrive at the store, you go to pick out the shoes just as someone else picks up the last pair in your size. What do you do?

Older ones: You have planned out your evening for a time of relaxation. Your friend calls needing help study for school or getting advice for a project. What do you do?

Do we always get rewarded right away for putting others first?

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Take some time to color with your youngin’s:

Coloring Page

Color the picture of Rusty and Misty with their ice cream at http://www.danieljkoren.com/1-17Coloring.pdf. Print in “Landscape” format.

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Memory Verse:

I Corinthians 13:5

Doth not behave itself unseemly,

seeketh not her own…

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