Far too many men are silent at all the wrong times. A father’s silence can communicate volumes. The absence of his voice can leave a boy or girl feeling emotionally alone.
We were in the middle school gym. Our oldest daughter, in the seventh grade, was playing basketball. The game was coming to a close. One girl on our team was having great difficulty guarding a particular player on the opposing team. Again and again this girl would score. Finally at one point, the father of our player stood and began yelling. He called out his daughter’s name and in front of the entire gym said, “Your defense stinks!”
The gym became very silent as the humiliated girl stood on the the court looking at her father.
Most fathers I know would never think of doing anything like this. They would never want to humiliate or shame their child the way this father did.
However, fathers can do damage by remaining silent. They don’t inflict pain on their children with their words. However, they do not take advantage of the opportunities they have to build and encourage their children with their words. Instead, they remain silent.
When our children were small, I had to learn how to speak in a way that would encourage our girls. I did not come from a demonstrative family and it would have been far easier for me to simply be silent. Yet, I learned by observing other fathers how to speak life giving words into my daughters. You can learn this too.
A father can communicate so much with sincere, heart felt words.
“You are able. I believe in you.”
“You are beautiful. You are just right.”
“You have got what it takes. The Lord is with you. I am for you!”
“You can do this. Keep praying and don’t give up.”
“You can be an excellent husband/wife. Marriage is challenging but know that I am behind you.”
“You are so important to me. Know that I am for you! You will make mistakes and get knocked down but I am for you.”
When a child hears such words of affirmation from his/her father, that child is receiving a precious gift. Such words give courage, comfort, and life long after the moment.
If you are a dad, it is not too late to speak life giving, encouraging words to your children. What does your children need to hear today?