It’s impossible to teach your children anything if you don’t first have their attention. With children though, oftentimes, you can’t have their attention until they are sure they have yours.
Think through the last week, the last month, or even the last year. When was the longest time recently that your children had your full attention? Think about what that time was:
What did you do: ____________
What did you talk about: ____________
It is very interesting that the actual last verse of the Old Testament speaks to fathers giving their children attention.
As Malachi eagerly awaits the Messiah’s arrival, he shares that something critical will take place at his incarnation. Read about it in Malachi 4:6: “He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.”
What does it mean for a father’s heart to turn to his children? It means to be with them – completely. It means giving them your undivided attention. Your children need your attention. Of course they are grateful for all the ways you provide. They may well be blessed with a mother who gives them countless hours of attention, but that does not mean that they need to do without the attention of their father.
Did you catch all that Malachi taught? He revealed that when fathers’ hearts turned towards their children, the children’s hearts would be turned to their fathers. If a father wants the attention of their children, they might first need to give their own attention to their children. What could you do this week to give your children your undivided attention?
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.
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