A father’s likes, for example, sports, politics, music, or cars, etc becomes the language in which he speaks to his children, and which they speak to their fathers. The fact that many fathers do not listen with their hearts is why so many sons, and why so many daughters remain disconnected from their dads. They may not like sports, politics or music, etc, and therefore have nothing to say. I meet so many people that are obsessed with sports, politics, drugs, drinking, etc because this is the only way that they can relate to, or speak with their fathers.
Many people have no idea as to why they like or do these things, and rarely make the connection that they do these things because this was their father’s language — this is how they’ve learned to gain their father’s approval and acceptance and his attention.
My father’s language was politics and technology. I found myself learning all I could about current political events, and the latest technological gadget, so I would have something to say to my dad. I wanted my father’s approval; his acceptance and respect, so I learned his language. The sad part is that my relationship with my father was always in the shallows, and never at the level and depth of heart and soul. Sadly, this became my languages also between my own sons and daughter.
One day, I inspected a water-damaged home In Antioch, CA, with the homeowner and his family present. All the decorations in the kitchen, family room, and master bedroom were covered with San Francisco 49er’s paraphernalia — I mean, it was everywhere! After I was completed with my task, the husband asked me:
“So, do you watch sports? …what do you think of those 49ers?”
I don’t watch or like sports so much.
His facial expression intimated shock and amazement!
I further replied:
…You like sports because this was the only way you can speak with your father, and gain his attention and approval.
I glanced at his wife, and her face suddenly lit up with shock!
She quickly replied:
“MY GOSH, THAT’S SO TRUE!”
The husband just stood there, with his mouth opened, with the expression as though someone had just died!
You begin to learn how powerful for good, or evil, our father’s likes, especially when they become the mechanism of speech or language with their children.
The Bible points this out in the last book of the Old Testament, and in the very last two verses:
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he shall turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” Malachi 4: 5-6.
Do you see?
If the fathers do not turn their hearts to their children, the earth will be cursed. What curses the world is silent fathers, and fathers that do not speak from their hearts. This, in turn, causes children not to speak from their hearts also. Instead, their relationship with their dads is in the shallows. Very little, to no life pass from the father to their children. And sadly, this lack of transaction creates an emotional and relational deficit from generation to generation.
Proverbs 4: 23 puts it this way:
“Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life.”
If you’re a father, change the language from sports, politics, or anything that keeps your relationship with your kids in shallow places, and listen and speak from your heart. From your heart flows the springs of life. Your kids can’t live successful, healthy and full lives without the spring of life from your heart. Your words and language matters. It’s a matter of life and death!
We dads have the power of life and death in our speech with our kids, young or old. Our words have the power to build or destroy the future of our children.
Help build your children’s future and speak the language of love.
Speak from your heart!
Inspired by Paul Spaar, and his Thursday, July 23, 2019, Facebook Live podcast. Thank you, Paul!