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Sensitive Demands

I took my two youngest kids to the Batavia quarry on my day off a week ago. It has a beautiful sand beach with shallow water. Or you can go out into the deep water and there are some high dives and slides. But if you want to go in the deep water, you've got to get a deep-water pass.

At the beginning of the year, my 7-year-old son, Andrew, got his deep-water pass, but it was not something he did easily. He's a great swimmer; he just doesn't like the pressure of having to do something in front of a couple of lifeguards.

That day, he said, “Dad, I don't have my deep-water pass. I'll just hang out in the shallow water.” I said, “A break is coming up. Go over and tell the life guard you'll swim for a new deep-water pass in a few minutes.” He looked at me as if to say, “You've got to be kidding. I'm going to do this again?” But there was no argument to be had. When the break came, he swam for his deep-water pass, and he got it easily. The rest of the day, we had a ball together.

So there are times when it's appropriate to demand something of our kids. But good dads also know their kids' limitations. Good dads also take into account a son or daughter's age or temperament or peer pressure or physical health or school struggles or popularity issues. Do you think that our Heavenly Father is any less sensitive than an earthly dad who weighs these factors when dealing with a child?

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— Jim Nicodem, “The Father Heart of God,” Preaching Today, Tape No. 152.

Book below is by Floyd McLung, Jr.