• Today's Devotionals

    Thursday, 9 November 2017

    Mens Daily Devotionals - Friday, November 10, 2017 Responsible fathering includes some “no’s”

    Daily Devotionals | Every Man Ministries TOPIC FOR TODAY - Responsible fathering includes some “no’s”


    Passage for the Day: GENESIS 2:4–8, 15–17
    Verse for the Day: GENESIS 2:15


    At this very moment I’m looking out on a mid-November Florida morning. The sky is crystal clear, the bluest blue you could ever imagine. The two huge Canary palm trees in front of our house are standing like majestic sentinels. Since it’s too early for any breeze, they are perfectly still. Because the well supplies just enough water for irrigation, our yard is a spectacular shade of green. The begonias and petunias look electric. Because we live in the subtropics, the hint of winter means that the thermometer dipped into the sixties last night. Brrrr.

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    But as hard as it may be for me to imagine, the Garden of Eden makes my surroundings look like a smoldering city dump.

    And not only was Eden pretty to look at, it was perfect in every other way, too. Man’s relationship to woman was elegant. Flawless. Woman’s relationship to man was filled with respect and affection. It was without shame or conflict or fear. And their relationship with their Creator was impeccable. Adam and Eve were delighted at all of this.

    But amazingly, right in the middle of this pristine flawlessness was a “no.” A centrally located, exquisite, fruit-bearing tree that could not be eaten. Isn’t that incredible? The perfect Garden of Eden included a “no.”

    Most of the time, I think of enjoyment as no boundaries. No inhibitions. No “no’s,” if you will. All “yes’s.” I want it; I get it, and no one stops me. Sounds great, doesn’t it?

    But God, knowing us better than we know ourselves, created us to need discipline—to actually be happier when certain restrictions and guidelines are firmly in place.

    Now that I think about it, the view outside my window, the lush grass I mentioned, has been enhanced by some nasty chemical stuff to feed the turf and to keep those annoying chinch bugs away. Every month this really nice guy named Geoff spreads smelly fertilizer on the grass. Several times a month, someone crawls around the azaleas and pulls weeds. (In Florida, if you don’t stay on top of weeds, a chainsaw is the only way to take them out.) And every few days I have to pinch off ugly, drooping petunia blossoms.

    Sometimes being a dad can be a drag. You feel like your home’s policeman, prosecuting attorney and judge. It seems like you’re saying “no” all the time, you’re charging your children with “crimes” you didn’t witness and you’re trying to determine a fair punishment. Not exactly the stuff to award you with your county’s Dad of the Year.

    Take heart. Even Eden, as perfect as it was, included some discipline—a “no” tree. And even though they may never celebrate this, your family is happier—and more pleasant—with the discipline you’re imposing than they would be without it.

    Let me quickly say that the Garden of Eden was a perfect home that God, the Creator of the Universe, built Himself. Yes, it included the discipline of forbidden fruit, but it also included a Heavenly Father’s tender love for His children that was unshakable and everlasting. What a great example of divine alignment this is for us to follow.

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