That’s enough…now, take that off.

That’s what I said to my 17 year old daughter last night. I told her she was scaring me.

With our Life Lessons In The 80s series at The Ridge striking a sentimental chord with us, we took a look at some old videos with the kids last night after our Family Night devotions. I saw a video that my brothers had made for Kim and I that was shown at our rehearsal dinner before our wedding. It was the typical video chronicle of pictures from when we were kids all the way through to when we met and courted. The kids laughed at the hair and clothes and how mom looked the same and how I was skinnier (I’m working on that 🙂 ) After that, we popped in the video of our wedding.

Then my older two daughters started playing dress up. They decided to see if they could get into mom’s old prom dress. Didn’t happen. But then, my oldest went into our closet and put on my wife’s wedding dress.

Now just last week, when my wife was trying to find something to wear to the 80s prom, she had modeled the wedding gown for my daughters. I thought she still looked amazing in it. They laughed and said sarcastically, “Oh, that’s beauuutiful!” When asked if they would wear it in their wedding, they said “No way! It was so out of style.” I said, “Its a wedding gown! Most of them look the same.”

Well, when my oldest appeared from her mom’s closet last night wearing the gown, including the veil, she had changed her tune a bit. She was parading around like a princess with her sister taking pictures. It wasn’t so out of style after all, huh?  I believe all my daughters are beautiful (a little biased, but its true)…they get it from mom…but I was taken aback just a little by seeing my oldest in a wedding gown. She was gorgeous!

After a while of playing dress up, that’s when I said, “You’re scaring me. That’s enough…now, take that off.”

As I approach another Father’s Day, I am becoming more and more sensitive to the limited amount of time I have to shape and craft these eight blessings into arrows that are sharp, straight, pointed in the right direction (see Psalm 127). When released, I pray that they will make an impact when they reach their destination. Just like the arrow in the warrior’s hands and then in his bow is released into the battle.

 God has blessed me more than I deserve and I have a huge responsibility as a dad. If my children are going to impact another generation for The Lord (Psalm 78), I must be diligent and focused. I can’t wait until they are 17 to begin the shaping process. It’ll be too late. I must start with them from birth and not let up. Dads…men who aren’t dads, but will be one day…what are you doing to grow yourself in your relationship with Christ so that you can lead spiritually in your home…your kids and your wife?  And what are you intentionally doing to shape those arrows, sharpen them, point them in the right direction?

I think about this more and more. I don’t always feel like I’m doing a good job at it. I need God’s help, because, it won’t be long before she (and each of my other girls) will be wearing that dress for real and my sons will be standing at an altar in a tux. Then the slow drawing back of the bow will have come to an end and it will be time to release that arrow…

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