A Date with Ashley

1 Thessalonians 2:7
But we proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children.

Unlike some stereotypes of macho men, it’s important for dads to be as gentle as Paul was with the Thessalonians, his children in the faith.
I’ll never forget the rewards I’ve received for trying to be tender and loving with my children. My first “date” with our daughter Ashley was when she was three. I called her from the office and said, “Hi, this is Dad. I would really like to have a special date with you tonight, Princess.”

She giggled and I heard her tiny voice saying, “Daddy wants to take me out on a date!” Barbara already knew my plan, so Ashley was all dressed up by the time I pulled up in front of the house. I knocked on the door and when Barbara opened it I said, “Hello, Ma’am, is your daughter home?”

Ashley came out, and we held hands as we walked down the steps of the front porch out to the car. I walked around to her door and opened it and she got in.

As we drove down the road, she slipped her little arm around my neck. We went to a restaurant and got chocolate pie, chocolate milk and chocolate ice cream. Then we went to a movie. Ashley had a great time crawling all over the seats and occasionally watching “Bambi.” We ate popcorn. We spilled popcorn. We got soft drinks, and we spilled soft drinks. We did it all, and we did it right.

After the movie we drove home, the faint green light from the Rambler dashboard shining in our faces. I turned and asked, “Ashley, what was your favorite thing about tonight?”

Her little hand came over to pat me on the arm and she said, “Just being with you, Dad, just being with you.” It’s too bad we didn’t have a little more popcorn. I became a pool of melted butter right there.

As a father, pray that your need to be a strong leader will not conflict with being gentle and tender with every member of your family.

As a man, do you find it hard to be tender and intimate with your children? Describe some times when your attempts to be tender with them really “worked.”

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