This month's entry is an excerpt from Danny Holland's book Reaching Teens in their Natural Habitat. pg 53-55
"It's no secret that our kids need to know we care about them. Telling them that we love them is good, but communicating the message with our actions is even better. When I was a young baseball player, I wanted to pitch. With my dad's encouragement, I asked my coach if I coule try pitching. The coach answered, "You can't pitch. You ain't got no arm." I was disappointed. Several weeks later my father and I went to the store, where he purchased a catcher's mitt, a new basebal and a home plate. My dad informed me that he had permission to use the school gym every Tuesday and Thursday night and that he would teach me to pitch. Two days a week my father took me up to the school and let me pitch to him. I knew he had other things he wanted and needed to do, but he made sure to be there with me week after week.
The next year I pitched my first no-hitter in a tournament game against the same coach who had said I didn't have an arm. I got the game ball, and my dad wrote on it in marker, "He ain't got no arm." And to this day I have our home plate in my office. It symbolizes an act of extravagant love. It also reminds me that there are no shortcuts to making my boys know they are special to me.
Parents occasionally ask, "Danny, how do I tell my daughter I love her? I don't know what to do." Dads, remember when you were dating your wife: Remember how anemic the words "I love you" felt compared to what was in your heart? If you were anything like me, you would look for all kinds of ways to communicate your love for her, and you knew what to do because she captivated you and you studied her. We need to study our kids and look for opportunities to demonstrate our love for them. Handing over a credit card to make up for not spending time with them might bring some excitement, but no material items can fill the void within them that is designed for thei parents' love."
Bishop T.D. Jakes writes, "Start today to act like a gourmet chef. Carefully and with love, mix all your ingredients together. Stir that pot with compassion and understanding, and season the mix with support, encouragement, and respect. Don't neglect it; it might boil over or burn. Instead, tend to the pot with a watchful eye, let it simmer gently, and the flavors will blend, creating a dish fit for a king."