Welcome to Family Ministry Conversations. Today’s topic is the father’s nod. I really want to talk to those of you who work with dads or who are dads.
One of the very important things in a child’s life is to receive the father’s nod. It’s that moment when a father passes on his confidence and his unconditional love to one of his children. It’s that moment when he says, “You have what it takes to be a young man or woman in this world. I believe in you.”
My Family’s Story
In my own family, neither my husband nor my father ever received the father’s nod from their biological fathers. And it was a spiritual father’s nod when they met Jesus and learned of their heavenly Father’s love for them. But I’ve watched both of them struggle in not having that physical father’s nod or that affirmation from their dads. So, this is a gift, and it’s so important for dads to learn how to give it and why to give it.
I think to a time in my son’s life when he was about 16 years old. We were on a sailboat, and his girlfriend at the time was with us. It was just my husband and me and the two of them, and we got into some rough waters.
When we got into the rough waters, the wind was blowing so fiercely that both of our sails failed. They coiled up onto the bow of the ship on their mast, and we could not get them untangled.
Being used to raising my children with my husband, I was ready to be called into action. But, instead, my husband called our 16-year-old son to help. So, there I sat watching my son at the bow with waves bursting over the bow splashing him as he tried to un-fail the sales. His hands were torn up and even bleeding as he pulled with all his might to get those sails undone. And he did.
A Father’s Approval
We all rejoiced, and we got back to the harbor safely. And later that week, I was recounting the story to a male friend of mine. I said, “Can you imagine how he felt having his girlfriend watch him do that?”
My male friend looked at me very wisely and said, “No, not his girlfriend but his father.”
To have been able to be called to action to save our lives by his father who entrusted that to him. And the affirmation he received after, when my husband looked at him and said, “Well done, son.”
It’s Not Necessarily One Moment
And that’s just one of the many moments when my husband, who didn’t receive it from his father, was able to pass that father’s nod on to my son—our son. And our son lives every day knowing that his father loves him and believes in him.
There’s a moment sometimes. But sometimes, it’s just the moments where fathers speak confidence and love into their children. So, if you’re a father, or if you work with fathers in any capacity, I encourage you to start practicing the father’s nod.