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Fathers saying the sacred “Yes”

In an earlier blog, I described one of the key roles of a father, that of giving his children the sacred no. This gets them through the first phase of life by establishing boundaries, boundaries which help assign value to things and people. This is the essential task of the first half of life. …
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

In an earlier blog, I described one of the key roles of a father, that of giving his children the
sacred no. This gets them through the first phase of life by establishing boundaries, boundaries which help assign value to things and people. This is the essential task of the first half of life. Jesus told Peter,
“When you were young,” contrasting that undisciplined phase of life where the will has free rein to a time when he would be old and understand authority and limits.

At some point, we fathers very nearly complete this role of teaching limits. Most societies down through history have made this transition official with some kind of initiation process. We don’t have that, and many fathers struggle to begin saying
yes as much as they struggled to say
no.

What do I mean? Well, just as important as the
sacred no is that fathers (and mothers) learn to offer a
sacred yes. This is a yes to possibility, yes to a version of reality that seems idealistic, impossible even. Young people already dream; they need little help doing this. But the dream squashers and snatchers lay in wait all along life’s path – what young people need is someone to help put their wet blanket advice in perspective. And no one carries more weight than a dad.

What a privileged responsibility we dads have to help our children run with their dreams. We cheer them on so well when they’re on the football field or in the classroom. But what about the field of life? Dreams are being birthed and molded in them even now. We should rush to defend that birthing process.

We fathers need to give the
sacred yes to chasing these dreams. The time to protect, to say
no, is when they are young. As my children are entering adulthood, I want them to see and hear me cheering wildly as they learn to dream God-given dreams and then to become stewards of those dreams. What a privilege; what an honor.

Comments (5)

  • Excellent post. Our youth need batons passed well by empowering fathers. God, help us to dream well with our children.

  • I love you too daddy! Thanks for always helping us in our dreams. You and mom are the best parents in the world! Just got out of the jungle, will be responding and posting in the next day.

    Pray we win in the race to Guatemala.

    Much love.

  • Here I am in my 2009 incarnation – so much time has passed. I couldn’t be more proud of my kids and the way they continue to mature. Seth jr. is in Nicaragua. Emily & Leah are going to school here. Talia is doing the best she’s ever done and Estie is headed to Zambia in a few days. Wherever they are, I know they love God passionately and want to bring his kingdom wherever they are.

    What a life God has given them.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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