Grandpa, if you do that, they can hurt me.

Last Thursday, nearly five year old Emily told her two year old brother Ethan that “God sends his angels to chase away bad thoughts” because Ethan had a dream about snakes.

It reminded me of the day in 1982 when Emily’s mom, Stephanie, was five years old. Stephanie was sitting in the back seat of the car with her younger sister, Maureen Kathryn, while we waited for mother Maureen to shop in Joann Fabrics.  My pride got the best of me and, although I knew I should not put this on her, I asked, “Stephanie, does your daddy love Jesus?” I was hoping in my pride for a resounding “Yes”.

Instead, Stephanie quickly answered, “Daddy, that’s not for me to say.”

Wow. God put me in my place through the mouth of our lovely daughter.

Last night, I was in a spiritual battle and my mind was starting to wander where it should not.  Walking into our kitchen, I saw the picture on our refrigerator of lovely Emily and Ethan. In my spirit, I could hear Emily’s voice saying to me, “Grandpa, if you do that, they can hurt me.”

I knew the Holy Spirit’s reference through Emily was to the demons that can do more than cause bad thoughts.

Thirty-three years ago, Emily’s mother set me straight. Now the Holy Spirit used Emily’s voice to set me straight.

Then this morning, reading Psalm 103:17, God set me straight. “But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear Him, and his righteousness unto children’s children. “ Children’s children. That’s Emily.

My sin removes spiritual protection and God’s righteousness from my children and grandchildren. My righteousness in Christ protects them.

I don’t want anyone to hurt my kids or grandchildren. I have to double down my resolve to obey Christ, and thank God for children and grandchildren who listen to Him.

Teach kids to care to teach them to love.

As I was praying this morning, I felt God telling me that some fathers don’t care enough whether their children care for anyone. Caring is the foundation of loving. You can’t love if you don’t care.

We should ask our children and ourselves, who or what do you care for? Who or what do you take care of? The higher the degree of caring, the better they will love. This plants the seeds of being loving adults; replacing selfishness with love at an early age.

Fathers, we should encourage our children to take care of someone occasionally in order to introduce them to the joy of loving others. Doing so, we foster love for generations to come.