This past week the Whitt family spent a great deal of time traveling together as we celebrated Thanksgiving with my wife’s parents in Texas. It was a whirlwind trip, with several preaching opportunities and very little down time. Now, I’m always looking and thankful for any opportunity to preach, but I’m becoming even more grateful for any opportunity to be able to spend time with my two children without the normal demands of the average work week.
While we were traveling together over the Thanksgiving weekend there were two moments that certainly grabbed my attention and heart as a daddy. The first was on our flight out to Texas. Jack and I were sitting beside each other, waiting for the plane to taxi on to the runway. When the plane started to speed up for the take off, Jack scooted over real close to me and grabbed my hand with both of his. He didn’t look up at me or even say anything, but I knew immediately why he had done that. He did if for the same reason I used to grab my dad’s hand when I was scared or unsure. He wanted the security that can really only come from a father’s touch.
The second thing that melted this daddy’s heart and taught me a really important lesson happened as we were walking through the B Concourse in the airport at DFW to catch our plane home. Laura Kate was walking with me, pumped about the week she’d had with her grandparents, and excited about getting back on the plane. (LK’s really scared of very little.) She was kind of skipping and singing to herself and without even thinking about it, she reached up and grabbed my hand. I almost took off without a plane! She was happy and wanted everybody to know it – including me – so she reached up and took hold of my hand.
I’ve discovered that there is something super special about a father’s touch. There’s even an old country song that talks about “daddy’s hands.” You see, there is softness and strength, assurance and discipline, comfort and correction to be found in daddy’s hands. I remember being told that a daddy’s hand know how to pat high and firm when we’ve done good and a little lower and harder when we haven’t. That’s true.
I’m learning as a relatively new father that my children long for and thrive under my touch. They want to sit on my knee, lay their head in my lap, have me pick them up and hug them. They want me to touch them. As a matter of fact, they won’t admit it yet, but even when my hands have to correct bad behavior, they know that I’m showing love even then.
There is tremendous power in the simple touch of daddy’s hands. It’s true with earthly daddy’s as well as with our heavenly Father. Scripture tells us that His hands, like ours, correct and caress, comfort and challenge, strengthen and guide, discipline and display great affection.
Fathers, learn the positive power of touch in the lives of your children. Hold them and hug them. Caress and comfort. When they’re close, make sure to always have your hands on your children letting them know how proud you are of them, how much you love them, where you want them to go and what you want them to do. After all, doesn’t our father do the same in our lives?