I invite you to ask God one of these questions:

  • Where and how have I wounded my kids?
  • Where is my child on their masculine or feminine journey, and what do they need from me?
  • What is the glory of their life?

When God gives you an answer—a word, image, or memory—ask the Father for instruction on how to father. Then consider taking what God shows you to your child in the form of a question: “Sweetheart, can I ask you something?”

Let’s say God has made you aware of a wound you inflicted. You can ask, “Do you remember when I said …?” Be specific for both your sakes. If the event occurred last night, they are sure to remember; if it was last month or last year, you may need to fill in some details. Even if they don’t remember, follow through with the story God brought to your mind. Tell what you remember about what happened, what you said and did, and how you handled your child’s heart. Let him or her know you have been talking to God and he brought the matter up.

And then? When you are both on the same page, ask for forgiveness. Even if the event happened decades ago, it is amazing what ground you can take back from the enemy. Partnering with God and your child, you can reclaim what your false self gave away and offer healing to a wound you were used to inflict.

Sometimes, the right time to ask your leading question pops up spontaneously. Don’t let the moment pass—seize it. Other times, some planning may be required to make it happen. Either way, curiosity alone makes most kids willing.

The more moments you seize in real time, the fewer you will have to circle back and try to make. However, bear in mind that your child may not remember the event you want to revisit. Or, especially if they’re an adult child, they may not be ready to forgive. That’s OK. Be brave and let them have the controls. You made the first move; now let them choose theirs. That’s the way it should be.

Remember, too, as you invite your children to open their lives to you, to open your own life to them. Sharing and vulnerability are a two-way street. Do your kids know any of your God stories? Do they know your trials and the tales of your overcoming and becoming? Sharing your heart’s journey with your kids is a gentle but powerful way to help them know you, trust you, and be ready to turn to you and God to find their own way.

Making a moment is not just about recovering from past wounds. There’s a fun and even joyous side to it as well. You can make a golden, life-giving moment happen with every birthday, every anniversary, every holiday, and those special occasions when life or the calendar hands you an easy one—a graduation, an award, an accomplishment, and so on. Moments of healing and repair are always good; even better are moments you make or seize to deliver the powerful, validating package, “I see you, and I love what I see.”

As you ponder all this with God today, consider asking Him:

Father, would you show me where and how I have missed their hearts and wounded my kids?

Jesus, where is my child on their masculine or feminine journey, and what do they need from me?

Holy Spirit, would you open my eyes to see the “glory” of my kids’ lives, the unique ways you have made them that wondrously and delightfully reflect you?


Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. - 1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. - Ephesians 4:29 NIV

Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. - Matthew 5:23-24 NIV

Fathering Hearts

Fathering Hearts YouVersion Bible App Devotional

Whether your child is five or fifty-five, don’t stop listening. Continue giving them your time and attention. Continue engaging their heart. Continue being Dad. In this seven-day plan, based on Michael Thompson’s newest book King Me, you will explore how the legacy we leave behind as fathers isn’t determined by how we started—though that may very well need to be tended to —but, rather, by how we move forward from here.