I’ll conclude this reading plan by sharing four rules of thumb God has shown me for going after my kids’ hearts, no matter their age. By now, these precepts may sound familiar—in fact, I hope they do. You’ve already come across the ideas they express any number of times in this reading plan, and I hope they have stuck in your mind. But they’re so crucial that I want to draw them together and give you a quick recap.

  1. “You are worth my time.” Invite your kids along when you go somewhere. Make one-on-one dates. Attend their stuff whenever you can. In as many ways as you can, invest your presence in their lives.
  2. “I want to know your heart.” Learn to ask questions that invite them to share how they feel, what they think, and, most importantly, what they believe.
  3. Bestow affection both in words and in touch. Write notes, hold hands, put your arm around them, greet them with a gentle hug, give them a pat coming or going. Make a moment or seize a moment to validate, initiate, or heal.
  4. Listen. Give your children your eyes and ears. It’s one of the most loving and validating things you can give anyone.

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

Father, looking back on these days about fathering, what do you most want me to take away from this Bible reading plan?

Jesus, what message do you have for my own heart?

Holy Spirit, what are a few ways you want me to move differently with my children going forward?


Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. - Ephesians 4:2 NIV

Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand—when I awake, I am still with you. - Psalm 139:16-18 NIV

Love one another deeply, from the heart. - 1 Peter 1:22 NIV

He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents. - Malachi 4:6 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.