Invest & Nurture (Weekly Devotion) 

Morning devotion: Healthy relationships require mutual investment. What we feed and nurture grows, what we starve or neglect dies. Intimacy is an ongoing mutual pursuit. 

I have plants. I had one I took to the basement once and well I forgot about the poor thing. There is minimal sunlight in the basement. It obviously was not watered. Guess what? It died. Dead. Dead. Super dead. There was no feeding, nurturing, or investment in the plant. So it died. 

I also have bank accounts, as do most people. If I pull up and try to withdraw 10 million dollars, the cashiers will send me a note, “Insufficient funds.” I have not deposited 10 million dollars, therefore I can not withdraw the amount. 

Relationships are like the plant and bank account. What we neglect, or ignore often withers and dies. It is not enough to invest in the beginning and then do nothing coasting on commitment. Intimacy will wither and fade. 

God invests richly in us and has no lack. So we are not adding to His bounty per say. God does want our love and pure devotion. When you truly love someone, how they treat you matters. We are encouraged in Scripture to love God; love Him with all of our heart, soul, strength-to love Him above a spouse, child, family, or friends. In order to deepen our friendship, I must purposefully seek Him. Our friendship grows when I seek Him to know Him. “God what is on Your heart today? I am here to love You God. Thank You God. My heart and life is Yours God. I am listening, what do You have to say?”

God so loves the world despite reciprocation of love. It does warm His heart to be loved in return. Unrequited love is no fun. Trust me I know this well. 

The same goes for relationships with people. If we never talk to them except when we need or want something, we have reduced them to being an ATM. They are a resource for us and not a person. 

I read a quote that stuck with me, “The problem with the world is people were meant to be loved and things were meant to be used. We have people being used and things being loved.” 

I had someone tell me once, “I love you Erin. You are always there for me. No matter what you are there.” This person I only saw when they needed something or did not have a boyfriend. I was completely ignored otherwise. They never asked how I was doing, never contacted me to just say hello. Guess what? The relationship died. I was a friend. They were not. I found people who treated me like a human being who is loved. 

Healthy relationships require some investment, otherwise they wither and die. 

How can we be a good friend to God and others? How can we nurture the relationships that we have? 

What we feed, nurture, pay attention to grows. What we ignore and neglect withers. May we not abuse the unconditional love of God-“He will never leave me so I will treat God however I want.” May we also not abuse the love of people. One day we may look up and they have moved on to where they are supported, honored, and love is reciprocated. 

A Good Father

  

Happy Father’s Day! 

Thank you to all the men in the world who have been great examples to their children, loved well, inspired, disciplined and corrected well, led by example, and have deposited identity and life into their children. You are appreciated. 

The only perfect Father I know is our Heavenly Father. Don’t get me wrong, my earthly father is super stellar. He’s also human, he also only represents half of the nature of God. You see God is Spirit. We call Him Father rightly so, yet out of Himself He created male and female (Genesis 1:27). Our Heavenly Father is able to do what we traditionally consider what a father and mother would do and without sin. Therefore, He’s the perfect Father. 

I wanted to thank and applaud the great men out there. I also wanted to encourage those who have earthly fathers who abandoned, were absent, abusive, unkind, unloving, neglectful, addicts, or never encouraged them. You are deeply loved! God is your father. You are not defined by your earthly fathers sin. If you’re in Christ, you’ve been adopted into a Royal family. Adopted children are special. They are no mistake; they are chosen and wanted. So, if that’s you…let me speak into your spirit right now…

Papa I speak life, love, and acceptance into every person without a Godly earthly father. I bind the orphan spirit. I release the spirit of adoption. I bind fear and insecurity and loose healing and love. I ask for identities rooted, deeply rooted in Christ. I bind every generational sin that may try to plague them. Holy Spirit come and break every chain! May they know the height, depth, width, and vast expanse of Your love. Overwhelm them today with love! Heal and restore. I loose a freedom to forgive every hurt and disappointment, in Jesus powerful name…amen. 

For those who’s fathers have passed away, lifting you up today. Our Heavenly Father never leaves or forsakes. He’s with you! He brings such comfort! I speak peace over your day. 

For the men without children, soon to be dads, or existing fathers, these are some things my Heavenly Father and earthly father taught me about this vital role in the family. 

A father loves well. It’s unconditional love that seeks what is best for the other person. It’s selfless love. It’s agape love. 

A father protects. He prays. His spiritual protection is so valuable. He doesn’t have to be the strongest man physically, he is strong in seeking the Lord for the protection of his family. My dad rises early every day to pray…like clockwork. 

A father provides. He provides a home free of control, bullying, strife, and chaos. He leads by being a servant. His wife and children know they have an advocate. He provides a place for God to be glorified. He places God at the center and provides a great example for his family by the way he lives and treats people. We didn’t grow up wealthy. My dad did make sure he provided a safe and stable place for us. He worked. He volunteered. He served. He cooked. He cleaned. He helped my mum. He took care of her when she was sick. He combed my hair (we shall burn some of those photos. Nice try dad). He provided a place where we knew he was for us. 

More than financial provision which society says is a man’s main contribution, I believe being present, contributing, providing leadership through serving, and investing in your family is one of the greatest gifts you can provide. Many kids have fathers who work non stop and have money, yet their children and wives don’t have them. 

A father provides identity. Our Heavenly Father gave us His name. There’s so much in a name. If you look around, the lack of identity has caused so many issues in our society. Mothers are so amazing. So are fathers. Fathers help establish identity in ways mothers cannot. Please don’t be upset with the messanger. God created men to express His attributes. This is one of those ways. If you’re a single mum, teach your son about God. Give him examples of Godly men if you can. Heavenly Father can do what humans cannot do. 

A good father has integrity and noble character. I cannot overstate this enough. He’s someone his son will imitate and his daughters will seek out men like him. 

A good father admits his faults and takes responsibility for his actions. He says, “How can I make this right?” 

He’s honest and faithful to keep his word. He’s dependable. 

A good father uses his words to build up, not tear down. He speaks life and blessing over his children. So many blessings are in scripture. Bless your wife and children. Words are powerful. Speak God’s words over them. 

A good father loves his wife! He’s faithful to her and the vows he made before God. She is his equal partner in Kingdom leadership. They may serve different roles at times, yet he does not treat her as a sidekick or inferior partner. He loves her as he loves himself. 

A good father is generous. Our Heavenly Father is so generous! It’s beyond comprehensible at times. Fathers love to give. I’ve seen this in my heavenly and earthly father. 

A good father corrects his children. He points them to truth and disciplines in love when they deviate off that path. 

If you’re a man and you’re saying, “Gosh those are big shoes to fill,” it’s true. Yet I’ve seen several men in my life get this right and their secret is they abide in Christ. They let the love of God flow through them and they allow the Holy Spirit to guide them. It’s not about perfection. It’s about abiding (John 15:5) and submitting to God. He has the Fathering thing down perfectly. He provides assistance to anyone who asks. 

You are so loved men! You are celebrated and appreciated!!! 🎉🙌🏼 Praying for and wishing for more great men in the world. Praying for you! You can not be replaced. You have a significant role in the Kingdom. We ladies want to see you succeed. We are cheering for you! I am cheering for you! 

Love in Christ, 

Erin