Delighted with this unexpected delivery service, he petted dog, told him he was a “good dog”, and gave him some treats.
The following morning the man was surprized to see same dog sitting at his front door, wagging his tail, surrounded by about a dozen newspapers.
The man spent rest of that morning returning the papers to his neighbors.
A little encouragement goes a long way. We all benefit from it. Encouraging words, especially from people we respect and admire, help to develop in us a spirit of confidence. Words of encouragement can put a spring in our step, propelling us to be better versions of ourselves.
The word encourage literally means to give courage to. A father who is quick to speak words of encouragement to his child, who is quick to offer comments like:
- “Well done.”
- “I’m proud of you.”
- “I’m here for you.”
- “Great job.”
- “You mean a lot to me.”
- “I enjoy spending time with you."
is giving his child a gift that will reap benefits throughout that child's life.
Yet there are many adults who, as children, were deprived of such encouragement from their fathers. They never experienced the satisfaction that washes over a child as the result of a well-timed compliment from dad. They were never on the receiving end of a fathers words of affirmation. And they are starved for them.
Many who have been deprived of encouragement from their fathers often develop an insatiable desire for the accolades of others. Often, their quest for encouragement only leads to more disappointment.
Some make it their life's mission to wrest words of encouragement from the mouths of fathers who are either unwilling or incapable of speaking them. Some eventually conclude that they will get what they need from their fathers so they turn to “father figures”--a boss, a teacher, a friend, a spouse--none of whom are able to give them what they really need.
We are born with a deep desire to be loved and accepted by a father. It is a father's encouragement that we long for. But that is not to say that if we didn't receive affirmation from our dads that we are destined to live empty and unfulfilled lives.
In the absence of our earthly father's words of encouragement we must listen carefully to the voice of our Heavenly Father. God is a Father who constantly speaks words of encouragement to His kids:
- “I delight in you!”
- “The thought of you makes Me smile!
- “I sing when I think about you!”
- “I will always be there for you!”
- “I treasure you!”
- “You mean more to Me than you will ever know.”
Our Heavenly Father satisfies our need for encouragement when our earthly father doesn't. He yearns to give us what we’re looking for. Listen for your Heavenly Father’s words of encouragement for you. He speaks them openly in His Word. He whispers them to us throughout the day.