This post will blow you away. Absorb every one of these powerful words by Jeff Davidson. Jeff is the newest member of our 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting team. He is the dad of a special needs son and leads a special needs ministry with his wife, Becky (see below).
Whether you have a child with special needs or not, Jeff’s words about speaking life ring true in any and every household.
Lori & Becky
This means that for the sixteenth year in a row I won’t get a Father’s Day card from my son. No handmade gifts. No presents.No socks or ties. No cheesy aftershave. And… no shouts of “Happy Father’s Day, Dad!”
My son won’t even know that Sunday is Father’s Day.
Being the dad of a son with profound special needs can be hard on weekends like this one. My son is developmentally disabled. Autism, cerebral palsy, and a seizure disorder have left him impaired physically and mentally.
He is non-verbal, having never spoken a word, even now at the age of sixteen. His twisted feet have rendered him mobility impaired, as well.
We won’t play catch in the backyard.
We won’t build a tree house together.
We won’t watch a ballgame, ride bikes, or do any of the other typical activities dads do with their sons.
If I choose to dwell on those things we cannot do, I will end up throwing a pity party for myself and inviting everyone around me to join my party. I will wreck my weekend and his.
But I have a choice. I can choose my perspective.
So I will choose joy.
You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing.
You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy.
Psalm 30:11 (NLT)
As a father, the specific activities I engage in with my son are not really what matters. What matters is that I am engaged, involved, and spending undivided time with my son, whatever we are doing.
The first and last words he will hear from me today and every day of his life will be words of love, encouragement, and affirmation. I will sing over him. I will pray over him. I will speak blessings and breathe life into him with my words.
At the end of the day I will tell him that there is nothing he can ever do to make me love him more than I already love him. I will tell him I love him simply because he is my son. Then I will tell him how glad I am God chose me to be his dad, and that God chose him to be my son.
Parents your words have the power of life or death over your children. They will believe whatever it is that they hear you say about them and around them. And they will become whatever they believe.
Speak words of life into your children.
Being the dad of a child with special needs is a rare gift. I have been given the essence of the Gospel in this child. I have learned of real unconditional love, never-ending grace, utter dependence upon God, and what it means to lay down your life for another.
I have been given a rare gift indeed. A gift I get to unwrap every day.
Because every day in our lives together is Father’s Day.
Neither one of us needs a card to prove it.
How are you doing in speaking words of encouragement, affirmation, and love into your children?
By Jeff Davidson
Husband to Becky
Father of one
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member
Rising Above Ministries
Author of No More Peanut Butter Sandwiches