When we look in the Bible sometimes there are patterns to the apple-tree thing but at other times it doesn’t seem to play out according to plan.
Take Josiah, for instance. He became king of Judah after the assassination of his evil father Amon and his even more evil grandfather Manasseh. Then in the middle of a virtual no man’s land in the purity department, eight-year old Josiah pops up as a righteous, God-fearing king who instituted major spiritual reforms. It’s a mystery as to where his clarity came from at such a young age, especially with relatively no male role model in his family.
That right there should give hope to anyone who thinks that their fate is sealed if they come from a screwed up family. Josiah is proof that in each generation we get to make our own choices.
There’s another dad in the Bible who catches my attention. His name was Caleb. Early in his life Caleb was one of two spies who went into the Promised Land and instead of being freaked out at the sight of giants, he saw with eyes of faith and believed God would keep His promise to His people.
Now fast forward to the time where Caleb steps into his role as a dad. His daughter’s name was Achsah and just like her daddy, she was a woman of faith and courage, a woman with a voice who wasn’t afraid to ask for what she wanted. It’s obvious that her dad had modeled to her what it meant to be bold and forthright.
Let’s pick up the story in Joshua 15, verse 18: “One day when Achsah came to her husband, she urged him to ask her father for a field. When she got off her donkey, Caleb asked her, ‘What can I do for you?’“
I LOVE that question from dad to daughter! It’s simple yet profound.
Caleb brings himself to his daughter’s dilemma. He was willing to invest of his own time and resources to help solve her problem.
Notice the freedom and honest clarity that flows from Achsah’s mouth as she responds to her dads question by asking him to do her a special favor and give her springs of water. In response we read that Caleb “gave her the upper and lower springs.” (v. 19)
Do you notice how easily she responded to her dads question without holding back?
Do you notice the ease to their conversation?
Do you notice how Caleb gave his daughter more than she asked for?
Do you notice how he cared about what distressed her?
Do you notice that he offers himself as the solution?
Dads, I’d encourage you to begin making these six words a regular part of your interactions with your daughters by regularly asking her, “What can I do for you?” I promise it will be a life-changer in the way your daughter responds to you!
Thanks Caleb for being a fantastic role model of a dialed in dad.
I pray that there will be more dads in the 21st century who follow in your footsteps.