Insight for the Day

Paying Attention

April 2, 2024 Robert Wolgemuth—Editor

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good indeed. Evening came and then morning: the sixth day. —Genesis 1:31

“Daddy, watch this.”

“Honey, are you listening to me?”

Almost every dad on Earth has heard these words. They often come from the young members of his family who can see him but who suspect he’s somewhere else in his thoughts. And if you’re not watching, you’re probably not listening. As hearing-impaired people know, you listen with your eyes, not your ears.

The first chapter of Genesis contains the story of creation. It’s the written account of an almighty God who took nothingness and made something of it with the sound of His voice. God spoke, and everything appeared. From the Grand Tetons all the way down to mouse whiskers really incredible when you think about it.

As you read this account, you’ll notice that after each day of creation, God stepped back and took a look at what He had done. And when He had seen it all, He declared it “good.”

If you’re a dad, what follows here is probably the most important thing you’ll read in the INSIGHT FOR THE DAY articles in this Bible.

It may be a stretch to say you “created” your family, but you surely had a lot to do with putting it together. None of this would have happened without you. That’s why these are your kids. And if you have step-kids, you’re still a huge part of their story.

The way life is, new things happen every day—new challenges at work, new technology to deal with, new aches and pains as your body gets older. It’s only natural to get distracted and forget to pay close attention to this thing you’ve had a part in building—your family.

The story of God’s creation is the story of God surveying what He had done. He did what He did, He took a good look—a careful look, and He was pleased. The rest of the Bible confirms that God kept watching, day after day. He paid close attention. He still does.

If you’re a dad as I am, you and I readily admit that we have a lot to learn. This was a whole new experience for us—something our formal education didn’t include. So we learn as we go. Through some trial and error, we discover what works and what doesn’t. But given God’s example, we should rarely catch ourselves saying, “You know, I never saw it coming,” “When did she start doing that?” or “I guess I just wasn’t paying attention.”

Our challenge is not just to live with our families but to really be there. To survey carefully. To understand that our job as the dad is to really see what’s going on and not succumb to the temptation of having our families, then getting on to the next thing without continuing to watch.

God’s pattern was to create, to pay close attention, and to celebrate every day. A pretty good model to follow, don’t you think?