Remodel Job

NIGHT LIKE FOR PARENTS

by Bob Welch

I was sitting in a bathtub full of moldy Sheetrock when my thirteen-year-old son asked the question: “Can you take me golfing sometime?”

I had a bathroom to remodel. It was fall, and the forecast for the next week was for 100 percent chance of Oregon’s liquid sunshine. I wanted to say no. “Sure,” I said. “What did you have in mind?”

“Well, maybe you could, like, pick up Jared and me after school on Friday and take us out to Oakway.”

“Sounds good.”

Friday came. The showers continued. As I looked out the window, moldy Sheetrock seemed the saner choice. But at the appointed hour, I changed from home-improvement garb to rain-protection garb and loaded the boys’ and my clubs in the back of the car. In front of the school, Ryan and Jared piled in. Ryan looked at me with a perplexed expression.

“What’s with the golf hat, Dad?” he said.

It was, I thought, a silly question, like asking a scuba diver what’s with the swim fins.

“Well, I thought we were going to play some golf.”

A peculiar pause ensued, like a phone line temporarily gone dead.

“Uh, you’re going too?” he asked.

Suddenly, it struck me like a three-iron to my gut: I hadn’t been invited.

Thirteen years of parenting flashed before my eyes. The birth. The diapers. The late-night feedings. Helping with homework. Building forts. Fixing bikes. Going to games. Going camping. Going everywhere together—my son and me.

Now I hadn’t been invited. This was it. This was the end of our relationship as I had always known it. This was “Adios, Old Man, thanks for the memories, but I’m old enough to swing my own clubs now, so go back to your rocking chair and crossword puzzles and—oh yeah—here’s a half-off coupon for your next bottle of Geritol.”

All these memories sped by in about two seconds, leaving me about three seconds to respond before Ryan would get suspicious and think I had actually expected to be playing golf with him and his friend.

I had to say something. I wanted to say this: How could you do this to me? Throw me overboard like unused crab bait? We had always been a team. But this was abandonment. Adult abuse.

This was Lewis turning to Clark in 1805 and saying: “Later, Bill. I can make it the rest of the way to Oregon without you.” John Glenn radioing Mission Control to say thanks, but he could take it from here. Simon bailing out on Garfunkel during “Bridge over Troubled Water.”

Why did it all have to change?

Enough of this mind-wandering. I needed to level with him. I needed to express how hurt I was. Share my gut-level feelings. Muster all the courage I could find, bite the bullet, and spill my soul.

So I said, “Me? Play? Naw. You know I’m up to my ears in the remodel project.”

We drove on in silence for a few moments. “So, how are you planning to pay for this?” I asked, my wounded ego reaching for the dagger.

“Uh, could you loan me seven dollars?”

Oh, I get it. He doesn’t want me, but he’ll gladly take my money.

“No problem,” I said.

I dropped him and Jared off, wished them luck, and headed for home. My son was on his own now. Nobody there to tell him how to fade a five-iron, how to play that tricky downhiller, how to hit the sand shot. And what if there’s lightning? What about hypothermia? A runaway golf cart? A band of militant gophers? He’s so small. Who would take care of him?

There I was, alone, driving away from him. Not just for now. Forever. This was it. The bond was broken. Life would never be the same.

I walked in the door. “What are you doing home?” my wife asked.

I knew it would sound like some thirteen-year-old who was the only one in the gang not invited to the slumber party, but maintaining my immature demur, I said it anyway.

“I wasn’t invited,” I replied, with a trace of snottiness.

Another one of those peculiar pauses ensued. Then my wife laughed. Out loud. At first I was hurt. Then I, too, laughed, the situation suddenly becoming much clearer.

I returned to the bathroom remodel, and as I worked I began realizing that this is what life is all about: change. This is what father and son must ultimately do: change. This is what I’ve been preparing him for since he first looked at me and screamed in terror: not to play golf without me, but to take on the world without me. With his own set of clubs. His own game plan. His own faith.

God was remodeling my son. Adding some space here. Putting in a new feature there. In short, allowing him to become more than he could ever be if I continued to hover over him. Just like when I was a kid and, at Ryan’s age, I would sling my plaid golf bag over my shoulder and ride my bike five miles across town to play golf at a small public course called Marysville that I imagined as Augusta National.

I remember how grown-up I felt, walking into that dark clubhouse, the smoke rising from the poker game off to the left, and proudly plunking down my two dollars for nine holes. Would I have wanted my father there with me that day? Naw. A boy’s gotta do what a boy’s gotta do: grow up.

A few hours later I heard Ryan walk in the front door. I heard him complain to his mother that his putts wouldn’t drop, that his drives were slicing, and that the course was like a lake. He sounded like someone I knew. His tennis shoes squeaked with water as he walked back to where I was working on the bathroom.

“Dad,” he said, dripping on the floor, “my game stinks. Can you take me golfing sometime? I need your help.”

I wanted to hug him. Rev my radial-arm saw in celebration. Shout, “I’m still needed!” I wanted to tell God, “Thanks for letting me be part of this kid’s remodel job.”

Instead, I got one of those serious dad looks on my face and stoically said, “Sure, Ry, anytime.”

Looking ahead…

As Bob Welch suddenly realized in the story above, a father’s job is to train his children to take on the world. The moment will come when your kids will walk away from the comforts of home and begin their own exciting journey into independence and adulthood. To prepare for that transition, your children desperately need your love, leadership, and guidance throughout their growing-up years. A father’s role in that assignment is different from that of the mother, but no less important. The impact and responsibility of dads in raising kids cannot be overestimated. Fathers are central to God’s design for successful families.

Dad, we’ve designed this week especially for you. (Mom, we still want you to participate, too!) I hope it will encourage you in preparing your kids for the adult years to come.

James C Dobson

  • From Night Light For Parents, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.

“Remodel Job” by Bob Welch. Taken from A Father for All Seasons. Copyright © 1999 by Bob Welch. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon 97402. Used by permission.

Prayer Bible Verses

Compiled and Edited by BibleStudyTools Staff on 7/9/2019
We all need to know prayer Bible verses. Prayer is the way in which we communicate with God, and he wants to get to know us better. Bible verses about prayer are great if you want to know how to pray. The following verses will encourage your daily walk with Christ and help you experience the power of prayer!

Visit popular prayers by topic at Crosswalk.com including prayers for healing, prayer for strength, prayers for protection, morning prayers and more!

Also available at Crosswalk.com are inspiring Prayer Quotes that will challenge your faith!

  • 14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.
  • 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.
  • 16 If you see any brother or sister commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray and God will give them life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that you should pray about that.
  • 1 Chronicles 16:11

    11 Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.
  • 2 Chronicles 6:21

    21 Hear the supplications of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray toward this place. Hear from heaven, your dwelling place; and when you hear, forgive.
  • 2 Chronicles 7:14

    14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
  • 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,
  • 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
  • 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
  • 27 You will pray to him, and he will hear you, and you will fulfill your vows.
  • 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.
  • 13 Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.
  • 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
  • 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
  • 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.
  • 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
  • 8 The LORD detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but the prayer of the upright pleases him.
  • 6 I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.
  • 17 He will respond to the prayer of the destitute; he will not despise their plea.
  • 2 May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.
  • 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
  • 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
  • 1 Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer.
  • 18 The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
  • 2 He said to them, “When you pray, say: “ ‘Father,hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. 3 Give us each day our daily bread. 4 Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.And lead us not into temptation.’ ”
  • 29 The LORD is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous.
  • 9 “This, then, is how you should pray: “ ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation,but deliver us from the evil one.’
  • 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
  • 12 One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.
  • 1 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.
  • 26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.
  • 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
  • 2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:17

    17 pray continually,
  • 8 Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.
  • 14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.
  • 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.
  • 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
  • 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
  • 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
  • 1 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.

Men Have a Six-word Limit

NIGHT LIKE FOR COUPLES

by Erma Bombeck

I have publicly stated that men speak approximately six words a day in their homes. A few readers have challenged me and want to know what the six words are.

I should have qualified my statement. The six words are not necessarily spoken in sequence, nor are they necessarily spoken to wives.

A friend of mine, for example, has a husband who saves his six words until the Carson show has signed off and she is fast asleep. Then he snaps on all the lights in the bedroom, punches his pillow, shakes her out of a sound slumber and says, “Did you turn off the hose?”(6)

Some men will blow their quota at one time.

They’ll garage the car, make tracks to the kitchen, take the lid off the fry pan and announce loudly, “I had it for lunch.”(5) Then, realizing he has used only five words, he will add, “Yuck!”

Others will spend a half dozen words in obscenities directed toward Bobby’s bicycle in the driveway.

My week gets off to a slow start but builds to a feverish climax. Monday, Me: “Say something.” Him: “What ya want me to say?”(6) Tuesday, Me: “What kind of day did you have?”

Him: “Don’t aggravate me. You wouldn’t believe.”(6) Wednesday, Me: “Try me.” Him: “Where’s the rest of the paper?”(6) Thursday, Me: “We had a crisis here today.”

Him: “The dog isn’t lost, is he?”(6)

Friday, Me: “Guess what? Know who called today? And is coming to dinner? And is bringing her new husband with her? And can’t wait to talk your arm off? Are you ready?”

Him: “No. No. No. No. No. No.”(6)

Saturday, Me: “I’ll be out for a while. I’ve got some errands to do at the shopping center.”

Him: “Admit it. My chattering gets on your nerves.”(8)

Sunday, Me: “Do you know you spoke eight words to me yesterday? I wouldn’t be surprised if you were starting a new trend.”

Him: “Don’t count on it.”(4)

Part of man’s silence is woman’s doing. We created the strong, silent, masculine image. The silence represented deep thought, a repression of emotions. A quiet man was an island of mystery, a challenge to probe and discover as years went on. I always thought a quiet man was subtle and romantic.

But that was before I started arguing with the tropical fish over which channel we were going to watch.

LOOKING AHEAD

The art of communication doesn’t come naturally to all of us. Some folks just don’t like to talk much. Others talk incessantly without ever really saying anything. But when it comes to marriage, communication is one of the keys to success. Those who master this skill are likely to enjoy a meaningful, fulfilling, productive relationship. Those who continually fail to understand each other, however, often feel isolated and alone. It is a major contributor to divorce.

We’ll offer some tips this week that can improve your communication skills. I hope that by next Sunday your daily word count will be at least in the double digits—and even more, that your partner will understand what you say.

– James C Dobson

  • From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • “Men Have a Six‐Word Limit” by Erma Bombeck, from Forever, Erma © 1996 by the Estate of Erma Bombeck. Reprinted with permission of Andrews and McMeel Publishing. All rights reserved.

 

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