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Father Learns Valuable Lesson at Son's Baseball Game

Philip Ryken writes in “He Speaks to Me Everywhere”:

During one memorable at-bat the spring of my son's first baseball season, he repeatedly hit the tee instead of the ball. And it was obvious what the problem was. He wasn't keeping his eye on the ball; he was looking right at me instead. He was unable to get a base hit until finally I stepped out of sight.

We joked about that the rest of the season, but what the incident shows is the power of fatherly approval. My son wanted me to take pleasure in his accomplishment even before he accomplished it.

I observed the same desire at work the time he caught a pop fly. Before he threw the ball over to the first base to complete the double-play, he glanced over his shoulder to make sure I'd seen his catch.

In a way, I'm touched that my son wants me to take pleasure in his success. But I'm also awestruck by my responsibility as a father. A father's love means almost everything to a child. It establishes his or her identity. It brings peace, security, and joy.

If a father's affection matters so much, then it had better be the kind of affection that is just as strong after a strikeout as it is after a grand slam.

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