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A Daddy’s Heart

One of my all-time favorite movies is Taken. It’s a great action movie starring Liam Neeson, who plays a retired CIA black-ops agent whose daughter is kidnapped while vacationing in Paris. The best part of the movie is when the dad tries to convince the kidnappers to let his daughter go:

I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.

And after a long pause, the kidnapper utters only two words in response: “Good luck.”

I loved that movie. Something deep in my heart was triggered. As a father of three amazing daughters, the movie stirred that part of me that would go to the very gates of hell to rescue one of my girls. Although I’ve never acquired a particular set of fighting skills like Liam Neeson’s character, I do have a daddy’s heart. And never mess with a father’s girl.

One of the things that breaks my heart as a father is the reality that I can’t always protect my girls. We live in a fallen world. We have an adversary who wants to “steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10). He desperately tries to “take” something from my girls every day. We live in a world that is full of pain and heartache. Like the young boy said in the movie August Rush, “Sometimes the world tries to knock it out of you.” What is Satan trying to take and the world trying to knock out of you? One thing for sure is your worth and value.

Most of us have been told our entire life to memorize Bible verses. “Read your Bible and memorize the verses!” I don’t know about you, but growing up in a Christian home, I learned at a young age that memorizing Scripture was just part of “going through the motions” as a Christian. It took me a long time to finally understand the importance of memorizing verses and the incredible power of writing God’s Word on my heart. I finally realized there is a huge difference between memorizing Bible verses and writing God’s very words on my heart. I now get why King Solomon wrote, “My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh” (Proverbs 4:20-22, ESV).

Satan is the author of lies. He wants my daughters to believe that they are worthless. He uses their daily experiences to convince them that they have no value, that they are unloved, defective, unlovable, rejected or abandoned. The good news is that my girls don’t need a black-ops, karate expert like Liam Neeson’s movie character. Actually they don’t need me either. What they really need is their heavenly Father’s healing words deep in their hearts.

The way we fight Satan’s lies and the world’s negative messages is to find Bible verses that speak directly against the lie or painful message. Satan will level a specific attack against us, with explicit lies and messages. We must use “exact” truth as our counterattack.

I so wish my daughters could always remember what God has said that is true about their worth and value:

  • For you were made in My image (Genesis 1:27).
  • I chose you when I planned creation (Ephesians 1:11-12).
  • You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14).
  • 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 (Ephesians 1:18).
  • For you are My treasured possession (Exodus 19:5).

I think the last two verses are some of the most powerful ones in the Bible. It’s amazing to me that Christ (you know, the Son of God!) believes that my daughters are the riches of His “glorious inheritance.” Wow! But nothing compares to the God of this universe saying that my girls are His “treasured possession.” Unbelievable!

Don’t allow Satan to use his lies to “take” what’s true about you. Write God’s truth on the tablet of your heart. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set your heart free.

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About the Author

Greg Smalley
Greg Smalley

Dr. Greg Smalley serves as the vice president of Marriage at Focus on the Family. Greg earned his doctorate in clinical psychology at Biola University and a counseling degree from Denver Seminary. He is the author of 20 books, including Reconnected and 9 Lies. Greg’s dream is to someday own a Ford F150 Raptor!

After overcoming struggles early in his own marriage, Greg knew he wanted to be hands-on in helping other couples. Together with his wife, Erin, they counsel couples and have led marriage seminars around the world.

Married since 1992, Greg and Erin currently live in Colorado and enjoy hiking and exploring together. They have four children – Taylor, Murphy, Garrison and Annie.

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