Getting our kids off to school in September can be one of the most stressful times in a parent’s year. Growing up can often be FULL of giant hurdles for a child to overcome. As I write this, much of Florida is being battered by torrential rains from Hurricane Irma, with homes, churches and places of business being inundated by floodwaters.

For those of you whose children (or maybe yourself!) need some encouragement today, let me tell you about a truth to affectionately share with your kids that first opened my eyes and blessed my heart years ago; I hope it will help you and your children too.

As a young father of four small children, I learned this wonderful truth from my friend Hank Harmon. Here it is:

“When a good parent has one child, he loves that child with his whole heart. No doubt that child is his favorite in the whole wide world. Then, if that parent is fortunate enough to become the parent of a second child, his heart doubles! The parent loves that child with all his heart also. The second child is his favorite in the whole wide world, too.”

So, there I found myself one late, reflective night after a long staff-recruiting trip, walking from bedside to bedside, gazing affectionately at each of my four sleeping children whom I love with my whole heart. Each of them was my favorite in the whole wide world.



If you need some encouragement, if your affection for Jesus needs a jump start, or if you’re wondering if maybe He’s forgotten you and your trials, please take a deep breath and listen to a catalytic truth that took me 67 years of longing to fully embrace:


Your Creator, God, has requested to be known by you as “Daddy”—not “Dad,” but “Daddy.” “Abba! Father!” Romans 8:15 testifies.


“To the world you are one in several billion, but to your Daddy in heaven, you’re one of one.”
To the world you are one in several billion, but to your Daddy in heaven, you’re one of one. If I, in my limited, sinful, human heart, can be that to four children, loving each of them as if he or she were the only I had, then as omnipotent God, He can be that for you.


As His son or daughter, you must be His favorite in the whole wide world. Surely, He loves you with all His heart.


That’s what good parents do. We were made in God’s image. Genesis 1:27 proclaims this endless wonder: “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

Luke 11:13 hitchhikes on this catalytic truth when Jesus says to dads: “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”

So, what if you woke up every day and looked into your heavenly Daddy’s eyes and knew His answer when you asked rhetorically, “God, who is Your favorite child in the whole wide world?”

Through the blood of His crucified Son and the sufficient sin atonement paid for by that shed blood, you can hear His reassuring voice respond, “You are. You are My favorite child in the whole wide world. I love you with all My heart!”

“If you had been the only person on earth, Jesus would have died for you.”
Ready to turn the starter on the V8 engine of your heart? Ready to place your emotional neutrons into the nuclear reactor? If you had been the only person on earth, Jesus would have died for you. Scripture is clear: He loves you that much.

Listen to the prophetic words of Isaiah as God speaks of the impending sufferings of His Son on the Cross to save your soul from eternal separation:

“But the Lord was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief; if He would render Himself as a guilt offering.” (Isaiah 53:10)


The only pain worse than the nails in His hands and feet was the thought of spending eternity without you.

So, take heart! God your Daddy, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit love you more than you can imagine. You are not alone. You’re not forgotten. And His grace will be sufficient for anything you face. (see 2 Corinthians 12:9)

Returning this kind of love to your children each day is the blueprint for ascending over the hurdles of growing up! As the summer ends and another school year begins, we here at Kanakuk want to thank you once again for your support and the opportunity to minister to your kids. In our small way, we also love each child who comes through our gates as if he or she were the only one in the world.

Written by Joe White
Joe has been awarded two honorary Doctoral degrees and has written more than 20 books for teenagers and parents alike. Dr. James Dobson says "Joe White knows more about teenagers than anyone in North America." Joe and his wife, Debbie-Jo, reside in Branson, MO where they oversee Kanakuk Ministries.

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