Wanted: Godly Fathers

Wanted: Godly Fathers

Today is Father’s Day, and I will mainly address the men this morning. However, so the women will benefit from this message, too, I will attempt to translate some things men say so you can understand our leadership in the home.

When a man says, “IT WOULD TAKE TOO LONG TO EXPLAIN”, he means, "I have no idea how it works."

When a man says, "TAKE A BREAK, HONEY. YOU ARE WORKING TOO HARD’’, he means, "I can’t hear the game over the vacuum cleaner."

When a man says, “THAT’S INTERESTING DEAR”, he means, "Are you still talking?"

When a man says, "IT’S A GUY THING, YOU WOULDN’T UNDERSTAND", he means, "I have no rational thought pattern connected with this, and you have no chance of making it logical either."

When a man says, "CAN I HELP WITH DINNER", he means, "Why isn’t it ready yet?"

When a man says, "UH HUH, SURE HONEY,” or “YES, DEAR", he means absolutely nothing; it’s a conditioned response.

When a man says, “OH, DON’T FUSS, I JUST CUT MYSELF. IT’S NO BIG DEAL", he means, "I have probably severed an artery, but I will bleed to death before I admit I’m hurt, so get over here and help me!"

When a man says, “I CAN’T FIND IT’’, he means, "It didn’t fall into my outstretched hand, so I’m completely clueless."

When a man says, "YOU LOOK TERRIFIC!" He means, "Oh please, don’t try on one more outfit, we’re late and I’m starving."

When a man says, “I DON’T REMEMBER SAYING THAT”, it’s because he means, “Anything I may have said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument. In fact, all past comments (and these translations) become null and void after 7 days.”

In spite of their ambiguity, fathers hold a very special place in society—a much higher place than they are given credit for today. American society and feminism seem to consider fathers as nothing more than sperm donors and dead beats. Some men have gladly adopted this role and take no responsibility for the children they procreate and are unwilling to make a life-long commitment to a family.

In fact 39.6 % of the children in America are going to bed every night without their biological father in the home. As a result, these kids are growing up in unbalanced and dysfunctional households. There is very strong evidence that the reason American morality and spiritual integrity is at an all-time low is because of the declining value placed on the role of the father in today’s society.

Fortunately, some men (grandfathers, step-fathers, and uncles) are stepping up and filling the role of fathering children. They should be honored as well today.

Fathers need to be reinstated to the level of importance that God intended for them! When dad is undervalued, so is a right relationship with Abba, our Father in Heaven. In His place, we see a false goddess, “Mother Earth”, being worshipped. They are worshipping the creation instead of the Creator.

In Colossians chapter 3, we find God’s hierarchical model of authority in the family.

Colossians 3:18-21 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.

So, in terms of authority, the father is accountable (whether he wants to be or not) as the head of his household. However, He is to love his wife and children and manage his household in a respectable manner. The father is charged with the responsibility of looking after the best interests of his family: financially, spiritually, and socially.

When a man becomes a father, he isn’t given some sort of rulebook on how to conduct himself. He usually relies on the way his father conducted himself. If he had no father in the home or his father failed to be a good parent, then the new father is at a great disadvantage. He may know what he doesn’t want to be, but He doesn’t know how to be a good father.

However, there is hope if he if has an intimate relationship with his Heavenly Father. From the Word of God and from his relationship with His Heavenly Father, he is instructed and guided by the Holy Spirit on how to love and lead his family.

Therefore, without a good relationship with a father or the Heavenly Father, a young man is not a candidate for becoming a good husband and father to his own children. He may be cute and charming, girls, but you better stay away from him! Otherwise, you could have a life of sorrow and regret. That is why God says not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. God is looking out for your best interest and blessing. What you want is someone who can be a godly father.

I can remember the sense of strength and protection my father projected. He was always looking after his family. And while he never had the same tenderness that mom had, he showed his love as powerfully to us kids. Instead of a tender hug it was a strong bear hug, or a tickling session, but it always felt good to be loved by dad.

People often have the perception that dads don’t love their kids as much as mothers, because they aren’t as emotional or endearing, but fathers have the capacity to love just as much. It’s just expressed in different ways.

One night a wife found her husband standing over their newborn baby’s crib. Silently she watched him. As he stood looking down at the sleeping infant, she saw on his face a mixture of emotions: disbelief, doubt, delight, amazement, enchantment, skepticism. He would stand back, shake his head and say, "Amazing," while smiling from ear to ear. Touched by his unusual display and the deep emotions it aroused, her eyes glistened as she slipped her arms around him. "A penny for your thoughts," she whispered in his ear. "Isn’t it amazing!" he replied. "When you take the time and really look close, how can anyone make a crib like this for only $46!"

Dads express their love when they guard their family and provide good things to their wife and kids. I felt loved when dad would take me to the field or the sale barn with him. He would tell stories and I would help where I could. I learned how to work hard, and I learned that work could be fun when shared with another.

When my own children were at home, I would take them with me to the woods to gather firewood. They would clear the cut branches and pick up any firewood they could handle. I didn’t need their help, but I wanted their company. They learned how to work hard, and that work could be fun when shared with another.

Since almost 40% of kids grow up without dad at home, fortunately there is another example for the developing dad, and that’s the Holy Spirit and God’s Word. God is love. When God, the Holy Spirit, is in us, we have His leadership and His grace to love our family as God commands us to love them.

This is love: 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

The legacy of God’s love is the greatest gift a father can give, and to be like God in the way we manage our home is the greatest expression of love a dad can give to his family.

One of the ways God the Father shows His love to us is by providing everything we need. In the same way, dads have the awesome responsibility of providing for their family. The brunt of the responsibility to provide for the welfare of a family unit rests on the shoulders of the father, but at the same time, he should demonstrate how to trust and thank God for all things.

1 Timothy 5:8 But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

But, here’s a word of caution: Because men are hard wired with the desire to provide for their family and make a good home for their children, you must be careful to maintain a balance between the giving of our time and giving things.

God’s example is that He always provides for His children, but He never replaces the value of spending quality time with His children by giving them things to keep them busy. So, while the provision is there in abundance, our Father God always places the greater emphasis on the time we spend with Him. In the same way, a father’s duty to provide for his family shouldn’t overshadow the importance of spending quality time with them either.

Our Heavenly Father also expresses His love through discipline. A dad should follow His example and show loving discipline to his children. Discipline is difficult, and it is often times received by our children as a bad thing, but it is a primary fruit of fatherly love. Dad has to discipline if he loves his children. Discipline is the act of a father training his kids to live the right way, for the development and growth of their character. A dad has to discipline because he wants the best for his children. Children raised in the discipline of a strong and loving father have greater discipline as adults, and disciplined adults make greater contributors to society.

Proverbs 3:11-12, “My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.”

Dad also expresses his love through protection. A dad places himself in the way of trouble to protect his family. Jesus applied the example of the greatest love possible when He laid down His life to save us. In the same way, a father is charged with the duty of laying down his life, his desires, and his personal interests for the sake of his family.

John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

Dads are the first line of defense for their family, and are often the first area where Satan attacks, because the enemy knows if you can take the leader out, the rest of his family are soon to follow.

The greatest legacy a dad leaves behind is the knowledge of salvation through Jesus Christ. It’s true, when a parent dies, their children expect to receive an inheritance. Sometimes that inheritance involves riches and sometimes it doesn’t. But there is no greater inheritance than the legacy a father leaves concerning eternal salvation.

Ephesians 6:4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Things that can provoke a child to anger are broken promises, hypocrisy, being mean to their mother, showing anger, abusing them, not being able to please you, and showing favoritism.

Notice this Scripture addresses fathers, not mothers. Dad, this is your responsibility. Your children, especially your sons, will follow your example and teaching. A dad who loves his family will do his best to lead them in the way of the Lord.

1 Thessalonians 2:11-13 For you know how, like a father with his children, we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory. And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.

Dads are extremely important people in our lives. They are charged with the duties of protecting, providing, and interceding for their family’s sakes. They have the power to shape their family and society by the way they live every day. They are the first line of defense for their family and are commissioned by God to deliver the Good News of the Gospel to their family and society, not just with words, but in the way they live every day—not just by the way they worship and pray on Sundays, but by the way they worship and praise God every day of their lives.