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But this year, I need not run from the opportunity to preach my first Fatherís Day sermon, for now, I come prepared having not just one child in the family, but two! Whew! Iím qualified. But thatís where my latest concern comes in. Here Iíve been a father to at least one child for almost two years now. And the truth is, I still have no cotton pickiní idea what the heck Iím doingÖ I feel that I should be the expert father. I should be able to stand up with authority and preach one of those 12 step sermons. You know the kind Iím talking about. Twelve steps to raising perfect children, but, Iím not sure if it really works that way. Because you know... just having children does not a perfect father makeÖ
In fact, I remember feeling the cold sweat running down my face just after Connor was born. I have to admit to being a little scared. I mean, he seemed innocent and all. He looked like a little angel. But as so many of you have been so kind as to inform me, little angels can sometimes grow up to be little devils. Iíve heard itÖ you invest all your time and money in your children only for them to grow up to hate you. You feed them, clothe them, and clean then up when they are messy, only to wonder if when you are old one day if they will feed you, clothe you, and clean you up.
It got me to thinking. I mean, Connor was a good-looking promising boy, but then thatís what Ted Bundyís mom thought too. And Connor seemed like a nice name. A boy named Connor would have to turn out right, but Iím sure the name Charles Manson sounded innocent once too. You know the bottom line: you can give and give and give, but you never really know how your kids are going to turn out. They may just turn out to be a bad apple. And then, bad apples spoil the whole bunch.
And if they do turn out bad, you know youíve failed as a parent. After all, a bad child is a result of bad parenting, is it not! How many times have you been in a restaurant when some child was screaming and hollering all through the meal, and what did you say? Same thing I do. Ooooh, those parents! Just give me that child for one week, and Iíll straighten him out!!!
With all this pressure out there to produce perfect children, wouldnít it be nice to find in the Scriptures a guarantee that if you follow certain principles, your kids will turn out right. But the Scriptures donít make that promise. There are no guarantees for success. In fact, what we find in the Bible is that even God has problems rearing good kids.
Just look at Godís first children, Adam and Eve. Not long into life, Adam and Eve disobey their Fatherís command to eat only of the tree of life and thus stay away from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Donít
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