Summary: This sermon encourages fathers to be Present, Instructors, And Expressive for their children. It was preached on Father’s Day.
Four quotes written about fathers:
“My dad is a spiritual leader. He’s been there when I’ve taken a fall. He’s a great father. To me, he’s the father any kid would want. He’s a God given gift to me. He’s my dad.”
“My dad still lives with us but it seems as though he doesn’t. He doesn’t come to any of my games and shows little love to my mom. I think his job is more important than me.”
“I just want to thank my dad. Every time I’ve fallen, he’s caught me. I love him very much. He taught me how to work hard and, most importantly, how to love Jesus. He raised me up to be a godly son. I know that sometimes we fail and sometimes we both don’t do what’s right, but I’ve always known he loves me, no matter what.”
“Dad who? I have seen my dad three times my whole life. He left my mom when she was pregnant with me. He has never been around and I don’t think I even care to see him anymore.”
These different quotes from kids show us that a father can bring great joy or intense pain. Even on this Father’s Day, we possibly identify with one the four statements. Each has our own thoughts, feelings and experiences when we think of our father.
Being a father to me is one of the greatest, yet challenging things in the world – I want to challenge us as fathers to be like God – a father who’s there. Let’s pray.
I want to share with you when I first became a father. Way back in 1994, my wife and I were a young married couple and at this time we were living with my mom. It was at about 4 am in the morning on September 18 when my wife woke me up complaining that her stomach was hurting. She headed to the bathroom and I headed back to sleep. I didn’t think the baby had anything to do with why she was getting up. She jumped in and out of the bed 10 times before she realized that she wasn’t going to get any sleep. I woke up that Sunday morning at 9 am and when I went downstairs, my wife and my mom were sitting on the couch. My mom said “You’d better get this girl to the hospital – she is in pain and I have been up since 5 am. I said, “Oh, I didn’t know it was all like that”. So we went to the hospital and the nurse took one look at Carmen and said, “you are in labor”. For me the word labor still didn’t mean labor, as I didn’t see my wife yelling, screaming and pushing. So the nurse wheeled her up to a room and it was about 11:30 am at this time. Since she was having contractions that were not too close in time I figured I could make it to my team workout practice at 1 p.m. – the Kent State football team was having a workout the day after the game. So I left thinking she was having that baby no time soon. So I went to my football practice at Kent and drove back to the hospital in Mayfield Heights. I pulled into the parking lot at 5 p.m. I made it up to the room at about 5:15 p.m. and the moment I walked into the room, she let out one big push and yell and my little boy came right out and I was just standing there mouth wide open – amazed. How dare she have that baby when I wasn’t there? He came out the instant I walked in. I tell you this because as a new young father I didn’t understand what it meant to be there – but this was a lesson I never forgot because I determined with God’s strength I would always be there for my wife and kids. Let’s look at God to see what it means to be a father who’s there. A father who’s there is a PIE father. A PIE father isn’t one who eats pie all the time. But it means P – you’re present, I – you’re instructional, and E – you’re expressive. We will look at each of these words more closely and see how God gives us the example to be this kink of father.
Present means you’re there. If you’re present today, say here. God the father shows us what it means to be present. From the beginning to the end of the Bible is evidence that God is always there. Since Genesis Chapter 1 when God made man in His image. And in Chapter 2 God is present with Adam in the Garden of Eden. God is present in Chapter 4 when Cain and Abel offered sacrifices. God was present in Genesis 6 when there was so much wickedness on earth and Noah was the only righteous person on earth. God is present with Abraham when he was going to sacrifice his son in Genesis 22. God is present with Joseph even when his brothers sold him into slavery to a foreign people. God is present with Moses and the children of Israel all throughout Exodus. God is definitely present in the life of His son Jesus Christ all throughout the gospels. God is a father who is present with us if we have received Jesus Christ because in John 1:12 it reads “Yet to all who receive him, to those who believe in his name, he gave the right to become children of God”. God is a father who is present. He’s always there. Unfortunately, we have a lot of fathers who, instead of being present, are absent. Half of all children will grow up without the presence of a father. This has done major damage to our families, communities, and churches. Dad you were created to be present. You were meant to be there. Being present means several things. Someone once said, “A father’s first responsibility to his child is to love his wife”. Fathers, if we’re married, we have a responsibility to love our wives. This has a wonderful impact on our children. Ephesians 5:25 says Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loves the church. Don’t try to separate this from fathering. You fathers who aren’t married to your child’s mother, should still show her the utmost respect, as she is the one who usually has to take care of the child all week. If you don’t live with your child, you need to be present with your visitation and present with your child support. Ephesians 5:8 says “if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever”.