Summary: Father’s Day 2002
Where have all the dads gone? The June 28, 1993 issue of Time magazine had a cover story on fatherhood in which it examined the changes in “family life”. Fathers used to occupy a greater place in the home but the Industrialization Era changed all that. Dad couldn’t be in two places at once. Dad was out in the workplace, so Mom took over the role Dad once held in the home. Moms were in charge of the homes while Dad went out to be the “breadwinner”. Dad was too concerned with making enough money to support the family to get emotionally involved with his kids. Let Mom take care of that. And that has hurt the family.
I’m so glad that Abraham wasn’t a “disappearing Dad”. I’m glad He wasn’t so worried about making a living, because remember, God had told him that he would make him the “father of many nations”. Can’t you see fathers today hearing that? You can just imagine the wheels turning in their heads and “cha-ching”, the dollar signs ringing up. “How can I afford all those kids?” God told Abraham in Gen. 15:5 that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky.
Cody was in 3rd grade this year and at the end of the year, one of their projects was to write a paper on their memories of 3rd grade. This story of Abraham’s descendants being as numerous as the stars brings back a memory of 7th grade for me. It was from Mrs. Fischbacher’s math class and was the first time I ever heard the word “Googol”. A googol is number, a quantity. It’s a 1 followed by 100 zeros. A huge number. So you could say Abraham was being told he was going to have a “googol” of kids. Wow!
I’m glad Abraham wasn’t a disappearing dad. Being told you were going to have a googol of descendants could make you want to disappear. But Abraham didn’t. He was a great dad. He responded in faith to God and set out to follow Him! He was in line with God’s plan. That is a personal responsibility before God. And every father here today has that same responsibility. We are responsible for:
1. Training our children in the way of God.
2. Teaching them about Jesus, the Bible, and the will of God.
3. Teaching them prayer, salvation, and walking with God.
And God will hold us accountable for the way we raise our children!
I used to say, B.C. (before Cody), that we didn’t have children because we were afraid they’d turn out like me. It’s scary that children retain so much of their parent’s personality and characteristics. Cody reacts to situations much the same way that I do and I hope he remembers that when he and his wife are raising their own children. But it can be scary at times.
Bill Cosby, in his book “Fatherhood” says, “Poets tell us that one of the reasons that we want to have children is because we desire immortality. Yes, I must confess that I asked God for a son to carry on my family name. And God did exactly what I asked Him to do. But now there are times when I ask my son not to reveal his identity. I beg him, `Make up a name. Tell them anything, but don’t tell them you belong to me, whatever you do.’"
In Genesis 22, we read that Abraham was asked by God to give up the one thing in his life that he had waited so long and so faithfully for, his son Isaac. Just moments before he offered Isaac up the angel called out for him to stop!! We don’t know for sure what was going through Isaac’s mind, but I can bet that his father’s faithfulness made more than just a casual impact on him!
Dads, you can (and should) have a TREMENDOUS impact on your kids lives, as well.
A parable is told about 3 fathers who each felt the soft hand of his child in his own & realized the responsibility of teaching his child about God.
1. One felt the awesome responsibility that was his, so he taught the child about the power & might of God.
As they walked down the pathway of life & came to the tall trees in the forest, he pointed up to them & said, "God made them & God can cause them to come crashing down anytime He wants to." As they walked in the hot sun he said, "This is God’s sun. He made it & He can cause it to be so hot & so intense that the plants in the field will wither & die."
Again & again he hammered home the power of God & how the child must be obedient to God. Then one day they came face to face with God, & the child hid behind his father, afraid even to look, refusing to put his hand into the hand of God."