Thesis: Good fathers are neither wimps or macho men.
1. Today is the day recognized in our society as "FATHER'S DAY."
a. We want to honor FATHERS today.
b. Biblical basis ..................... Eph. 6:1-4.
c. Typical Father's Day sermon:
1) Directed toward Fathers and designed to produce guilt.
2) NOT; toward rest of us--help fathers be fathers.
2. There's a difference between Father's Day and Mother's Day.
a. MD: Sentimental; corsages (rest. & florists ad. push).
b. FD: Less sentimental; no flowers; "What tie this year?"
1) Clothing stores adv.; not sentiment but humor.
2) One this week has ugly tie contest.
3. Today we want to do two (2) things:
a. Call into question forces in culture that are attacking the notion of Fatherhood.
b. Look at the Biblical ideal of a father.
I. FORCES IN OUR CULTURE ATTACKING FATHERHOOD.
A. Traditional View of Parenthood.
1. Prevailing mood that kids belong more to Mom than Dad.
a. Mom: "nurturant"; Dad: dollars & discipline.
b. No proof Mom are better equipped to be nurturants.
2. This attitude reflected in divorce court proceedings; in 9 of 10 custody battles, custody awarded to women.
B. Feminist Viewpoint/Agenda: Fathers not all that important.
1. Move toward women having children w/o male involvement.
a. Rise of sperm banks.
b. Single parent adoption on increase.
2. Takes 2 to make a baby; Kids need a Mom and Dad!
a. To see God's wisdom, consider single parent homes.
b. Illust. Adolescent girls offer one example: Research proves that girls growing up in a home w/o a father are more likely to be promiscuous. Begin sexual activity at an earlier age and with more partners. More likely to marry young and more likely to divorce (Psych. Today, Apr. `87, p. 38).
C. Media Presentation of Fathers.
1. Notice how fathers are commonly portrayed on TV.
a. Bob Uchre (Mr. Belv.); Bill Cosby (laff a min.)
b. Ward Cleaver, John Walton are ridiculed.
2. "My Two Dads" have replaced "Father Knows Best."
D. World of Employment.
1. Some employers looking for men who can give it all.
a. Man with children a liability.
b. Less willing to work overtime; to move.
2. Concept of "Mommy Track"; need "Daddy Track" too!
E. Spirit of Individualism.
1. Everybody wants to be self-actualized.
a. Got a dream? GFI! You owe it to yourself.
b. Defined in non-family: athletics, entertainment.
2. Illust. Neil Diamond in "The Jazz Singer." Has a dream to be a singer. Leaves wife & children on one coast; sleeps with another woman; movie ends with him singing his song before a huge crowd!
F. Lop-sided View of what it means to be a Man.
1. Men are not allowed to be emotional/sensitive.
a. Rambo/Clint Eastwood are in; Mr. Rogers is out!
b. To be sensitive identifies one as a wimp.
2. Lop-sided view of fatherhood; not good for children.
3. Illust. Lee Salk in My Father, My Son describes his relationship with his father: On a blustery winter afternoon in 1944, my father waited with me in Penn Station for the train that would take me to the Army center where I would begin my WW 2 military service. He looked at me with tears clouding his eyes, hugged me tightly, kissed me on the cheek, and told me good-bye in a choked voice. Then, wanting to give me something that was his, he took off his watch and handed it to me. As I walked toward the train I looked at my father who was waving gently and sadly to his 17 yr. old son, and suddenly I noticed that several people were watching us with amusement. I sensed that such an intimate farewell was perhaps unconventional between a father and son. My feeling was emphasized by a family scene occurring to my right. Another father, bravely smiling, gave his son a firm pat on the back and said, `I'm proud of you.' I wondered as I observed this formality between father and son, that seemed so odd to me, about how they really felt about each other. How different it has always been with my father.
II. THE BIBLICAL IDEAL OF A FATHER--GOD THE FATHER (Luke 15:11-32).
A. Fathers are Wise (12).
B. Fathers are Compassionate (20).
1. Compassion a word normally associated with mothers.
2. NOT: "You knucklehead, I knew you'd mess up!"
C. Fathers are Expressive of their Emotions (20, 22-23).
D. Fathers are Humble (28) [Initiative to make things right.]
E. Fathers are Patient, Understanding, but Firm (31-32).