Summary: In these few verses we see a portrait of fatherhood that is worth examining. So let’s consider 5 wonderful traits a father needs today. (PowerPoint available - #106)
MELVIN NEWLAND, MINISTER
RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
(Powerpoint slides for this sermon are available at no charge. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your request - #106.)
TEXT: 1 Thessalonians 2:7-12
A. Do you remember when men were men & you could tell it by looking, when women were the ones who wore earrings & makeup? Do you remember when men knew who they were & had confidence in themselves & in their God? They knew where God was leading them, & trusted Him to get them there.
Maybe the problem today is that our modern society has tried to convince women that they can be as masculine as men, & men that they can be as feminine as women.
B. Father’s Day presents us with an opportunity to examine ourselves as men - not through a distorted world view - but as a man who knows he is a man & is proud of that. Yet at the same time, to have a tender heart that is sensitive to others & to the will of God. I’m talking about fatherhood the way it ought to be.
C. Where do you find guidance for that? Well, the Bible is always the best source. So I’ve selected a passage from 1 Thess. 2 that few would consider to be a Father’s Day text. But I think it is a good one.
In 1 Thessalonians 2:7-12, Paul says, “…we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children.
“We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.
“Surely you remember, brothers, our toil & hardship; we worked night & day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you.
“You are witnesses, & so is God, of how holy, righteous & blameless we were among you who believed.
“For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting & urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into His kingdom & glory.”
PROP. Let me suggest that in these few verses we see a model of fatherhood that is worth examining. And as you look at them, realize that these are traits greatly needed today.
I. ABLE TO EXPRESS GENUINE LOVE
A. The first trait would be the ability to express genuine love. Notice what Paul says in vs. 8, “We loved you so much.”
In the Greek language, those words expressed an intensity of love that gives over & over again. Paul is saying, “It’s hard even to find words to express how much - but we really do love you.”
I think that is an important character trait for fathers & grand-fathers because expressing love does not come naturally for most men. I’m convinced that is why the Bible tells husbands to “love” their wives, because we have to learn how to love.
The Bible almost never tells wives to “love” their husbands because that usually comes naturally for them. Instead, wives are told to “respect” their husbands, because sometimes that is hard to do.
Men, most of us have to learn how to express love. That is true about the father & child relationship, too. It doesn’t usually come easy for us.
ILL. Do you remember when you brought your first child home? Your wife seemed to know what to do. She knew the head was heavy & that the muscles had not developed in the neck to support it. So she supported it.
She also knew that the soft spot on top of the head was a place of vulnerability & you had to be really careful about it.
She knew when the baby was hungry, & when its diaper needed to be changed. And she changed it with skill. She knew when it was bath time & play time & sleep time. She knew all those things.
But we men had a lot to learn. When we first held the baby, at least for many of us, it was an awkward experience. I didn’t know when the baby was hungry, & when the diaper needed to be changed. And I was not very skilled at changing diapers, either. All those things had to be learned.
But soon we get to the place where even if we’re not so good at them, we kind of enjoy them. We enjoy holding our children. We enjoy playing with them, watching them laugh, & comforting them when they are in distress.
B. Then what happens? They grow up, & just about the time we get good at it, it all changes.