Summary: A Father’s Day sermon that uses a bag filled with six snack foods, designed to represent some of the truths the Apostle Paul writes about in this passage.
Give each father a bag with 6 items in it.(See items below)
OK, Dads, now you can open the bag… But please only take out each item as I call it out. Each item in your bag represents a part of the truth that I have read to you from this portion of Ephesians.
I. SALTED PEANUTS. Remember when your children were born? They were so small. They were small and salty… Just like the peanuts in the bag. They were “as small as a PEANUT.” They cried a lot of SALTY tears, but because of the love that you felt for them, you adjusted.
You took responsibility and you and your wife brought them into the world. You spent time holding and comforting and feeding and playing with them. Are you spending enough quality time with them now that they are older? If you do not spend enough time with your children, you may end up crying salty tears because your lack of contact and interest pushed them to find fulfillment in worldly stuff. We could also talk about being the “salt of the earth” in the world and in the home…
II. SNICKERS CANDY BAR.
Children need discipline—But at times they may SNICKER behind your back when they do not get their own way. Dads need to take godly leadership.(“In the Lord.” (v.1)) Do you take time every day to read the Bible, to pray for your children and wife? Do your children see you doing your very best to treat them fairly and kindly?
They also need plenty of fun. They need “SNICKERS” or laughs. “All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.” Plan fun things. Teach them to give and to be thankful for what they have. Are your homes filled with laughter or with angry yelling? Paul writes: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother…That it may go well with you and that you may ENJOY long life on the earth.”(v. 1-3) Note in verse two that this is not an option for children, but a “commandment.” The result of obedience and honor is ENJOYING life.
Simple comfort food. Kids need the basics. Food, protection, security, love, spiritual/Biblical guidance, worship experiences such as family prayers, church services, Sunday School, Christian summer camps, Christian retreat times, Christian music, Christian adult friends, and Christian peers. They need consistent Christian examples: Not “Do as I say, not as I do.” Fathers must model honesty, love, loyalty, faithfulness…
Fathers need to be consistent, fair, alert to the dangers that lurk in the paths of their children. Do you know where your children are? Do you know their friends? Children need guidelines or limits. True love sets basic limits.
IV. BEEF JERKEY.
At times your children will test you. They may think you are a JERK. They start young, very young… At times they will rebel… But be consistent. Hebrews 12:5 “And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: ‘My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, 6 because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.’ 7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? 8 If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! 10 Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
Do not run out of patience… Be sensitive… Each child is different… “Fathers, DO NOT EXASPERATE YOUR CHILDREN; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4)
V. CRACKER JACK.
You can become a “CRACKER JACK” of a Father. Study, read, use common sense. Pray a lot for and with your children. Pray for yourself. As you, “bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” you too, through study, experience, and teaching become a “CRACKER JACK” Bible student and teacher.
Learn to say, “I love you” to your wife and children. Learn to say, “I’m sorry.” Learn to hug, to kiss, to touch your wife and children. Everyone needs to be loved. If children do not find love at home they will look for it in the wrong places. Do to your children what you would like done…