Summary: A challenge to dads to be the spiritual leader in their homes.

As For Me And My House…

Father’s Day Message

June 20, 2004

Riverwood Church

Introduction: On February 19, 1979, a small plane crashed into Ontario Peak in the San Gabriel Mountains, and a ten-hour story of death, courage, and survival began. The passengers of that Cessna 172 included the pilot, a young woman, an attorney, and his eleven-year-old son. The pilot and the attorney were killed in the crash. The boy said he knew his father was dead when he tried to rouse him and “he wouldn’t wake up.” The boy and the young woman huddled in the snow near the plane for seven hours, hoping to be rescued. Finally they decided they must attempt the treacherous descent of the mountain or freeze to death. Shortly after they began, the woman fell 350 feet to her death. The boy, all 75 pounds of him, was lost and all alone on a mountain in the freezing cold. Bloody and bruised, broken bones in both hands, his father lying dead a few feet away—what was he to do? He never gave up. He slid most of the way down the mountain on the seat of his pants, clutching a stick in his fractured hands. Whenever he began to slide too fast, he wedged the stick in the snow as a brake. About 5 p.m. he was found near a village at the foot of the mountain and rushed to a hospital. Wet, bloody, and exhausted, he was still very much alive. Before his release from the hospital there was a news conference. The boy encountered a barrage of questions about his ordeal. How did he find the courage to go on? Didn’t he feel like quitting? He answered simply, “I’m alive today because my dad taught me never to give up.”

Copied from Discipleship Journal. Copyright © 2000 by The Navigators. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved.

**Dad, if you were to die today what legacy would you leave your children?

What is a legacy? A legacy is ___________________________________________.

There is no doubt about it that there are some lessons you want to be able to teach your kids. Maybe it is to ride a bike. Maybe it is to hunt or fish, whatever it may be. You probably want your children to be kind and respectful. You are probably even excited that they will carry on your family name.

Make no mistake about it. The role of dads is crucial in the life of a child. There are positive emotional things that come to a child when dad is in the picture as there are positive physical aspects that come from the presence of dad. Mom & dad I don’t think we realize what kind of impact we have on our kids lives—even in the smallest of circumstances.

ILLUSTRATION: In his book The Effective Father Gordon MacDonald tells a story about James Boswell, the great biographer of Samuel Johnson. Boswell often referred to a day in his childhood when his father had taken him fishing. To Boswell it was a special day, and years later he reflected on lessons he’d learned on that happy occasion. After his father’s death, someone checked the diary his father had kept to see how he remembered the day. The only entry was: “Gone fishing today with my son; a day wasted.”

Gordon MacDonald, The Effective Father (Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale House, 1977), p. 79.

So it is quite obvious we have tremendous influence in the life of our children. I believe that above teaching them to ride a bike or fish, the best legacy we can leave for our children is the legacy of faith. There are numerous examples of this being illustrated in the Bible. One of those instances is found in 1 Kings 2:1-4. As we see in this passage King David is at the end of his life. He is on his death bed and he knows it. So he brings in Solomon, his successor and gives him his final words.

King David challenges his son Solomon to be strong and to show himself a man. He is having a heart to heart, man to man conversation. Here is how to be a man according to David: Be faithful to God. The key to God’s hand of blessing on King Solomon was to be faithful. The key to God’s hand of blessing on your child’s life is if they learn to be faithful to God. To follow his will, to obey His word.

ILLUSTRATION: What is really sobering about parenthood and I don’t know if you parents have realized this yet or not but you only get one chance with your kids. You don’t get a second or third time to raise them. This is it. So doesn’t it make since that we learn to get it right as soon as we can?

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