Summary: We need to build better fathers who understand how extraordinary their heavenly Father is and make him extraodinary to their children.
Building Better Fathers
June 15th - Father’s Day
Dads, do you we need to be rebuilt? Remember the TV show “the Six Million Dollar Man?” The hero, Steve Austin, was all mangled up in an accident and some super-scientists built him into a better man using bionic technology for six million dollars (hence the name). He could run faster than speeding cars, leap over security fences and bash through walls. You could always tell when that show had been on because all the kids in the neighborhood were running around in slow motion going, “nanananananah!” pretending to leap over trees.
As a group, the fathers in our country are pretty bad off today. Countless moms, by necessity, have become the physical, emotional and spiritual mentor for their children because the average father spends about 17 minutes with his children on the weekends. Fathers aren’t taking responsibility for raising their children “in the training and instruction of the Lord.” Last month a Barna study found that 85% of parents believe that they have the primary responsibility for teaching their children religious beliefs. However, the same research revealed that a majority of parents do not spend any time during a typical week discussing religious matters or studying religious materials with their children. Now, to a certain extent, the church has done a poor job of helping them out, but where are the dads pounding on pews, demanding assistance with their god-given responsibility? All too often they’re busy with other matters while mom is dragging bedraggled and sleepy children to worship, teaching them to pray and showing them Jesus. And how do we get off the hook by saying that we’re busy supporting our family, earning a living, tinkering in the garage or on the computer? Could it be that the missing generations of young people in our church are partially the result of our neglect?
The reality is that fathers need to be rebuilt, like Steve Austin. We must learn better how to father in a way that gives God glory and raises children to be what he wants them to be.
But how do we Build Better Fathers? Barna writes this: “…parents are not able to guide their children spiritually because the parents are struggling with their own faith development. “When it comes to raising children to be spiritually mature, the old adage, ‘you can’t give what you don’t have,’ is pertinent for millions of families. The rebuilding process comes as fathers renew their relationship with the heavenly Father. That’s why we’re going to look at a little of the Lord’s prayer today.
Your Father is no ordinary dad!
I don’t know how much time you’ve spent contemplating the Lord’s Prayer before, but its beginning is very significant. How does Jesus instruct us to address God? Not “Mighty Master,” not “Great One,” but “Father.” You’d think we should address him more formally, but Jesus tells us to call him “Father.” Besides that, Jesus instructs us to call him “OUR” Father. The God you pray to is YOUR Father, YOUR Papa, YOUR Daddy. There may be a lot of daddies out on the Soccer field, but only one of them is mine. The Almighty God is MY daddy.