Summary: The most important job/project you will ever have is being a good father to your children.
INTRODUCTION: “Top 10 Things You’ll Never Hear a Dad Say”
I loved to play with my dad’s tools when I was a boy. Anyone else like to do that? They were greasy and dirty and well, they were just cool because they were dads. Now my sons love to play with their dad’s tools. Illustr. – Travis wanting screwdrivers, hammer, tape measure, etc. When Grandpa Wendell comes out, Travis loves to get in the back of his pickup and play with Grandpa’s tools. He even has his own tool bench now! This idea of men and tools gave me the idea for this message “Dad’s Toolbox.”
Every father is put on this earth to build something. Psalm 127:1 – “Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain.” Are you building the right things the right way or are you wasting your time?
THE MOST IMPORTANT JOB/PROJECT YOU WILL EVER HAVE IS BEING A GOOD FATHER TO YOUR CHILDREN.
If you want to build something, you’ve got to have the right tools! What are some of the essential tools you need to be a good father?
STEP ONE: FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS! (INSTRUCTION MANUAL)
The paper booklet that I hold in my hands is something most men think is absolutely worthless. That’s right, it’s an INSTRUCTION MANUAL. A waste of paper and ink. For you see, when you have the superior intelligence of a man, you instinctively know how things go together! You don’t have time to be bothered with all that reading and the boring details of how to put that new gas grill together. You say to your wife, “I’ve put together hundreds of these things! Piece of cake!” Four hours later you’re taking it back apart and putting it together again with your wife’s help because you left out something and the thing won’t go together right! Should’ve read the instructions!
Illustr. – Refrigerator door from left to right open.
When you don’t read the instructions, you waste a lot of time and run into a lot of trouble. You get mad, lose your temper, say things you shouldn’t say, break things, throw things, lose things…it’s bad. All because you thought in your pride that you could do just fine on your own. Dad, listen to me. If you want to build a healthy family, you’ve got to read the INSTRUCTION MANUAL (BIBLE). Being a husband and father is a complicated job! It’s way beyond you. You need help. Before you pick up one tool, you need to become as familiar as you can with the God’s INSTRUCTION MANUAL.
There’s important information in here that will tell you how to be a good husband. How to love and discipline your children. How to build a healthy home. How to be a man of God. It’s all in here! But a lot of you guys either aren’t reading it or you doing that other guy thing, you think you’re so smart that you don’t need any help. When you don’t read the instructions, you waste a lot of time and run into a lot of trouble. You get mad, lose your temper, say things you shouldn’t say, break things, throw things, lose things…it’s bad. All because in your pride you thought that you could do just fine on your own.
Bad things are happening to our families because we’re not reading the INSTRUCTION MANUAL. Dads, many of you have all the tools you need to build a great family, you’re just not paying attention to the INSTRUCTIONS.
STEP TWO: STICK WITH THE PLAN – BE CONSISTENT! (HAMMER)
When I think of a HAMMER I think of CONSISTENCY. You can’t drive a nail into a 2”x4” with one blow. You’ve got to strike that nail repeatedly until the force eventually drives the nail home. If you’ve ever been around carpenters/builders when they’re “framing” a house, you will hear the rhythm of the hammer blows as they do their work. A room isn’t built with on blow of a hammer. A sturdy wall isn’t made from a couple of 2”x 4”s just thrown together. No, every sixteen inches you lay another 2”x 4” and hammer it into place. Before long, nail after nail, 2”x 4” by 2”x 4”, you’ve got a sturdy wall, and then another and after a while, you’ve got a room and in a few weeks or months, a whole house.
Dad, God has given you the INSTRUCTION MANUAL to help you build your “dream home.” With God’s “blueprint” you can’t fail! The problem is, we think we can get by with an occasional prayer here and a church service there. We’re not consistent. We try to build haphazardly and then when the family starts falling apart we run to God for a quick “patch job.” We pull out the INSTRUCTION MANUAL for a few days because we’re failing and we try to throw up some hastily made support walls. We go at it furiously for short periods of time out of desperation. Take some time off. Take the kids swimming. Take the wife out to eat. Go to church together. Maybe even say a prayer or two.