Summary: A Father's Day message - geared to challenge men to uphold their calling as men and as leaders in their homes, the Church, and society.
Introduction: One night a wife found her husband standing over their newborn baby’s crib. She kept silent, and hid in the shadows to watch him. As he stood there looking down at their little child, she looked at the mixture of emotions on his face: disbelief, doubt, delight, amazement, enchantment, skepticism. He’d stand back, shake his head and say, "Amazing," and smiled from ear to ear. She was touched to see this side of her husband. Her eyes twinkled as she slipped her arms around him. She whispered into his ear, “A penny for your thoughts.”
"Isn’t it amazing!" he said. "When you take the time and really look close, how can anyone make a crib like that for only $85.99?"
You need us, ladies, don’t you?! Honestly. Who else is going to think of those things? And while almost every glimpse of men in the media may give you the impression that all men are just knuckleheaded, selfish, and helpless, I’m impressed by an inescapable reality this Father’s Day: there’s a huge need for dads, and for men in general, to be what God has called us to be in our homes, in the church, and in our society.
It was just a few weeks ago that we honored mothers and the vital role they have. There’s nothing we could say this morning to diminish that. But we’d be wrong to dismiss the importance of fathers. In fact, if I could accomplish one big goal this morning, it would be to reestablish the fact that dads are needed, and men are needed, to fulfill our God-ordained roles today. In other words, Dads, rather than just berate all of us for not living up to all we’re called to be, I’d like to do some cheerleading this morning and encourage all men in our unique role.
It’s good to be a man, isn’t it, men? “Why?” you women may be asking? Reasons it’s good to be a man:
• You know stuff about tanks.
• One wallet, one pair of shoes, one color, all seasons.
• You can go to the bathroom without a support group.
• If someone forgets to invite you to something he can still be your friend.
• You can drop by to see a friend without bringing a little gift.
• If another guy shows up at the same party in the same outfit, you might become lifelong buddies.
• There is always a game on somewhere.
• You can do your nails with a pocketknife.
• Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat.
• A 5-day trip requires only one suitcase.
• When clicking through the channels, you don’t have to stall at every shot of somebody crying.
• Car mechanics tell you the truth.
• You can admire Clint Eastwood without starving yourself to look like him.
• Gray hair and wrinkles only add character to men.
We’re different from women, men. It doesn’t take a $60mil government study to tell us that. Fact is, the Lord has always been telling us that. It seems to center around authority. That’s the moral right to tell someone what to do. For instance, before He left, Jesus pointed out that He has all authority in heaven and on earth – he has the moral right to tell everyone what they ought to do. That’s not a bad thing – it’s a fact of life.
And God has distributed that authority to different areas of life – specifically in our government, our homes, and in the church. I’m not talking about the guy who works his brains out and who climbs the corporate ladder to become the CEO of some Fortune 500 and is regarded by his company as one of its most valuable people. I’m not talking about the guy who enlists in the army and works his way up to 5 star general, who the army regards as a person of far greater worth than Private Henderson.
Authority, as God describes it, isn’t about people being more important or of greater worth than other people – it’s simply about people being placed in positions to bear the responsibility of leadership in our homes, in the Church, and in our society.
As it turns out, men are the ones placed in those positions, frequently, and the reason we have for accepting them is God’s authority. He has the right to tell us what to do, and He has told us to take on roles where we become His agents of delegated authority.
I’m convinced of this: in general terms, men, God wants us to be leaders.
I. To Lead In Society...
There’s a classic example in the Bible where a man failed to be a man and a woman stepped in. It’s frequently used by the radical feminist voices to prove that women should be regarded with exactly the same expectations as men. I beg to differ. I think this story teaches us just the opposite.