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Summary: Fathers have a huge responsibility, fortunately we have the perfect role model.

“Dear Old Dad”

(John 3:16)

June 21, 2009

Did you know that fewer long distance phonecalls are made on Fathers Day than Mothers day, not a big surprise. But did you know that long distance companies actually make more money on Fathers day because so many more of the calls are collect. Kids want to wish Dad a happy Fathers day, but as usual, they expect Dad to pay.

What has happened to Fathers in our culture? If you watch TV at all you’ll quickly see that Fathers are often portrayed as ignorant goofballs like Homer Simpson. There was a time when the role of a father was looked upon with respect, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that as fathers have lost a lot of their credibility in our culture over the past few decades, that our heavenly Father has as well.

Now the following isn’t meant to ridicule men, but it is a pretty accurate reflection of most of us.

“The Definition of a BBQ”

It’s the only type of cooking a "real man" will do. When a man volunteers to do the ’BBQ’ the following chain of events is put into motion: 1) The woman goes to the store. 2) The woman fixes the salad, vegetables, and dessert. 3) The woman prepares the meat for cooking, places it on a tray along with the necessary cooking utensils, and takes it to the man, who is lounging beside the grill. 4) The man places the meat on the grill. 5) The woman goes inside to set the table and check the vegetables. 6) The woman comes out to tell the man that the meat is burning. 7) The man takes the meat off the grill and hands it to the woman. 8) The woman prepares the plates and brings them to the table. 9) After eating, the woman clears the table and does the dishes. 10) Everyone praises the man and thanks him for his cooking efforts. 11) The man asks the woman how she enjoyed "her night off." And, upon seeing her annoyed reaction, concludes that there’s just no pleasing some women.

I read this profile of a father: “a father gives his daughter away at a cost of thousands of dollars to a boy not good enough for her, so that he can have grandchildren smarter than anyone else’s. His kids have the youth movement; his wife has the women’s liberation movement; his employees have the labor union movement; and his government has the Tax Reform movement. The only movement poor dad has is the receding hairline and the expanding of his waistline, and the need to provide more and more to make ends meet.”

All right, maybe Dad’s don’t have it so bad, but I do think our culture has been hard on fathers and that is certainly not what our heavenly father would approve of. Men generally have been labeled as the cause of most of our society’s, and family’s problems, and if we try to defend ourselves, we are being disrespectful and aggressive. If we get angry we are abusive, if a woman gets angry it’s PMS.

I think many fathers have given up because they feel that they can’t win no matter what they do, so they throw themselves into the only area they feel competent – work. They would rather get yelled at for a while for never being home than feel incompetent for half of their life. What used to be the duty of fathers as head of the household has become unacceptable and seen as controlling, and now they flounder wondering how they’re supposed to be.

Thankfully there is still one source of instruction and encouragement for dads and that is God’s word.

First of all let me show you some of what God says about how we are to treat fathers. Remember these are not commands only for when the father deserves it. God never says do this if the guy behaves and thinks like you want him to. He just says do it.

Honor your father and mother - Ex 20:12

Anyone who curses his father or mother is to be put to death - Ex 21:17

Do not dishonor your father - Lev 18:7

Listen to your father who gave you life - Pr 23:22

And in the New Testament we are told to honor our fathers and mothers 5 times.

Now I have heard the arguments coming from the feminist movement that the Bible is a chauvinistic book that caused the society to become patriarchal and to suppress women. I am sure some men have used it this way, but I don’t believe any of these commands say anything bad about women or mothers, in fact mothers are included in some of them.

There’s also plenty about a husband and father’s responsibility:

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