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Summary: For Mother's day I listed some traits that defined Mom. Now it's Dad's turn. On Mother's Day I said although these traits define Mom, Dad can have them too. Likewise, the ones I'll be highlighting for Dad can be seen in Moms too, they're just more characteristic of Dads.

DEFINING DAD

For the Mother's day sermon I listed some characteristics that defined Mom. Now it's Dad's turn. I mentioned in my Mother's Day sermon that although these characteristics define Mom, that doesn't mean that Dad doesn't have those characteristics too, they're just more prominent in Mom. Likewise, the characteristics I'll be highlighting for Dad can probably be seen in some Moms too, but typically, these things are characteristic of most good Dads.

1) Provider.

A good Dad is a good provider. He may not bring home a six-figure salary, but he does his best to provide for his family. And he accepts this responsibility with pride; he wants to do this for the ones he loves. He doesn't want his kids to worry about the roof over their head or the clothes on their back. He doesn't want his kids to wonder where their next meal is coming from.

He will do whatever it takes to make sure his children don't have to worry about such things. If a Dad grew up in an environment where he didn't have very much, he will want his kids to have a better life than he did. But sometimes, circumstances put a family in a precarious financial situation where things are tight but the Dad who is determined to fulfill his duty as a provider will find a way.

During the Great Depression of the 30s, train hopping became a common occurrence. In an article by Lindsey Konkel, she writes, "It's estimated that more than two million men and women became traveling hobos. Many of these were teens who felt they had become a burden on their families and left home in search of work. Riding the rails—illegally hopping on freight trains—became a common, yet dangerous way to travel."

The article also stated that the stress of financial strain took a psychological toll; especially on men who were suddenly unable to provide for their families. It wasn't easy, but families found creative ways to make their dollar stretch further and used ingenuity and creativity to make things to save money.

In an article about the survival skills of the Great Depression, Ken Jorgustin wrote, "Perhaps the most learned skill during the Great Depression was frugality. Use and Reuse. People had no choice but to make do with very little. But they managed to survive. The things we throw away today or the things we take for granted would be treasured and used to its fullest back then.

Every scrap of food was consumed. Every part was used to its fullest potential. No waste. When clothes became too worn out, they were mended, patched up or sewn. (How many people can actually sew today?) When clothes became too worn to wear, the materials were used as rags, mops, whatever."

There were some inventions that came about during this era. After J.F. Cantrell noticed that only wealthy people and those that had electricity could use powered washing machines, he opened the first Laundromat in 1934. He charged people by the hour to use his machines. The game Monopoly was invented in 1935 after Charles Darrow decided to give people something to entertain them with all the sadness the Great Depression caused.

They say necessity is the mother of invention and the Great Depression provided plenty of necessities and reasons for people to become creative in their frugality. Some of these necessities may have gone by the wayside but what if we hit another '30s type depression again? I don't know we'd do but hopefully the Dads of today would still be willing to go to great lengths to provide for their families.

In fact, the bible has something to say about Christians who don't do this. 1st Tim. 5:8, "If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." These are strong words. Apparently God cares quite a bit about the Father providing for his family.

Paul writes that the Dads who don't provide have disregarded their Christian duty, along with their moral duty; that's why he's worse than an unbeliever. Even an unbelieving Father knows he needs to provide for his family. So if a Christian father feels no obligation to be a provider he is dishonoring God and his family.

Tit. 3:14, "Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order that they may provide for daily necessities and not live unproductive lives." We Christian Fathers need to do our best to secure honest employment and work hard to provide the daily needs of our family.

Yes, we know that God is the provider of everything we have but he's not going to just drop it in our laps. That would actually not be helpful if he did that. It would make us comfortable and lazy. In biblical days there was no room for laziness. During the Depression there was no room for laziness.

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