Summary: Jesus calls men to a spiritual leadership in the home and through this parable we learn how to develop a God like attitude, affection and acceptance of ourselves and our role as fathers to our children.

Fathers Day 2008 Provider Protector Priest

Luke 15:11-32

1 Peter 2:9-11

There are many scriptures that demonstrate the characteristics of a good Father. Deciding which ones to speak on is not easy. Life has taught me much so far and this through my walk with Jesus Christ.

Today is Fathers day and while nearly every man can be a father not all live up to the title as described in today’s text.

I have thought long and hard about just what a good father is and I realize I have missed the mark by a long shot. Never the less I have on occasion gotten a few things right. For men life is about being a Provider, being a Protector and for the Christian man it is also about being a Priest in your home.

Jesus calls men to a spiritual leadership in the home and through this parable we learn how to develop a God like attitude, affection and acceptance of ourselves and our role as fathers to our children.

Youth is full of learning and learning requires that we make mistakes. Often we fail to learn even when great time and effort is put into our instruction. When we fail to learn from Gods instruction He allows us to do it on our own. He does not abandon us he gives us over to our opportunity. All the while we remain a very real and heartfelt concern in the hope that we will indeed learn.

My father was not an especially affectionate man, he did not hug us a lot or hold our hand or spend time having quiet talks. He would on occasion shake your hand and offer half a hug and on other occasions give you the back of his hand and talk to you about straightening up. My father like so many was too busy trying to feed a family with five kids by holding down two and three jobs simultaneously. He was a good provider.

Mt father was also a good protector I remember when my little brother Peter was four years old and was playing in the front yard while Mom and Dad were gardening in the back yard. A stray dog made its way into the yard and viciously attacked my little brother nearly ripping his face off. My brother’s cries resulted in my father racing to his aid and beating the dog off. My mother was hysterical as Dad chased the animal down the street trying to capture it bare handed.

Many, many hours later and many stitches latter my brother’s face was reassembled. He nearly lost an eye and was horribly scarred but today you can barely see them. My father got us a new dog shortly after that incident. My brother grew to love animals of all kinds especially dogs. No matter what kind of enemy we faced as children our father was there to protect us. A father is supposed to do all he can to protect his family every way that he can.

When it came to his walk with God my father was indeed the Priest of the household. We were raised Catholic so that meant our religious up bringing was very structured with a lot of ceremony. It was effective as we attended separate school and learned our faith from our parents. Our father demonstrated his role by praying at every meal and making sure we all followed the churches teachings by attending church and going to confession regularly. My father sent us to confession a lot I’m not sure we were especially bad kids I think it was a way for him and mom to be alone for an hour.

While I have some personal reservations about the Catholic faith I do not think anyone less a Christian who worships in that denomination. Regular religious instruction is very important for children and a father who openly practices his faith is a living example of a spiritual leader. My father was the Priest in our household and he did a great job at it as a Christian man and a Catholic.

We all have our memories of our fathers and I like you could bring up many criticisms where I felt my father fell short in one or all of the three categories of Provider, Protector and Priest. Life and my own children have taught me to be more generous and more forgiving about the past and my father’s shortcomings. I have had the opportunity to be a father and I now know first hand what a challenge it is to be strong, loving and forgiving and at the same time trying to teach, admonish, encourage and challenge your children. I truly hope my children will see me in a different light after they too become parents to their own children.

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