Summary: Being a father today is a huge responsibility. Trying to be a Christian Dad is even harder as our children are subjected to the evil in our society. But with Gods strength and counsel you can do a great job as a father.
Fathers Day 2009
While sitting in my office preparing for this sermon for Fathers Day I was hoping that it would be a thoughtful message full of wisdom, reflection and insight. All the while I could not help but wonder if the smell I was taking in from my office could be attributed to the new paint on the walls or was in fact coming from one of the four electrical outlets I rewired with new receptacles?
I remember getting shocked at least four times as I rewired my office using my limited skills and knowledge I am used to that in fact my wife is even used to that. It seems everyone in my family is aware of my limited abilities when it comes to household electrical repairs. For everyone it is a given that I succeeded replacing the electrical outlets by trial and error. They also understand that a successful home renovation means that we did not have to dial 9-1-1 more than twice.
Still I wonder if the smell in the room is from the paint that is drying or could it be coming from a still smoldering electrical outlet? Only time will tell and depending on the actual origin of the odor time could in fact be very telling indeed.
For me that is what Fathers Day is like. It arrives each year as a kind of telling or telltale sign of what society and the Hallmark Card Company considers Fathers to be all about. You can come off as a real success as a Father or come off as a real stinker with the kind of odour that is hard to categorize. It depends on what has transpired over the last year.
Being a Father is kind of like cheese, some of us ripen with age and only then do we acquire our full aroma and flavor. Some of us will need the mold scraped off before it is realized that there is something worth saving underneath. Each Father will have a distinctive flavor that helps to distinguish him from the other fathers making him unique.
Wow, have I lost all direction here comparing Fathers to moldy cheese? It must have been a hard week for me to conclude that you have to get past the mold in my life as a Father if you want to see any of the good bits. It may sound a little harsh but that is what I find Psalm 32 speaking about as I read it.
Here David makes a comparison between people like him and mules or horses. He avoids the cheese analogy all together. You know the old saying, you can lead a horse to water but you can not make him drink or the other one he is as stubborn as a mule. Both these old sayings seem to have a root of authorship here. David is saying that some of us are like that horse who refuses to be led by the bit in our mouth which is Gods word and some of us need to be hit over the head from time to time in the same way a grand mother might use a bible as a tool of instruction or correction.
In a nutshell that is what being a Father is about. It is realizing your limitations as a human being, your strengths and weaknesses and your absolute dependence on God to help you through the tangled road map of life as you try to be an example and blessing for your children who are looking to you to lead them through the same road map.
Here in Psalm 32 David is laying it all out for us in a straight line. The man or Father who seeks the forgiveness of God in his life will know the blessing of God and will have his sins covered.
Our world is pretty hard on Fathers. It pokes a lot of fun at them as well as a lot of harsh criticism through television and movies. Today our kids have examples like Homer Simpson, Stan Smith from American Dad, and Peter Griffin from Family Guy. All of these Fathers are portrayed as inept, incompetent and insecure. I guess if I am honest I am guilty of all three of those charges but it is not for a lack of trying.
Being a Christian Dad I realize I am a sinner who is in need of Gods ever present hand in my life. I do not feel as though Gods hand is heavy upon me like some great weight but rather I sense that Gods hand is there to gently hold me and cover me as a means of protection from the sin in my life and the world around me.
Even in the cartoon examples I gave you there are redeeming qualities. Several years ago my son Josh pointed out to me one of Homer Simpsons greatest qualities. Josh got tired of hearing me trash the television show one day and said - your right Dad they make Homer out to be a joke as a Dad, his own family fails to respect him, his boss walks all over him and he often makes bad decisions but the creators of the show have Homer taking his family to church every Sunday.