Summary: Dads must develop a heart for God and share that heart with their children¡¦ they must be a pastor to their little flock.Many of the qualities that make a good Christian dad also make for good pastors; that is why elders are to be chosen, at least ideally
Father’s Day: Dads Who Share Their Hearts for God with Their Children
Erma Bombeck wrote this:
I received a letter from a single mother who had raised a son who was about to become a dad. Since he had no recollection of his own father, her question to me was "What do I tell him a father does?"
When my dad died in my ninth year, I, too, was raised by my mother, giving rise to the same question, "What do fathers do?" As far as I could observe, they brought around the car when it rained so everyone else could stay dry.
They always took the family pictures, which is why they were never in them. They carved turkeys on Thanksgiving, kept the car gassed up, weren’t afraid to go into the basement, mowed the lawn, and tightened the clothesline to keep it from sagging.
It wasn’t until my husband and I had children that I was able to observe firsthand what a father contributed to a child’s life. What did he do to deserve his children’s respect? He rarely fed them, did anything about their sagging diapers, wiped their noses or fannies, played ball, or bonded with them under the hoods of their cars.
What did he do?
He threw them higher than his head until they were weak from laughter. He cast the deciding vote on the puppy debate. He listened more than he talked. He let them make mistakes. He allowed them to fall from their first two-wheeler without having a heart attack. He read a newspaper while they were trying to parallel park a car for the first time in preparation for their driving test.
If I had to tell someone’s son what a father really does that is important, it would be that he shows up for the job in good times and bad times. He’s a man who is constantly being observed by his children. They learn from him how to handle adversity, anger, disappointment and success.
He won’t laugh at their dreams no matter how impossible they might seem. He will dig out at 1 a.m. when one of his children runs out of gas. He will make unpopular decisions and stand by them. When he is wrong and makes a mistake, he will admit it. He sets the tone for how family members treat one another, members of the opposite sex and people who are different than they are. By example, he can instill a desire to give something back to the community when its needs are greater than theirs.
But mostly, a good father involves himself in his kids’ lives. The more responsibility he has for a child, the harder it is to walk out of his life.
A father has the potential to be a powerful force in the life of a child. Grab it! Maybe you’ll get a greeting card for your efforts. Maybe not. But it’s steady work.
A. The Challenges of our Day
1. Read Psalm 11:3 ¡K.The Foundations have crumbled
*25 million children (36.3%) do not live with their fathers.
*40% of children in fatherless homes have not seen their father¡¦s in a least 1 year. While 50% of children who live without their fathers have never stepped foot in their father¡¦s home.
*63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes
*85% of children that exhibit behavior disorders are from fatherless homes
*80% of rapists are from fatherless homes
*71% of high school drop outs are from fatherless homes
*75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers are from fatherless homes
*70% of juveniles in state operated institutions come from fatherless homes
*85% of youths in prison are from fatherless homes
*70% of teen pregnancies are from fatherless homes
*72% of Americans polled recently said the physical absence of fathers is the most serious problem facing America¡¦s families.
2.Read Psalm 12:8
We have to try to rear our children in a world populated by an increasingly dysfunctional population¡K
3. Read Psalm 13:2
In addition, men are more stressed out and tempted than ever:
(1) internet and easy access to indecent material
(2) more women at the workplace, more mixing of genders and situation ethics
(3) many men are used to smoking marijuana or drinking their troubles away
(4) fewer men understand leadership or what it does and does not mean to be a man; women no longer accept masculinity, and men no longer know what ¡§normal¡¨ is¡Knor how to defend their masculinity to their wives, children, or society¡K
(5) materialism and uncontrolled spending for all the new gadgets add financial pressures¡K
4. In short, many of today¡¦s Christian men are battle-weary, tired, tempted, stressed, downtrodden, feeling underappreciated, and struggle to find their identites as men¡Kparticularly Christian men (because many churches demand a feminized man).