Summary: How can I be a Godly dad? 1. By a positive connection with your children. 2. By proper care for your children. 3. By pure character before your children. 4. By patient compassion for your children.

Guidance for Godly Dads

Ephesians 6:1-4

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - June 16, 2013

*Today we honor our dads, and that is a good thing to do. It's a good thing to do most of all, because God commands us to honor our parents. In vs. 2&3, Paul echoed the Fifth Commandment from God's Ten Commandments in the Book of Exodus:

2. "Honor your father and mother,'' which is the first commandment with promise:

3. "that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.''

*God tells us to honor our dads. And all Godly dads want to be worthy of this honor. But let me tell you that it's not easy to be a good father. It's not easy, but the Bible can help us be dads who deserve this honor. How can we get there? How can we be good and Godly dads who deserve respect?

1. First: it's through a positive connection with our children.

*In vs. 4 Paul said, "And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord."

*There is a mountain of truth in these few words. And they could have shocked the gentile Christians who first read them. That's because Ephesus was one of the chief cities in the Roman Empire. And the Romans had a radically different view of fatherhood.

*Brian Bill explained that "Rome had a law called 'patria potestas', which meant 'the father's power.' Men who were Roman citizens were given absolute property rights over their families. By law, the children and wife belonged to the father, and he could do whatever he wished with them. An unhappy father could disown his children, sell them as slaves, or even kill them.

*When a child was born, the baby was placed between the father's feet. If the father picked the baby up, the child stayed in the home. But if the father turned and walked away, the child was either left to die or sold at auction. Roman philosopher Seneca once explained the Roman way by saying: 'Children born weak or deformed we drown.'" (1)

*That was the Roman way. But God calls us to an infinitely higher way of life. God call us to be a reflection of our Heavenly Father. This means having a positive connection with our children. And that takes commitment. It takes involvement.

*This past week I read that 60% of all families in Richmond, Virginia are single-parent households. (2)

*That shows where we are as a society. But God wants us fathers to be actively involved in the lives of our children. Dads, we usually don't realize how important we are in our children's lives. Your children need you desperately.

*Jerry Shirley gave these statistics:

-Fatherless daughters are 164% more likely to have an out-of-wedlock birth.

-And they have a 92% higher divorce rate than girls raised with Dads in the home.

-Fatherless sons are 35% more likely to have a failed marriage.

-They are 300% more likely to become incarcerated in state juvenile institutions. (3)

*Your kids need a dad who is highly involved in their lives however and whenever you can be. Our involvement takes time. And God wants us to invest this time in our children. You will never hear a man my age say, "I wish I hadn't have spent so much time with my kids when they were young." But you will hear a lot of men, (including me) say, "I wish I had spent more time with my children when they were young."

*How can we be dads who deserve respect? -- By a positive connection with our children.

2. And by proper care for our children.

*Paul said, "Fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord." God wants us to provide and protect our children, just like He provides for us and protects us. But that is not enough. God says to bring our children up "in the training and admonition of the Lord."

[1] This certainly includes giving proper correction to our kids, just as our Heavenly Father corrects us.

*As He said in Proverbs 3:11-12:

11. My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor detest His correction;

12. for whom the Lord loves He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights.

*It's not always easy to know where, when and how to discipline our children. And if you've got more than one, it's not always easy to know who to discipline.

-"He started it!" -- No! She started it!"

-"Who did that?" -- "Not me." "Not me." "Not me."

*What's a dad to do? We must pray for wisdom to know who, when, and how to discipline our children. We surely don't want to beat or hurt our children. But there will be times when they need physical discipline. God's Word is clear on this. In Proverbs 13:24 God says: "He that spares his rod hates his son: but he that loves him chastens him early." Proverbs 22:15 tells us that "Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him."

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