Summary: Whether or not you’ve had a good earthly father, all Christians have a heavenly Father that has set the perfect example for us. This message instructs a young man as to what is expected of him. It instructs fathers as to what they should be. It can ins
Tonight I’m going to preach to myself. I’m going to invite you to listen. I’m going to talk about fathers. The responsibility of fathers. The responsibility of a child to his or her father. Ladies, you would do well to listen in. Someday, not that far from now you will pick a man to be your husband, a man who will be the father of your children. Gentlemen, whether you’ve grown up in a good godly home or one that has left much to be desired, you will hear from the Word of God what is expected of you. As children you will hear in this message tonight what is expected of you in relationship to both your earthly father and your heavenly father.
In the early days of television, fathers were portrayed much differently than they are today. Fathers were heroes. These TV fathers could rescue a man from a burning building and then fix the wheel on their son’s bicycle or put the head back on little Suzie’s Barbie doll. These men were sensitive and romantic while at the same time firm, loving disciplinarians. They were the wage earners, bringing home the paycheck so that mom could stay home and raise the kids. These dads took their kids on long summer vacations to the beach or to the mountains, taught their kids how to drive and make a campfire. But that was then and this is now.
In the 80’s the television father figure began to change. Mom began to run the home. She went off to work and in some cases dad stayed home to wash the dishes and raise the children.
And then came the age of the Simpsons. In many shows dad was non-existent. In others he was a beer drinking loser who sat around in his underwear watching TV. He couldn’t hold down a job and he really didn’t want to. He was run over by his wife and disrespected by his children. The family doesn’t really have much use for this TV dad. When the kids want something they go to mom. And to be honest, in many cases, dad is the one at fault.
But is that the way things have to be? Does it have to be that way because TV says it’s so? Does it have to be that way because it’s that way all over town, or all across the country? The answer is certainly NO!
What does the Bible tell us about dads? To answer that question we will not look at the more typical verses that talk about fatherhood. Instead we will look at God, our heavenly Father. We will see what a dad should be and how we should respond to both our earthly fathers as well as our heavenly father.
We will begin our study tonight in Isaiah 64:8. But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand. Here Isaiah states that God is our Father. He then uses the analogy of clay in the potter’s hands for us to understand the relationship between a father and his children as well as the relationship between God and His children. What we are looking at is the father’s authority. A potter has absolute control, absolute authority over the clay. The clay is in total submission to the potter. It does not have a will of it’s own. That is extremely hard for us to wrestle with. There is not a teenager here who does not think that they have a right to their own will, to their own opinion, to their own way of doing things. By the way, many adults struggle with this as well in their relationship to God and to those in authority over them. A father can only mold his children as long as they remain pliable. The godly father is one who is in authority over his children. A child who wants to please God will submit to that authority. Let’s consider some examples now. You want to borrow dad’s new Mustang to go out Friday night. Dad doesn’t think you’re ready for it yet. How will you respond? Here’s another example. You’ve made a deal with mom and dad that as long as you keep your grades up you’ll be allowed to drive. One of your grades has just slipped from a B to a C+. How will you respond when dad comes to take the keys away? What will you do?
The same is true with God our Father. As Christians we are His children. Are we submissive to His will? If He is the potter and we are the clay then we should have no say in His will for our lives. And yet consider a simple conversation that one might overhear in the hallway of our church considering college choices. The conversation should go something like I will go to whatever college God wants me to go to. Instead, what I sometimes hear is I will followed by NOT go to that college which is similar to saying to God When Hell freezes over. Authority, are you submitting to your father’s authority, to your heavenly Father’s authority? A good father exercises godly authority in the home.