Summary: Fathers are teachers.
Note: This is the sermon manuscript that Ben carried into the pulpit. Feel free to use it in any way to advance the kingdom of God.
Questions For God:
Is It Possible to Be a Good Dad? (Part 1)
Englewood Baptist Church
Sunday Morning, Aug. 10, 2008
We have been talking about questions—questions that people often ask about God. They bring them to their pastors.
Here is the question that I would like to deal with for the next two weeks. A letter is sent to a pastor. The letter is from a 25-year old man who has just discovered that his wife is pregnant with a little boy. Listen to the letter….
It is 3 A.M. right now and I am writing because I really need your help. My wife and I went to see an ultrasound of our baby last week. This is our firstborn and we are told that it’s a boy! I know I should be excited to have a fishin’ buddy—a little man to carry to ball games, but I could not sleep tonight. Here is why. I never had a daddy. My dad walked out on my mom when I was 2. I don’t have a single memory of him and I have no model for fatherhood. Is it possible for me to be a good dad?
Well, I have got great news for you, Dwight.
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
I am not qualified to teach anyone how to be a good dad. I haven’t proven yet that I can produce godly kids, but praise the Lord that His Word is able to equip you for every good work. And I can tell you this—the work of fathering is good work. It is one of the highest callings on Earth, but you have got to be equipped. Great kids don’t happen by accident.
Country Music mega-star, Reba McIntire sings a song called “The Greatest Man.” It is a beautiful song with a tragic message. A young girl writes about her Dad. Here are the lyrics:
The Greatest Man
The greatest man I never knew lived just down the hall
And every day we said, “Hello,” though we never touched at all.
He was in his paper and I was in my room.
How was I to know he thought I hung the moon?
The greatest man I never knew, I guess I’ll never know.
He worked late almost every night
He never had too much to say, too much was on his mind.
Now it seems so sad that everything he gave us took all he had.
Days faded to years and the memories to black and white.
He grew cold like an old winter wind that blew across my life.
The greatest words I never heard, I guess I’ll never hear.
The man I thought would never die has been dead almost a year.
He was good at business, but there was business left to do.
He never said he loved me; guess he thought I knew.
- Reba McEntire
My hope for you, fathers, is that no child of yours will ever hear this song and identify with it. When this song is played on the radio, I pray that your children are thoroughly confused by it—that an absent father is a foreign concept. I know that, like me, you want to be a good daddy.
How do we do it? The Word of God gives us clear direction. I want to give you 10 Qualities Every Family Needs to See in a Dad. I will deal with five of those this week and five next week. Here are some general instructions about your role as Daddy.
10 Qualities Every Family Needs to See in a Dad
1. A Dad who is saved and walks with God. (Gen. 5:24; 6:9)
Look at two verses from the book of Genesis:
Genesis 5:24 – “And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.”
Genesis 6:9 – “These are the records of the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God.”
The phrase “walked with God” is only used of Enoch and Noah. “Walk” indicates a communion or intimacy with God. The Minor Prophets, at the end of the Old Testament, used this phrase to describe the intimate walk that priests made as they entered the Holy of Holies to speak directly with the Lord. It describes the closest communion with God—as if walking at His side. Enoch went through life, step by step, in fellowship with God.
Most type A men don’t like walks because they’re not efficient. If you’re trying to get something done quickly, you don’t take a walk. That is why the metaphor of a walk with God is so helpful. When you’re walking with someone, you’re not moving so fast that conversation is difficult. You can enjoy your companion. When you and your wife walk through a scenic park, you can look together at the cloud formations. You can savor the turning of the leaves in the fall. You can listen to the sounds of a stream as it trickles by. Taking long walks with someone is a great picture of intimacy.