Summary: A study of David’s mistakes that allow today’s Dads to be a positive influence on their children.
PORTRAIT OF A FRACTURED FAMILY
2 SAMUEL 12:11-12 & 1 CORINTHIANS 16:13-14
A honeymoon couple made a long awaited trip to Washington, DC and stayed in the infamous Watergate Hotel, where secret tapes were recorded during the Nixon Presidency. Once in the room the concerned bride asked, "What if the place is still bugged?" The groom said, "Honey, I doubt it after all these years but I’ll look around." He looked behind the drapes, behind the pictures, under the rug. Finally, he said, "Aha, I can’t believe it!" Under the rug was a disc with four screws. He got his Swiss army knife, unscrewed the screws, and threw the screws and the disc out the window.
The next morning, the hotel manager asked the newlyweds, "How was your room? How was the service? How was your stay at the Watergate Hotel?" The groom suspiciously asks, "Why are you asking me all of these questions?" The hotel manager replies, "Well, the couple in the room under you complained their chandelier fell on them." What you don’t know can hurt you.. and others! And what we don’t know or do as Fathers can have lasting hurtful effects on our families.
That’s why today, I want to talk about the qualities that make a difference between a home that is fractured and a home that whole. I want to do that by looking at one man’s example and one man’s instruction. King David who we have been studying for the last couple of weeks was a great King. But although he was enormously successful in the palace he failed miserably at home. Although he was on top of the mountain as far as his career was concerned his family lay at the bottom of his life in a broken heap. And I believe if David could of heard what Paul said in these 2 short verses in 1 Cor. 16, he could of spared himself much grief as a Father and perhaps saved his children from devastating rebellion. So, let’s look at David’s mistakes and Paul’s admonitions and see three phrases that should be observed by Father’s that want to make a positive difference in the lives of their children.
I. OUR WALK MUST BE FAITHFUL: “Be on your guard - Stand firm in the faith.”
The first phrase I want us to see is that our walk must be faithful. Paul says that we do this in two areas. First, "be on your guard," in other words, be alert to the subtle changes and spiritual dangers presented to your children. A child does not stay as innocent and pliable as they are as newborns. As they grow older there are a changes that we must be alert to. If we are going to walk faithfully with the Lord we must not be naive about this transition. The Bible tells us that one of the most important responsibilities we have as Dad’s is to spiritually guide our children in the right paths. So, when little hints come our way that the child needs some redirection don’t ignore it, don’t blame it on somebody else, don’t rationalize it away.
Many of you know that my Father is a minister. He was always a very good preacher but I wasn’t always a very good listener. In fact, I will never forget the time in one church service, when I was about 16, that my Dad had to stop a sermon one morning and call me to come out of the back row where we were horseplaying around and come to the front. It was the longest 50 ft walk of my life. But my Dad did that because he saw the need to redirect my behavior and the fact that he preaching was not going to deter him from taking the needed disciplinary steps. I was enraged at him then, I respect him now for it. I was sharing that story not long ago with some fellow ministers and one of them said that he had to stop in the middle of his sermon not long ago because some teen-agers were being rude & rowdy. He didn’t call out any names he just stopped and looked at them. There was a hush that fell over the crowd and the teens quieted down. Well, the father of the worst behaved teen came up to this preacher after the service, very angry and said, "If that is the way your going to treat the young people in this church, I may not be back." You see, it’s alot easier to blame somebody else rather then give attention to your own child.
The point is: Dad’s keep your eyes open, be alert to what your child is doing. If you get a report from the children’s church worker that your child is punching the other kids, don’t laugh it off and say, "Boy, I think I’m going to have a future NFL player on my hands" OR "That girl of mine is going to be a lady wrestler, that’s for sure." It’s time to give it some attention. Be on your guard, don’t let your middle school child just wonder the town, or hang out for hours upon hours in some parking lot never thinking anything wrong could ever happen.. When your teen-agers are supposed to be home at midnight and they don’t come in till 2am, don’t just sluff it off saying, "their just sowing their wild oats." It’s time to ask some tough questions.