Eph 5:22 – 6:4
I have worked very hard the summer and growing a few flowers in my front yard. I have had some success and some failure in that endeavor. It didn’t take me long to figure out that, like so many things in life, gardening is about balance. You need the right amount of water, not too much or little, and the rich amount of sun, but not too much or little. They need to be pruned, but only so much. And they even need a little fertilizer. The idea of balance was brought home to me very quickly when I fertilized my flowers. With in two days time my flowers went from being vibrant and healthy to crispy critters. I figured that if a little fertilizer was good a lot would be better and I fried a whole row of my poor innocent flowers. In order to have a healthy garden you have to have the right amount of everything all working in harmony.
The smallest thing can throw the whole thing off. Families aren’t all that different. In order for a family to be healthy and strong everyone in that family has to be doing their job and working together. A I began working on this sermon and thinking about what it meant to be a great father I decided that I was getting the cart before the horse. As I read the Scriptures dealing with fatherhood I discovered that there is a broader concern. In order for a man to be a great father, fulfill the role God has given him in the family as a whole. He must provide his part of the balance of a strong family. You can’t be a truly great father if you don’t first provide your children with a strong and well-balanced family. The sermon this morning is this: If a man wishes to be a truly great father, he must fulfill the role God has given him in the family.
I. If a man wishes to be a great father, he must be the head of his family. 22-24
a. Divine Delegation – There are three divine institutions in the Bible. Government, Church, and family. God is the ultimate authority over each. However, God is not a tight fisted ruler rather he delegates his authority. Over nations he places kings, over churches he has placed pastors and his represenitives in the family are husbands. V. 23 he is the head.
b. Men are to lead their families.
c. Ultimately it is the man who is responsible – i.e. Adam and Eve
II. If a man wishes to be a great father, he must be a loving husband. 25-33
a. Love your wives as Christ loved the church.
b. V. 28 He that loves his wife loves himself. The Cleave principle at work.
David Soremson, a marriage scholar – Most marriage problems are rooted in the fact that husbands do not love their wives as they out.
III. If a man wishes to be a great father, he must guides them in Godliness. 6:4
a. Do not provoke to anger - by overly strict discipline or unreasonable demands Or on the flip side by lack of love and attention.
b. Yet they should be trained – the right amount of discipline and correction.
c. And admonish them – warnings, rebukes, advice, and wisdom.
d. Of the Lord
The 1992 Olympics in Barcelona featured memorable moments of sports history. Derek Redmond of Great Britain was on the way to fulfilling a lifetime dream, that of winning a gold medal in the Olympics. He had earned a spot in the semifinals of the 400 meter race, and as the gun sounded to start the race, Derek got off to a great start. He was running the race of his life, and the finish line was in sight, when suddenly he felt a stab of pain in his right leg. He feel face first to the track with a torn hamstring. The race was over for Derek. He struggled to his feet before the medical team could reach him. Though every runner had passed him, he began hopping forward, tears of pain and disappointment streaking his face, determined to finish the race. Suddenly, man plowed through the security guards on the sidelines and ran onto the track. He raced up to Derek and hugged him, "You don;t have to do this," Jim Redmond told his weeping son. "Yes I do," Derek answered. "Well, then," his father said, "we’re going to finish the race together." Derek’s father gripped his son around the shoulders, and they faced the finish line, resolutely waving off the security men who hovered around them. They limped and hopped together, Derek’s head sometimes buried in his father’s shoulder, and stayed in Derek’s lane all the way to the end. The watching crowd gaped at first at the unusual scene. Then one by one, they rose to their feet, and began cheering and crying at the son’s determination and the father’s support.
When it comes right down to it the man’s role in the family mirrors that of Christ role in the church. He leads us, loves us and guides us. Great husband’s and father’s model Christ for their families.
Some months ago I heard a touching story about a humble, consecrated pastor whose young son had become very ill. After the boy had undergone an exhaustive series of tests, the father was told the shocking news that his son had a terminal illness. The youngster had accepted Christ as his Savior, so the minister knew that death would usher him into Glory; but he wondered how to inform one in the bloom of youth that he soon would die. After earnestly seeking the direction of the Holy Spirit, he went with a heavy heart through the hospital ward to the boy’s bedside. First he read a passage of Scripture and had a time of prayer with his dear child. Then he gently told him that the doctors could promise him only a few more days to live. "Are you afraid to meet Jesus, my boy?" asked his devout father. Blinking away a few tears, the little fellow said bravely, "No, not if He’s like you, Dad!"