So tell me men, what’s your profession? That thing that you are “proficient” at, that you went to college for, trained for, worked hard to achieve, have dedicated your vocational life to?
Perhaps you do not consider your vocation to have much of a professional status, but I encourage you to look a little closer to home for a moment. Inside the home is where the greatest of vocations begins. It doesn’t get much pay, possibly little recognition or appreciation, but it is has had the greatest impact on generations of people. It’s the job of being a dad.
It takes just a moment and relatively little effort for a man to become a father, but it takes that man a lifetime of success and failure, of joy and sorrow, of pride and disappointment, of laughter and tears to become a dad.
Mark Twain said of his father, “When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years. -”.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but when I got the announcement for the first time that I was going to be a father, I didn’t receive my copy of the Father’s Manual in the mail. Come to think of it, that thing has never arrived!
As young fathers, we naturally look at the success and failures of other men, and to a large degree our own fathers, to try to formulate our own path of paternity. We see one who is strong yet gentle, firm yet understanding, smart yet practical and we try to emulate him as our model for parenthood. We see the man whose children are well mannered, well behaved and who adore him, and after we get his autograph, we ask for the secret astonished that the humble response could be so simple, ‘it’s just being a dad”
How many of you would like to find out the secrets to becoming a Pro Dad?
Whether your children are grown and out of the house, you’re just starting your life with that lovely young lady, or you’re a young man still at home, these three keys will help you to become that Pro Dad you have always wanted to be.
I like the story of the three boys in the schoolyard who were bragging about who had the better father:
The first boy says, “My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a poem, and they give him $100.”
The second boy says, “That’s nothing. My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a song, and they give him $1000.”
The third boy says, “My Dad is ever better than that. He scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, calls it a sermon, and it takes 6 or 8 men just to collect all the money!”
There are three Pro aspects of being a dad that I’d like for us to consider this morning.
A Pro dad is a Provider
1 Timothy 5:8
But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
The Greek word here for provide means to “think it through beforehand” “plan out”.
That’s a pretty good concept in a day when bringing home a paycheck, or a portion of one constitutes provision. But “bringing home the bacon” is not the end all of our responsibilities a s fathers.
In the context of 1 Timothy 5, Paul is speaking about financial and monetary provision. – And I can not overemphasize the need for men to set up to the plate and provide for their families. I said provide, not “just get by”!
But we need to take that provision to a broader dimension. To be a Pro Dad, you must see your self as your family’s provider in three areas; and I believe that they are also listed in the order of their importance in focus.
1. Provider of Spiritual Leadership
a. Don’t call yourself the head of the house unless you are the head of the family alter.
b. I don’t know of a scriptural reference where a woman built an alter – it was always a man’s responsibility!
c. Let your children see you pray, read the Word, and worship.
d. (It’s why our children remain in the service with us through worship – Dad, mom your kids should be right next to you during worship – they need to see your worship!
2. Provider of Emotional Strength and Presence.
a. Prisons are full of young men who hung with the wrong crowd because dad never hung with them.
b. Hospitals are full of babies having babies because daddy wasn’t there to show them a real man’s love.
Solomon was the wisest man the world has ever known. Now we know he asked God to give him wisdom to lead Israel, but let’s not quickly move from his roots. I mean, look at the boy’s father.
A. A man after God’s own heart
B. A great worshipper
C. An outstanding politician
D. A visionary leader
Had Solomon not seen, first hand, his father’s relationship with God, he would have never sought His favor during his own reign.
3. Provider of Material Things.
Paul said a man who does not provide for his household is worse than an unbeliever.
Sir, you may not be able to give your family the very best, but you can give them the best you can!
A Pro Dad is Pro-active.
If there is one thing I could say to men today it would be to regain the leadership of your home! But before you poke that chest out too far remember this,
With authority comes responsibility and with responsibility, accountability. With accountability comes submission and with submission, servitude.
Let Matthew 20:26 be your guild “whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant”.
Look at the Old Testament Priest Eli. His is one of the most tragic examples of a father.
Look, with me, at 1 Samuel 2.
• Eli was the High Priest of Israel. The one responsible for the atonement of the sins of a nation and the Bible tells us
Now the sons of Eli were corrupt (literally “sons of Belial Satan) they did not know the Lord”.
• Their deeds were corrupt to the level that they carried out their abominations on the very threshold of the temple.
o They disregarded God
o The people
o Their sacrifices and offerings.
o They did not fear the Lord
Now Eli was very old; and he heard everything his sons did to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. 23 So he said to them, "Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all the people. 24 No, my sons! For it is not a good report that I hear. You make the Lord’s people transgress.
Eli’s passive approach cost his son’s their very lives.
(3:11-15) God reveals to the child Samuel that His judgment is going to be poured out on Eli’s house. (v.13)
(v. 18) Then Samuel told him everything, and hid nothing from him. And he said, "It is the Lord. Let Him do what seems good to Him."
Here is the greatest tragedy, While Eli was building influence in his culture he lost influence in his own home.
He was so busy teaching others that he failed to teach his own.
Lastly, A Pro Dad is a Proclaimer!
The words “My son, listen to me…” are throughout the Proverbs. Let’s look at a couple together.
A proclaiming dad actively, verbally teaches his children.
He actively demonstrates worship and witness.
On this Father’s day, why not give your children the greatest gift they well ever receive; Your commitment to be a Provider, Proactive, a Proclaimer and in so doing become a Pro Dad!