Summary: As men there are two things that are certain: 1. We are always going through trials. . 2. We are always being tempted.
Intro: I remember as a little boy not any older than six years old playing football in my friend Michael Holman’s front yard. He said, “My dad can punt this football almost as high as that tree”, pointing to a tall pine tree in his front yard. Then I said “My dad can punt that football over that tree.” To that he replied, “My dad can punt it twice as high as that tree”. Then I said, “My dad can punt a football higher than your dad.” Then he started for his front saying, “I’ll get my dad and show you.” So I turned and ran for my grandparent’s house. I had never seen my dad punt a football, but one thing was for sure I wasn’t going to let his dad out do my dad. For most children their dad is their first hero.
It’s been said that childhood is when you think your parents are perfect. Adolescence is when you realize they’re not perfect, and you become an adult when you accept them for who they are imperfections and all.
What is a real man? According to TV commercials and sit-coms the dad is the fool of the family, he’s portrayed as a narrow-minded bigot, a buffoon, the butt of all jokes, the one the whole family looks down on. A real man is a Godly man; he’s the spiritual leader of his home, he loves his family with a self-sacrificing unconditional love. He is honest and faithful and a model of integrity to his children. This is quite a contradiction from what we see on TV today and the sad thing is we as Americans are taking our Q’s from the media as a culture.
Today it is my desire to honor dads, and I believe the best way to do that is to raise a Biblical standard for fatherhood before us all to shoot at. Being a dad is a difficult task and of all people I’m far from having it all figured out, but I want us to look to the Bible this morning for not only instruction on what to do, but also warning on what not to do as fathers.
As men there are two things that are certain: 1. We are always going through trials. If I could pass around a clipboard to all the dads and have them list the trials they going through, I’m certain every man would have something to write. 2. We are always being tempted.
Our children today need for us to be real with them. One of my greatest desires as a father is for my children to know the real me. Not some facade of a man who never shows weakness, or admits to failure, or never says I’m sorry. I want them to know me, just as I believe God wants us to know Him as our heavenly Father. This leads me to the first temptation that we as dad face.
1. THE DESIRE TO BE PERFECT.
As I searched the Bible for the perfect example of a father I only found one, that being God. Apart from God as our heavenly Father there is no such thing as a perfect father, because there are no perfect people. Even though we know this our culture is always pushing us in every area of our life to be perfect, if you’re not perfect you just don’t measure up. Well I’m here to say that’s not Biblical God does not expect us to be perfect He has called us to be Godly. And in turn we shouldn’t expect our families to be perfect. Our children need room for failure, and when they do fail the knowledge that you still love them and support them. Failure is where we learn our life lessons the most effectively. As a dad you might need to lighten up, perfectionism is counter productive.
This morning I would like for us to take a trip back in time to the home of a very busy man who lived in a town in Israel called Shiloh. His name was Eli; he was not only the High Priest of Israel but also served as judge of Israel for 40 years. No doubt a Godly, good man…so we would expect him to be the perfect example of fatherhood with two Godly sons in Hophni and Phinehas. But as we visit this home and little Hophni answers the door and informs us that his father Eli isn’t home nor is he ever home with the exception of sleeping and a few meals here and there. We realize that this Godly man is neglecting the most important aspect of his life that being his family.
This is where we find our first temptation that all fathers face.