Summary: FATHER’s DAY message in which fathers are honored for specific roles they fulfill in families.
Some Good Things Fathers Do
Today is Father’s Day. Some of you are fathers. Some of you are married to fathers. And I’m just guessing that many of you have fathers. The purpose of this holiday is based soundly upon the word of God. The Bible clearly tells us to honor fathers. Moses wrote in Deut. 5:16 "Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the LORD your God is giving you.”
This issue of giving due honor to parents is a big deal as far as God is concerned. It is so basic that it was included in the Ten Commandments. Parents are usually the first representatives of God that we encounter in life. Our response to their authority often sets the tone for the attitudes we develop toward God Himself. Today we will talk about appreciating fathers for what they do. As we share some things fathers do, I hope that you fathers will be encouraged to continue in well doing. I hope family members will be inspired to appreciate the dads for their faithfulness. Some Good Things Fathers Do:
1. They BEGET—at least that is the term the KJV of the Bible uses. Remember all those long, boring passages in the Bible where verse after verse says “And So & So begat So and So and he begat somebody and on and on it goes.” When you read those verses just remember—none of those people would have ever even been here if it weren’t for begetting. In fact, you wouldn’t even be here if somebody hadn’t begotten you.
I like the way the NIV changes that word begot to “who gave you life”. Proverbs 23:22 says, “Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despises your mother when she is old.” Of course, we know ultimately that God is the source of life. But the point of all this is giving honor for even the most basic reason. Your earthly father may not rate very high on some of the other reasons I’m about to share for honoring him. But even if he does not live up to all those you have cause of appreciation toward your biological father “who gave you life”—the person God chose to use in bringing you into this world.
Almost 40% of children in America go to bed every night without their biological father in the home. You may not even know your biological father. And you will have much reason today to honor those people in your life who stepped in and filled that role in some way for you. It is not easy at all when mom has to function as both father and mother for all practical purposes. If she does that faithfully, she should be worthy of double honor. I think about how challenging it was for Jeanie and me to raise our children together and it reminds me to pray for every single parent. I can not image how difficult your job is. I just pray God will be a Father to the fatherless in that situation and give the grace needed to do the job.
But having said that, no matter how much a father falls short in his duties as a father, there is some degree of respect that can be given simply because he is the person God used to give you life. The command to honor father and mother is not negated by parental failure. It’s just that the honor given must be appropriate for reality. God is a God of truth and some fathers are worthy of more honor than others.
When there has been a divorce in the family it is difficult for everyone involved. In those situations it can become tempting for parents to discount the other parent because of all the conflict that arises between the x-spouses. But let me encourage you to not yield to that temptation. Moms teach your children to honor their father for the kid’s sake. If they violate this commandment it will be detrimental for them. Dads teach your children to honor their mother regardless of what issues are going on between the two of you. You will need to work those out but don’t influence your kids contrary to this commandment.
I am very aware that Father’s Day can be painful for some people for a variety of reasons. We don’t deal with that pain by avoiding the issues. We deal with it by addressing the reality and receiving God’s grace in the process. So here is one reason for honoring a father—fathers beget.
2. Fathers PROVIDE for the material needs of their families. In our culture moms participate in this role more than they did in Bible times. But the primary responsibility for working and providing food, clothing, and shelter for the family rests with the father.