Summary: I John 2:12-14 gives three levels of spiritual maturity, “Children, Young Men, and Fathers.”
Today we honor fathers. One thing that helps us as parents is not to take life or our children too seriously. Having lots of humor keep us on track.
A father was reading Bible stores to his young son. He read, “The man named Lot was warned to take his wife and flee out of the city, but his wife looked back and was turned to salt.” His son asked, “What happened to the flea?”
“Dad, will you help me with my homework?” “I’m sorry, son. It wouldn’t be right.” “Well, at least you could try.”
Anyone who thinks you can’t buy happiness has never sent the kids away to summer camp.
A boy came home with a bad report card. As he handed it to his father, he asked, “What do you think’s wrong, Dad, my heredity or my environment?”
Did you know that most instructions and directions are written at a 5th grade level? Some instructions seem very strange: the warning on a Rowenta iron says, “Do not iron clothes on your body.”
There’s a ski lift in Colorado and at 200 feet you pass a trestle that has a sign: “Warning: Jumping from ski lift will result in loss of lift ticket.”
Have you seen signs in the mall, “Ears pierced while you wait.” How else would you get ears pierced, on the go or “I’ll be back in 30 minutes will they be ready?”
Have you seen instructions on auto shades you put in front of your car to shield out the sun: “Warning: Do not drive car with Auto Shades in place.”
I John 2:12-14 gives three levels of spiritual maturity, “Children, Young Men, and Fathers.”
I. Children – Immature
“I’m writing to you, my dear children, because your sins have been forgiven because of Jesus.” I have written to you because you have known the Father.” I John 2:12,14 NLB
Children are part of God’s family, but are immature and need to grow and become strong in their Christian faith. In I Corinthians 3:1 Paul writes: “Dear brothers and sisters when I was with you I couldn’t talk to you as I would to mature Christians. I had to talk as through you belonged to this world or as through you were infants in the Christian life.” NLT
I had walked with the Lord for nearly ten years before I got married. After two years of marriage we had our first child. The birth of Tim brought a crisis in our marriage. I lacked maturity both spiritually and emotionally as an adult.
My immaturity showed up from time to time. I was attending Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, KY and Carollyn was teaching school. One Sunday morning I got ready for church, went to the car and waited for Carollyn and our son Tim. I waited and waited and to speed things up I honked the horn several times.
When Carollyn got in the car she didn’t mince any words. Next time I’ll go to the car and honk and you can pick up the house, get the dipper bag ready and our son dressed for church.
In many ways we don’t want to admit it but often it is like father like son. I grew up in a home where my dad who grew up on a far where he learned that men work outside and women work inside the house. Housework, taking care of children, washing and ironing is women’s work. Men work the fields and take care of the livestock. My dad followed in that same tradition and I grew up with the same views.
Through trial and error I learned, it took me a while, that marriage is a partnership and that meant pitching in to help with the children, housework and other inside jobs. We were no longer on the farm.
The scriptures are clear, we are to love God with all our heart, soul, and strength, and our neighbor as ourselves. For most of us our first neighbor is our own family. Financial pressures often cause the Biblical priorities for family to get mixed up. The Biblical priorities are God, Family, Work and Community. The pressures of finances and family often rearrange our priorities to God, work, family and community. When priorities get out of order the end result is regret. “Why? Did I allow my business to cause broken relationships?”
A survey was made of businessmen who were asked, “What were some of their greatest regrets.“ Two themes were repeated time and time again. First, “I was so busy taking care of company business that I never put my own financial house in order. Now I’m 55, and I have to do in ten years what I should have done in the first forty.”