Summary: He might not have super strength or be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, but dads are their kids first superheroes! This Father's Day sermon explores three characteristics of Super-Dads! PowerPoint is available.
FATHER’S DAY: SUPER DADS
Scott Bayles, pastor
Blooming Grove Christian Church: 6/16/2013
Well, let me start out today by saying “Happy Father’s Day” to all of our Dads. One little boy, when asked to explain about Father’s Day, said, “It’s just like Mother’s Day, only you don’t spend as much on the present.”
It may not be fair, but that’s the way it is, right? Well, five weeks ago we paid tribute to all of our Super Moms. So today, I wanted to pay tribute to all of our Super Dads! For many of us—especially my kids—it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to picture our dads as a superhero. They teach us, they shape us, they encourage and love us. Our fathers are heroes in our own homes. Earlier this week I came across this little cartoon.
It shows a dad wearing a suit and tie getting ready to leave for work. He says, “Bye, Kiddo, I’m off to work!” In the next panel you can stars in the little boys eyes and you see dad from his perspective—dressed like Superman with muscles to match.
One of my favorite books to read to our kids is titled My Dad, My Hero by Ethan Long. In a cartoonish, comic-strip style the cover showcases an idealized dad, dressed in blue superhero garb complete with red cape and pumped-up muscles. But inside, the story shows a dad lacking any real superpowers. The book opens with dad tripping over building blocks since he "cannot leap tall buildings in a single bound" and struggling to open a jar of pickles since he obviously "does not have super strength." But after the son comes to the end of his amusing list of what dad is unable to do, he realizes that his dad is "really super... and definitely a hero" in his eyes.
Earlier this month, 5-hour ENERGY® even held a Super Dad Contest. They put out the call for fans to nominate dads, grandpas, godfathers, stepdads and other father figures as Super Dads! Nominations came in from all over the country, with many touching tributes, but in the end they selected ten winners to receive a free 12 pack of 5-hour ENERGY® to get them through their daily duties as Super Dads!
All of this just sort of sets up the question—what does it take to be a Super Dad? The Bible has a whole lot to say about dads and to dads. There are myriad examples of good dads and even some Super Dads in the Bible—not the least of which is God himself! But I’d like to focus our attention on a short paragraph found in the little book of 1 Thessalonians. And here’s what it says:
“You yourselves are our witnesses—and so is God—that we were devout and honest and faultless toward all of you believers. And you know that we treated each of you as a father treats his own children. We pleaded with you, encouraged you, and urged you to live your lives in a way that God would consider worthy. For he called you to share in his Kingdom and glory.” (1 Thessalonians 2:10-12 NLT).
Paul is writing here as a sort of spiritual father to a church that he helped plant in the city of Thessalonica, and he’s reminding them of the kind of relationship that they had while he was there—that he treated each of them as a father treats his own children. In this brief passage Paul highlights three characteristics of Super Dads everywhere.
First, Super Dads are a super-example for their kids. Paul says, at the beginning, “You are witnesses, and so is God, of how devoutly, righteously, and blamelessly we conducted ourselves with you” (vs. 10 HCSB). In other words, Paul was constantly setting an example by the way he lived his life. He didn’t just tell them how to live; he showed them.
One of my dad’s favorite things to say, especially when I caught him smoking, was, “Do as I say, not as I do.” Did you ever hear that growing up? It doesn’t work that way, does it? The reality is—your kids are watching everything you do and they’re probably going to follow in your footsteps. Children who grow up in abusive homes are 10 times more likely to abuse their kids. On the other hand, children who grow up with a loving compassionate father will learn to be loving and compassionate themselves. So Dads, you need to be the kind of man that you want your son to be and your daughter to marry. This reminds me of a song Phillips, Craig & Dean wrote a few years back called I want to be just like you. The opening verse says:
He climbs in my lap for a goodnight hug