Summary: (Father’s Day sermon) The role & responsibility of fathers in teaching their children about God.

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Teach Them To Your Children

Deut. 11:18-21; 26-28

The role of the father in today’s family isn’t the same as it was in earlier generations. A survey conducted by Child magazine and reported in the 3/93 issue found more fathers today taking part in child-raising than those of a generation ago.

· Putting children to bed (62 percent now; 16 percent then)

· Changing diapers (53 to 6 percent)

· Attending kids’ sporting events (52 to 37 percent)

· Reading to children (49 to 14 percent)

· Bathing children (46 to 24 percent)

· Feeding children (40 to 12 percent)

· Helping with homework (30 to 21 percent)

· Attending parent/teacher conferences (45 to 24 percent)

· Cleaning house (25 to 8 percent)

· Washing dishes (44 to 16 percent)

It’s good to see more fathers taking on the responsibility of nurturing their children. That’s a trend to be applauded; particularly when you consider what God commanded in Deut. 11:18-21. (read)

A serious question that needs to be considered by every father is this, How good a job are you doing teaching your children about God?

A Florida couples made the news a while back for the extraordinary job they were doing instructing their teenagers on the ins and outs of the family business. The family business, however, happened to be armed robbery. This couple were schooling their sons in such tools of the trade as AK-47 rifles, police scanners, escape routes, surveillance and surivial gear, etc. They carefully taught them hand-to-hand combat, and expected them to memorize police codes and map layouts. After each robbery the boys were debriefed, and their mistakes were spotted and corrected.

These parents were far more serious about training their boys for armed robbery than many Christian fathers are about teaching their children about living for God.

The raising of children is the most challenging task that God gives to human beings.

Comedian Martin Mull has observed that “Having children is like having a bowling alley installed in your brain.”

No matter what age your children may be they always have a way of keeping you off balance. With the young ones you just never know what may slip out of their mouths. (Hopefully nothing that they’ve heard dad say when he hits his hand with a hammer.) The aunt of little 7-year-old Jeremy was holding him in her lap. She gave her nephew a big hug and said, “Jeremy, how did you get to be such a big boy?” After a moment, Jeremy looked up at his aunt and politely asked, “Well, do you know about cell division and stuff?”

The older they get the more off balance they keep us as parents. We never know each morning whether we’re going to meet Jekyl or Hyde at the breakfast table. One father very sourly observed that he wasn’t sure it was such a good thing that he finally got his son to cut his hair. Now he could see his ear rings.

The training of children is also one of life’s most vital tasks.

Paul tells the Ephesian fathers, “Do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”

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