Summary: Many of us, as Christians, grow up with a "blind spot" just like the Dad in "The Cat's In The Cradle" song. Are we failing to build spiritual relationships just as the Dad in the song failed to build a real Father-Son relationship?
The Cat’s In The Cradle
Today we will be reading from 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
Today is Father’s Day.
To me it is a confusing day but at the same time it makes sense.
It makes sense because a Biblical father is what God planed for the human family.
A father who provides for the needs of the family …
A father who is a role model and instructor for his children …
A father who is faithful to and cares for his wife, the mother of their children …
A father who loves and honors God and leads his family in learning to do so …
Biblical fathers are indeed a blessing from the Lord.
Even though Biblical fathers are a blessing from the Lord other fathers can cause inexpressible harm to their families.
There are fathers who abandon their families …
There are fathers who brutalize their families in ways that are unimaginable …
There are fathers who have no interest in their families at all and just use the house as a place to be when they are not at work or when they can’t be somewhere more satisfactory to their liking …
There are fathers whose children go hungry because they need to have a vehicle with status, they need all of the sports channels and movie channels on TV, they fund their recreation and creature comforts with the money that could go to care for their family …
For instance, it says in 1 Timothy 5:8
“If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his own household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
These are NOT Biblical fathers but they DO have a holiday named after them anyway …
Let’s take a brief look at a certain type of modern American dad and see what we can glean from it …
This is from a song that was made famous in 1974 by a guy named Harry Chapin.
The song is called, “Cat’s In The Cradle”.
My child arrived just the other day
He came to the world in the usual way
But there were planes to catch and bills to pay
He learned to walk while I was away
And he was talkin' 'fore I knew it, and as he grew
He'd say "I'm gonna be like you dad
You know I'm gonna be like you"
My son turned ten just the other day
He said, "Thanks for the ball, Dad, come on let's play
Can you teach me to throw", I said "Not today
I got a lot to do", he said, "That's ok"
And he walked away but his smile never dimmed
And said, "I'm gonna be like him, yeah
You know I'm gonna be like him"
Well, he came home from college just the other day
So much like a man I just had to say
"Son, I'm proud of you, can you sit for a while?"
He shook his head and said with a smile
"What I'd really like, Dad, is to borrow the car keys
See you later, can I have them please?"
I've long since retired, my son's moved away
I called him up just the other day
I said, "I'd like to see you if you don't mind"
He said, "I'd love to, Dad, if I can find the time
You see my new job's a hassle and kids have the flu
But it's sure nice talking to you, Dad
It's been sure nice talking to you"
And as I hung up the phone it occurred to me
He'd grown up just like me
My boy was just like me
And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man in the moon
When you coming home Dad, I don’t know when
But we’ll get together then, Dad,
You know we’ll have a good time then
That’s one type of Dad.
OK. Now we are going to read a Scripture that seems TOTALLY unrelated to the song we just heard as a poem and see if we can make any connections …
Let’s read 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
OK. What connection can we make between the song and this Scripture?
1) There is a surprise in both of them.
What is the surprise in the song?
In his later years the Dad in the song discovered that his son had no time for him because he was too busy with other things. This is a trait the son had learned from his Dad.
Should it have been a surprise? No, of course not.
We can easily see that because we are outside the story looking in and also because the writer of the song told us so!
The Dad had a blind spot in his life that was keeping him from seeing what was happening. The relationship with his son never developed into what it should have been. Instead of being a relationship of deep love and intertwined lives filled with memories it was a relationship more like a Dad might have with one of his son’s friends.