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Summary: The description of the daddy I want to be is found in God’s Word.

INTRO.- ILL.- It is well known that crabs and small shellfish of the same class walk in the “sideways” fashion. Once upon a time, the other fishes resolved to teach these mistaken fellow inhabitants of the deep the proper mode of locomotion, namely, to go forward.

Accordingly they started a Sunday School and collected all the little crabs of the neighborhood to receive instruction. At the close of the first day, progress is made, and they dismissed their scholars after obtaining the promise that they would come again on the following Sunday.

Sunday came round again, and the crabs were once more in their places; of the benevolently disposed fishes, the crabs were all going “sideways” as badly as ever. A teachers’ meeting was immediately called to consider what was best to be done. The problem was soon solved by an elderly fish, who made a short speech to this effect:

“You see, my brothers and sisters, that we have these crabs under our control for one day only. Whereas they return and watch their fathers and mothers the other six days, the influence of their example in the six days in the wrong direction more than destroys any good we may be able to effect in the right direction in only one.”

Whether we parents want to admit it or not, our children will often imitate us in life before they will ever do what we tell them to do. They will do as we do rather than do as we say.

ILL.- I remember many things about my father who passed away on Dec. 11, 1982, just two days after my 38th birthday. He was 72 years old and died of a series of heart attacks. I remember both good and bad or positive and negative things about my father.

THE NEGATIVE: Dad was a smoker. I remember well him smoking those old unfiltered Camel cigarettes and then later, filtered Winstons. Why would a child remember something like this? Because dad smoked a lot so I saw them a lot.

But for some reason I was not motivated to want to smoke, although I did try it when I got older, as a teen. However, I didn’t smoke very long because I didn’t like it. It tasted bad and of course, I never got addicted to it. My dad did and it provided some kind of instant satisfaction.

ILL.- An Indonesian father claims his two-year-old son is addicted to cigarettes, a newspaper reported. Mohammad Rizal, from the Southeast Asian country’s Musi Banyuasin province, said his son Rizal is hooked on tobacco after having his first cigarette at just 18 months old. But Rizal said he is unfazed by his son’s smoking habit.

"I’m not worried about his health -- he looks healthy," he said. "He cries and throws tantrums when we don’t let him smoke. He’s addicted."

Indonesia has a major problem with child smokers -- 25 percent of three to 15-year-olds smoked at least once according to the Central Statistics Agency.

WHAT A STUPID FATHER! It was bad enough for him to give the child that example, but to give the child cigarettes was awful, to say the least.

MORE NEGATIVE: Dad cussed and especially, if he got mad. I don’t remember him using constantly profanity but he did use some bad words. Although I don’t ever remember him using the “f” word in front of us children. I think he was careful not to do that, but he did use the Lord’s name in vain. I heard that many times and I didn’t like it. Why? Because in Sunday School I learned that you don’t use the Lord’s name in vain. That was a “no, no.”

I never liked the fact that my daddy cussed. I just knew it wasn’t the thing to do. And I was always careful never to say bad words in front of my children. Admittedly, however, I would sometimes get angry enough to say a bad word or two. WANT TO KNOW WHAT THEY WERE? Good luck. And you thought I’d really tell you!!!! Fat chance of that happening.

MORE NEGATIVE: Dad didn’t go to church with mom and us kids. If he went it would only be on special occasions like Christmas or Easter or maybe when one of us kids were in some kind musical or whatever. Then he’d come and watch us.

I don’t ever remember my father praying at the table. I don’t ever remember my father praying, period. I don’t remember my father reading my Bible. I’m not saying he didn’t do these things but I don’t remember him doing them. Saying grace at mealtime was not a regular thing in our home.

Since my dad didn’t go to church on regular basis I assume he never confessed his faith in Christ and was baptized. In fact, I know he’d never been baptized. The reason I know this is because one time when my family and I were back home, visiting mom and dad, suddenly mother said out of the blue, “I need to bring daddy up there and get him baptized.” What was “up there”? It was Iberia, MO, where I preached.

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