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Summary: Fathers are crucial in family life. They set the standard and provide the role model for their daughters, by how they treat their wives. They provide the role model for their sons in how they work and manage the family.

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Fathers are crucial in family life. They set the standard and provide the role model for their daughters, by how they treat their wives. They provide the role model for their sons in how they work and manage the family. If the father is godly, the family will tend to be godly. If the father isn’t godly, the rest of the family will have to struggle to be so.

The Lord understood the importance of fathers as He told the following parable. One, which illustrates traits of our Heavenly Father, and traits, we would do well to have as fathers.

1. The Father was Generous (11-13)

A. The father was ruler of the family – a “little

kingdom.”

B. Wife, children, grandchildren, and servants

C. They were brought up to accept his authority

(Ex. 20:12)

D. Disrespect threatened family security and was

punishable by death.

E. Upon death of father, succession was normally

passed to oldest son.

F. The youngest son was out of line when he asked

for his portion early.

G. The father gave it to him anyway

H. It is hard to know how to parent children.

Each child is different.

I. It is especially hard for the father that loves

his children to stand back and watch them self-

destruct.

J. This father gave his son what he wanted.

2. The Father was Grieving (14-20)

A. The father was watching for his son

B. No doubt he would daily go to the edge of the

field and look down the road praying for his son’s

safety.

C. No doubt he would lay down at night worried

about where his son was and what he was doing.

D. Father’s love their children and want what is

best for them.

E. They try to set an example and pray that their

children pay attention, and learn.

F. But children don’t always learn the lessons we

try to teach them.

G. He may have felt he was a failure and asked the

Lord’s forgiveness.

H. We know his heart was broken.

I. One particular day as the father watched, he

saw his son coming home.

J. It was undignified for men to run in those

days, especially the patriarch of the family, the

ruler of the "little kingdom.”

K. Yet run is exactly what he did.

L. He fell on his son’s neck and kissed him.

M. He didn’t say, “I told you so.” The son

already knew.

N. He had compassion because the loved him. The

worry faded, and the future was before him.

3. The Father was Gracious (21-32)

A. He didn’t have to be gracious. He could have

excoriated his son for his misdeeds.

B. He could have made an example out of his son

for the trouble and embarrassment brought on the

family.

C. The older brother would have.

D. But even in this the father was providing a

lesson for his children – grace.

E. Love outweighed the disgrace

F. Love outweighed the money lost.

G. Love was proud the son had come home.

H. A life had been rescued and a family was

restored.

I. The family was once again complete.

Fathers, isn’t that the example our Heavenly Father set out for us? We were lost in sin, rebellious, unwilling to take our place of responsibility. But our Heavenly Father loved us anyway and welcomed us home with forgiveness and open arms.

Think about the examples our fathers set for us. They weren’t/aren’t perfect men. They wanted for us a better path than they had. They sacrificed and worked long hours to make sure we were provided for. We want desperately to make the proud of us. Do we honor them? Do we honor our Heavenly Father?


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