Summary: The Godly father is observant, compassionate, demonstrative.
The Ideal Father Luke 15:20
INTRO.: The story of the prodigal son gives us a picture of the ideal father. The Father in the story refers to God. Who could be a better father?
What is the ideal father like? Verse 20 paints a vivid picture. Let’s look at it.
I. The father who is like God always knows where the children are and what they are doing:
A. We wonder how it happened he saw his son while he was still a long way off:
1. He must have been watching or had someone else watching who told him.
2. No doubt he knew all the time where his son was. It wouldn’t be hard to know. There were gossips in his day, too.
3. He would ask every traveler for news.
4. His father’s heart must have broken.
B. Our Heavenly Father knows all we do.
1. He doesn’t need anyone to tell Him. He is omnipotent.
2. He knows our sins and our needs. Mt. 6:8
3. If He is sometimes pleased with our victories, He must often be disappointed with our failures.
C. Every father should take a like interest in his children’s whereabouts and well being
1. Too many leave that to mother.
2. Illus.: When John goes to PTO meetings or conferences, he is the only man there and others don’t know what to think.
3. Earning a living is no a good excuse for ignoring or neglecting children.
II. A godly father has compassion on his children:
A. He is willing to give like God gives to him:
1. Jesus used this for an illustration to teach the compassion of God. Mt. 7:11
2. Father in story gave to his son even though it was wasted. Lk. 15:12, 13
3. God knows much of what He gives us won’t be used for His glory but He gives it
B. God is also willing, even eager to forgive:
1. The prodigal’s father didn’t see someone who had insulted him. He saw his son hungry, filthy, and bare footed. In need.
2. He saw someone who had done great damage to himself and his future.
3. This is what is meant by, "he had compassion." It’s what God is like.
C. If a father wants to be like God, he must also have compassion on his children.
1. Willing to give and forgive repeatedly.
2. Any father who can will give his children whatever they need or even want.
3. A compassionate father cares more about the needs, suffering of his children than his own.
III. The godly father is not afraid to express his love:
A. Love demands expressions: We can’t help letting it show if it is genuine:
1. The father ran to his son, threw his arms around him, kissed him, and forgave.
2. No expense was too great to express it.
3. If you love your children, it means nothing unless you let them know it. Some fathers have trouble with this.
B. Consider how God demonstrates His love:
1. He gives us gifts. Jas. 1:17
2. Chastises us at times. Heb. 12:6
3. Sent Son to grant forgiveness. I John 4:9.
C. The Christian father also needs to express his feelings. A child should see his father:
1. Demonstrate affection for wife, children.
2. Discipline children in love.
3. Live Christian life, support church.
4. Pray honestly and earnestly.
CONC.: Like mothers, fathers have a great privilege and a great responsibility. What the future hold for our children depends on how their parents discharge these responsibilities.
The lessons we have drawn from the story of the prodigal son are not all there is to being a good father, but they would go a long way. Review.