Summary: The role of fathers in discipleship
Intro: Today is Father’s day. As a special tribute to all the fathers here today, I brought along a friend named “Billy Bass” who has some special advice for you. I know some of you men like to fish, and you may wish you had a trophy bass like Billy. But Billy has some words of wisdom to share. Being a father in today’s society is not easy. Billy, in light of all the pressures on these fathers here today, what words of wisdom would you give them? [Don’t Worry - Be Happy]
Far too often we take our fathers for granted. I’d like to read a thought from one of the most admired theologians of our day: Dear Abby. Now, I did not say she was always right, just that she is often sought out. But this time, she has some wise words to share.
#Read tribute to fathers
Far too often we don’t value our father’s advice until it is too late!
The Bible has a lot to say about Fathers. I’d like us to consider the role of a father this morning, and then we’ll look to see what that role might have to do with the organization of the church.
Turn with me to Proverbs 4. Read 4:1-13
I. The Job of Fathers: Instruction
A. Teaching - Here in Proverbs, as well as throughout the Bible, we find the job of fathers expressed. Now, often when we think of a father’s role, we think of the provider, the one who earns the bucks and buys the bread. We think of someone who always has whatever we need. Or, the other thing we often think of is the protector, the one who wears the bullet-proof vest and shields his family from all harm and danger.
#Ronda - spiders, ants - always calls me
These tend to be the two roles that society places great emphasis on. Yet, proverbs gives us another role: that of a teacher. So often we think of the mother as the teacher for our children. We think the husband goes out and works hard and the mom stays home and teaches the kids. But that’s not what we find as the pattern given in scripture. Here we see that the father is one who offers instruction.
4:4 - A father’s instruction is life-giving. When fathers function in their God-given role, children are given a pattern to follow.
13:1 - tells us A wise son heeds his father’s instruction, but a mocker does not listen to rebuke. Those who are wise will heed their father’s instructions.
How are fathers to offer instruction? Does this mean that dads need to take off work, and stay home to homeschool their children. No. Look at Deuteronomy 6. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door-frames of your houses and on your gates.
God tells us the instruction takes place in everything you do with your children. Walking along the road, watching TV, going to the mall, going on vacation, going out to a restaurant. We are constantly taking advantage of opportunities to teach our children truth. In our homes, we have visible reminders, pictures, scripture on the walls to teach Biblical truth.
#mom - plaques - 1 Peter 5:7 - Casting all your care upon him, for he careth for you
Prov. 6:20 tells us this is to be a way of life. My son, keep your father’s commands and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. Bind them upon your heart for ever; fasten them around your neck. When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you. For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way to life.
What is the job of a father? It is to provide instruction and training for his children. I think in our society we have gotten away from fathers involved in the life of their children. Dr. Urie Bronfenbrenner wanted to determine how much time middle class fathers spent with their one year old kids. The fathers estimated 15 to 20 minutes. Microphones were placed on the shirts of the kids to find out the actual parental interaction. The average amount of time each dad spent with his kids was 37 seconds, an average of 2.7 daily encounters of ten to fifteen seconds.