Summary: This message focuses on the role of the godly father in the home.
“The Leading Man”
The idea for creating a day for children to honor their fathers began in Washington in 1909. A woman named Sonora Dodd thought of te idea while she was listening to a Mother’s day sermon. Having been raised by her father, after her mother died she wanted her father to know how special he was to her. It was her father who made so many sacrifices and through her eyes was a very courageous man. Her father was born in June so she chose to hold the first father’s day celebration the following June in Washington.
A little boy was asked to define father’s day and he said, it’s just like Mother’s day only you don’t spend as much on the present.
The greatest number of long distance phone calls are made o Mother’s day...the largest number of collect calls are made on father’s Day.
I read an article this week titled 50 reasons why it’s good to be a man. I won’t read all of them but I did out together my own top 10 list.
10. You can drop by to see a friend without bringing a little gift.
9. If another guy shows up at the party in the same outfit you might become lifelong buddies.
8. There is always a game on somewhere.
7. You can go to the bathroom without a support group.
6. You get to jump up and slap stuff.
5. You can kill your own food.
4. If someone forgets to invite you to something he can still be your friend.
3. One wallet, one pair of shoes, one color, year round.
2. You can admire Clint Eastwood without starving yourself to look like him.
1. You can do your nails with a pocket knife.
There are some obvious advantages to being a man. I want to begin this morning with some encouraging words about Dads. The National Center for Fathering recently said man are rediscovering what it means to be a Father. Here are 2 rather surprising facts. (1) In the past 25 years the number of Dads present at the birth of their children has risen from 27% to more than 90% today. (2) More than 75% of men say they would trade career advancement for more time with their families.
But all the news is not good. John Maxwell summarizes the state of fatherhood in an article called Dads” the new endangered species.” Here is what he says” guys really want to be good dads more than ever but they aren’t changing much. When the good news is combined with the bad, it seems that fatherhood in the U.S. is poised for either a great awakening or a terrible collapse. The passage I want to read this morning is very brief but it says volumes.
Now before we begin to unpack this verse I want to begin by giving some background. In the fist century when this passage was written, families were run by fathers who could do whatever they pleased in their homes. Rome had a law that said that men had absolute authority over their families. By law the children and the wife were regarded as his property...he could do with them whatever he pleased. When a child was born, the baby was placed between the father’s feet. If he picked up the child, the child stayed in the home. If he turned and walked away, the child was either left to die or sold at auction. With the number of dads who walk away from their responsibilities and the number of abortions that are performed today I’m not sure we have mad much progress in this area.
But the Bible calls fathers to a different standard. Our children are not property to own.....they are made in the image of God and they are ours to be trained to grow into responsible adults. We are called to provide an environment where they can be loved and nurtured...where our kids can grow up to love and serve Christ. Our primary responsibilities as fathers are laid out in this verse.
I want you to notice the very first word of this verse: Fathers. I think Paul addresses just Dads here because he especially knows that we need to hear this. He doesn’t say “parents” or “moms or dads.” He just uses the word fathers.
Now in essence Paul challenges Fathers to take their role more seriously. And he gives every Dad 4 specific jobs.
JOB 1. Avoid exasperation. That word means to anger or to enrage. Paul said in Colossians, Fathers do not embitter your children or they will be come discouraged. I can think of some ways that Fathers can exasperate their children.
1. Overprotection. You can anger your kids by fencing them in too much. They need boundaries but not fences.