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Summary: In this message we will see what we can learn about fatherhood from the perfect father...

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The Perfect Father

"Be imitators of God...." Eph 5:1

Introduction

"You, " said the doctor to his patient, "are in terrible shape

you’ve got to do something about it. First, tell your wife to cook more nutritious meals. Stop working like a dog. Also inform your wife you’re going to make a budget , and she has to stick to it. And have her keep the kids off your back so you can relax. Unless there are some changes in your life, you’ll probably be dead in a month."

"Doc", the patient said, "this would sound more official coming from you. Could you please call my wife and give her those instructions?’ When the fellow got home, his wife rushed to him. "I talked to the doctor" she wailed poor man you only have 30 days to live".

Sometimes fathers are like Rodney Dangerfield they get no respect.

Erma Bombeck in her usual humorous way said this about fathers; "when I grew up, fathers were like refrigerator lights, every body’s house had one but no one knew what either one did once the door was shut.

Today is fathers day. Happy Fathers Day!

PRAYER.....

The need for fathers today is great: everyday in America:

. 1,000 unwed teenage girls become mothers

. 1,106 teenage girls get abortions

. 4,219 teenagers contract a STD

. 500 teens begin using drugs

. 1,000 teens begin drinking alcohol

. 135,000 kids bring a gun or other weapon to school

. 3,610 teens are assaulted, 80 are raped

. 2,200 teens drop out of school

. 7 kids (ages 10-19) are murdered

. 7 juveniles (17 and under) are arrested for murder

. 6 teens commit suicide

(Those statistics speak for themselves, many of our youth today are in turmoil)

I know there has been a lot of debate on the importance of fathers in the home in recent years. And it all really began to go public back when Dan Qualye made that comment several years ago about Murphy Brown. Let me say up front that though many single moms can and often, do a great job - it still does not diminish the importance of father’s.

Various studies conducted by Yale, John Hopkins and other groups have documented the following;

The absence of a father is a stronger factor than poverty in contributing to juvenile delinquency.

In 48 cultures around the world crime rates were highest among adults who as children had been raised solely by women.

Closeness with parents was the common factor in hypertension, coronary heart disease, malignant tumors, mental illness and suicide.

A study of 39 teenage girls suffering from anorexia nervosa showed that 36 of them had one common denominator; lack of closeness with their fathers.

An emotionally or physically absent father contributes to a child’s

(1) low motivation for achievement;

(2) inability to defer immediate gratification for later rewards;

(3) low self esteem;

(4) susceptibility to group influence and juvenile delinquency.

(Again the stats speak for themselves, father’s are important in the lives of their children, and they need to be there not just physically but emotionally as well).

And let me say something up front again, when I say fathers, I am not referring solely to biological fathers; I am also speaking of step-dads as well.

Over 40% of all marriages in the US involve a remarriage of 1 or both parties. 1 out of 3 americans (80 million people) is either a step parent, step child or step sibling. 1 out of 5 children under the age of 18 is a step child. And by the year 2,000 step families (involving 1 spouse who has children) and complex families (in which both spouse have children) will soon be the majority.

Now, If you’re like most men - even those who had a poor or harmful experience with their own fathers - you have a general idea of the kind of father you want to be. You have a picture in your mind of what a model father looks like: you want to be the kind of father:

whose children feel secure, confident, loved and accepted

whose children save sex for marriage, and remain faithful to their spouse in marriage.

whose children develop a reputation as men and women of integrity; honest, ethical,

hardworking.

whose child might say, "my dad keeps his promises.

whose children stand up to unhealthy peer pressure, children who develop healthy friendships,.

whose kids say no to drugs and alcohol and risky behavior.

whose children quickly admit their mistakes, who are forgiving and patient with others and who enjoy a healthy sense os self- esteem and self confidence.

whose children have a hard time picking out a fathers day card (not because they say too much but say too little)

That’s the kind of father we all want to be. That’s the kind of father I want to be. But I know that I am not all I should be. And I know that for me to do this I need a model, I need an example of a father that I can pattern myself after, a father from who I can learn from and imitate.

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