Summary: Fathers should realize how powerful their examples are to their children.
THE POWER OF EXAMPLE
ILLUSTRATION Survey made by National Center for Fathering and National Parents-Teachers Association showed that over the last ten years (1999 – 2009), a number of key gains were made that show fathers have significantly increased their involvement with their children at school. Increases were made with fathers:
Walking/taking their child to school 38% to 54% +16 percentage points
Attending class events 28% to 35% +11 percentage points
Visiting their child’s classroom 30% to 41% +11 percentage points
Volunteering at their child’s school 20% to 28% + 8 percentage points
Fathers also significantly increased their interaction with teachers, school officials and other parents. Fathers increased their engagement by:
Attending parent-teacher conferences 69% to 77% +8 percentage points
Attending school meetings 28% to 35% +7 percentage points
Attending school-based parents meetings 47% to 59% +12 percentage points
For these gains, I congratulate all the fathers who have children in school. Happy Father’s Day! Although the report was encouraging, there is still much room for improvement for all of us fathers.
Today I would like to speak on the POWER OF EXAMPLE. Fathers should realize how powerful their examples are to their children. Please open your bibles to Daniel 5:1-30.
Before we read our focal passage, let me summarize the preceding paragraphs.
This section says that King Belshazzar gave a great banquet for a thousand guests and even ordered to bring the gold and silver goblets taken from the temple in Jerusalem. They used the goblets and even praised the gods of gold and silver.
While they were celebrating, suddenly a human hand appeared and wrote something on the wall. The king was frightened so he decided to call all the wise men in Babylon to interpret the writing on the wall. Unfortunately no one was able to interpret it.
When the queen learned what happened, she recommended to the King to ask for Daniel. She explained that Daniel has the spirit of gods in him, found to have insight, intelligence, and ability to interpret dreams and solve difficult problems.
Eventually Daniel was called and told to receive special gifts from the King provided he would interpret the meaning of the writing on the wall. Daniel however declined to receive the gifts but went ahead and interpreted the writing on the wall.
READ Daniel 5.18 – 30
This section talks about three important informations:
1. The short narrative on King Nebuchadnezzar’s greatness that led to arrogance and pride which eventually ended in humility and praise to God. (See Daniel 4)
2. The indifference of King Belshazzar towards his father’s experiences and how he did not honor the God who holds his life in hand.
3. The meaning and implications of the writing on the wall.
What can we learn from the experiences of this father and son kingship?
Big Idea: FATHER’S EXAMPLE IS POWERFUL
1. Keep Building Positive Examples (5.18-21)
I emphasize positive examples because sometimes our examples are negative. Everything that we do is examples that our children would most likely imitate. If they are negative examples, then we have negative followers. Take the life of King Nebuchadnezzar and the kind of examples he made.
God gave King Neb sovereignty, greatness, glory, and splendor. God made him steward of this high position. This probably is an example that should inspire any child. Although probably King Neb never deserve this kind of opportunity, God gave it to him anyway.
Now it was one thing to be given an opportunity, it is another to know what we should do about it and how it influences our character. In the case of King Nebuchadnezzar, What did he do?
Because people dreaded and feared him (5.19), he put to death those whom he wanted dead and spared those he wanted spare, he promoted those he wanted promoted and humbles those he wanted humble.
His heart became arrogant and hardened with pride; as a result he was deposed from his royal throne and stripped of his glory for seven years until he acknowledged that the Most High God is sovereign. (see Daniel 4)
Unfortunately, his son King Belshazzar followed his example of arrogance and pride. I am sure that King Neb never wanted his son to follow his footsteps but he did because A FATHER’S EXAMPLE IS POWERFUL.
What kind of examples are we building? As long we are alive, we will keep on building examples in terms of our job, character, and faith.
What kind of worker or employee are you? If you are a mediocre worker, you will produce mediocre children. If you are unstable worker, keep changing jobs, you will produce unstable worker. Don’t be surprise and frustrated you influence them to be like that.
Now some of you would say, I am a diligent worker, how come my children are lazy? They are not lazy, they are rebellious. Sometimes in the process of achieving our success and diligence, we sacrifice them.