Summary: This sermon deals with the price of being a good father by looking at the father in the parable of the prodigal son.

The Price Of A Good Father

6/15/97 Eccl 3:1-8 I John 4:1-8 Text Luke 15:11-31

Today we celebrate Father’s Day in tribute to our fathers, grandfathers, great grandfathers, uncles, brothers and friends who have been there for us in our time of joys as well as difficulties. Men who have shown us that there is some good in the world. Men who have taken the time to invest a portion of themselves back into our lives. Men who have made sacrifices on our behalf.

Let’s suppose for a moment, that God had arranged it so that instead of being assigned a father at birth, you had the opportunity to purchase one. God gives you $500,000 and takes you down to the Dad department of the store. Now the ideal Dad who is just perfect is going to cost a million dollars so nobody is going to be able to purchase him. But you could get a really great dad for $500,000 or a very poor one for $250,000. Any money left over could be used to buy things later in life, but you’re stuck with your choice forever.

What price would you be willing to pay to get a good father? Would you give up the possibility for things, in exchange for a great relationship? Men, everyday we need to be asking the question, what price am I willing to pay to be a good father?

Being a father or a parent is one of the jobs in the world you cannot really quit. You can ignore it, run from it, neglect it, but you cannot completely get away from it. Jean Kerr said, "The thing about children, is that after you have them, thereafter you have them" We may look and see a grown 40 year old lazy rusty neck man, but there’s somebody somewhere saying, that’s my baby or that’s my boy.

There were two times in my life when the world disappeared and time stood still. The first was on my wedding day, when the preacher said, I now pronounce you man and wife. The second was on the day of the birth of our first child. My daughter was less than a day old, and she and I were in this room together, all alone. I held her in one arm and was amazed at what God had done.

She had done absolutely nothing, but I was so proud of her. In an instant I forgot all the trouble she had caused her mother and me the previous nine months and felt this incredible sense of love and commitment toward this little person. That experience gave me a new understanding of the verse about God in which it says we love Him, because He first loved us.

My daughter didn’t do anything for me to start to loving her. I simply did, and where the love came from, I do not know. I just know that it was there. And so began perhaps one of the most difficult journeys in my life. Of the many roles I have in life, trying to be a good father is one of the toughest of all. I don’t think I am alone in my struggle, because as I searched the scriptures for a message this week, I could find very few men who were good fathers to their children, beyond merely providing for their physical needs.

Urgent demands are made simultaneously upon us by our jobs, our schedules, our wives and our friends and often time there just isn’t enough energy to go around so something has to give. Unfortunately, our children are almost always the losers in the competition for that limited resource. We simply assume they know we love them.

I have found though, that our neglect of them does come back to haunt us. In those early years, they are constantly pulling on us, and wanting to be with us, and wanting to do this and that with us. Blessed is the person who realizes that this is a blessing from God. Woe to the ones who believe, they are just too busy to take the time for the kids.

Teens especially, even though we may not tell you as dads, we delight when you take the time to give us a hug or to simply spend some time with us. Even when we seem to busy. We forget that verse which says, there is a time and a season for everything which is to be done under the sun. There is a time in which we need to say no to things, and yes to investing in our relationships with those God has given to us. God is calling us to balance in our lives.

It doesn’t matter if we live in Chicago or Chesterland, Montana or Mozambique, Ireland or India, Nigeria or New Zealand, every family deserves the best father it can possibly have. As men, we have been blamed for a lot of the world’s problems today and the problems we see in our community. But the problem isn’t men, the problem is sin. Every man has the possibility of having his life changed by the power of Jesus Christ

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