Summary: Our world is in desperate need of godly fathers.
The Prodigal’s Father
"There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, `Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them. 13 "Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no-one gave him anything. 17 "When he came to his senses, he said, `How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father. "But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. 21 "The son said to him, `Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 "But the father said to his servants, `Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate. 25 "Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 `Your brother has come,’ he replied, `and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’ 28 "The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, `Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’ 31 "`My son,’ the father said, `you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’" Luke 15:11-32 (NIV)
Learn from this father some keys for effective fathering…
1- Be ACTIVELY Involved In Raising Your Children.
2- Be AVAILABLE. (TIME + Attention = Love)
3- Be AFFECTIONATE.
(Real men can show emotions! “Jesus wept” (Jn 11:35) He cared!!!!
4- Be RECONCILABLE. (Eph. 6:4)
He had passed on enough confidence in his love that his son could come home.
5- Be Extremely FAIR.
6- Be PATIENT, Allow God To Do His Work.
(patience & confidence)
7- Leave Your Children A Worthwhile INHERITANCE.
(Industrious and spiritual [he knew that he had sinned & he assoc. “heaven” w/ his father!)
Several years ago then vice-president Dan Quayle got in trouble. Excerpts from newspaper article of Vice President’s speech: “the failure of our families is hurting America deeply. “When families fail, society fails” “children need love and discipline. They need mothers and fathers. A welfare check is not a husband. The state is not a father. It is from parents that children learn how to behave in society; it is from parents that children learn how to behave in society. it is from parents above all that children come to understand values and themselves as men and women, mothers and fathers.” “And for those concerned about children growing up in poverty, we should know this: Marriage is probably the best anti-poverty program of all. Among families headed by married couples today, there is a poverty rate of 5.7 percent. But 33.4 percent of families headed by a single mother are in poverty today.” “Ultimately, however, marriage is a moral issue that requires cultural consensus, and the use of social sanctions. Bearing babies irresponsibly is, simply, wrong. Failing to support children one has fathered is wrong. We must be unequivocal about this.” “It doesn’t help matters when prime time TV has Murphy Brown...a character who supposedly epitomized today’s intelligent, highly paid, professional woman...mocking the importance of fathers by bearing a child alone, and calling it just another lifestyle choice”.