Summary: We men and boys are Two Fathers going through Two Phases required by God’s Holy Word. We are either a father doing what God has instructed us to do, or we are a father-to-be learning by discipline how to someday be a father after God’s own heart.
This is the first Father’s Day I will have without my father. Let me say, that in heaven there is only one Father, and that is God himself, but my dad recently went there, and so while I am on this earth, I have two fathers in Heaven now. God gave him over 85 years on this earth, and he gave me more than 53 years of those to share with him. My father was not a great man as the world rates men. He was however the father that God chose for me and I am extremely blessed because of that. He grew up during difficult times in rural Northeast Missouri and spent more than three years in combat during WWII. He was a prison guard for more than 23 years prior to his retirement. My dad never talked much about himself, he let others do that, but when he spoke most listened, whether it was some advice or a joke he wanted to share. How many people listen, I mean really listen when we speak? I am in many ways my father’s son. I inherited many of his physical traits and in my later years many of his character traits. As I think of my earthly father I am reminded of many things, one of which is discipline. If I was doing something wrong when I was young and living at home, all my dad would have to do is look in my direction and I would stop whatever I was doing. That is discipline in action. Why don’t we see that type of discipline today?
I believe it is because we have the same problem that King David had. As we read 1 Kings 1:6 we see why Adonijah turned out the way he did. “His father, King David, had never disciplined him at any time, even by asking, “What are you doing?” Adonijah was a very handsome man and had been born next after Absalom.”(NLT)
Whether we fathers are kings or prison guards, we must discipline our children. Our position in life does not negate our responsibility to discipline our children. We find out later that Adonijah like Absalom tried to be King, one tried to overthrow his father and the other his younger brother Solomon.
Just before King David died he gave the new King (Solomon) some advice, 1 Kings 2:2-3a “I am going where everyone on earth must someday go. Take courage and be a man. Observe the requirements of the LORD your God and follow all of his way.”(NLT)
There is no greater thing we can do as kings, guards, or fathers.
King Solomon later tells us what else we need to do with our children, Proverbs 13:24 “If you refuse to discipline your children, it proves that you don’t love them; if you love your children, you will be prompt to discipline them.”(NLT)
I can say without hesitation that my dad really loved me.
Another, Proverbs 22:6,15 “Teach your children to choose the right path, and when they are older, they will remain upon it. A youngster’s heart is filled with foolishness, but discipline will drive it away.”(NLT)
Again, I am proof that it really works. That’s another sermon for another time.
Solomon continues in Proverbs 23:13-14 to say “Don’t fail to correct your children. They won’t die if you spank them. Physical discipline may well save them from death.”(NLT)