Summary: The dad of the prodigal has a good deal to teach us about right attitudes and right actions when it comes to dealing with problem children.
What about it, Daddy?
The Father of the Prodigal
I. He was the Provider of the Family
--Master of the home
1 Tim. 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
Dad should provide basic necessities, protection, motivation, love, and counsel.
Mom and children suffer when daddy in irresponsible.
II. He Provided an Inheritance for His Children
Prov. 13:22 A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.
--one should leave a physical and a spiritual inheriance
--the oldest received a double portion
--nevertheless, the younger understood that an inheritance awaited him also.
Consider the types of inheritances that someone can leave for their children and grandchildren.
Prov. 22:1 A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.
III. He Recognized the Right of His Son to Choose His Own Way
When a son or daughter becomes an adult, he or she has make choices and accept their consequences.
As a parent, we want to make decisions for them without considering their choice in the matter. That is fine when they are young and are being molded. After a while, they have to step out and prove themselves.
It is interesting that in Bible times, a male was not considered a mature man until around 40 years of age.
When the prodigal demanded his inheritance, the father consented and allowed him to leave, even though he knew it was for the wrong reason. Our heavenly Father loves us, but He knows that we have to choose on our own if we will follow His ways or go the way of the world.
Dads, we need the wisdom of God, and temperance so as not to manipulate the lives of our children. Above all, our children need to know that there is a place that they can come back to, when they recognize the error of their way.
It is not a matter of following traditions; maybe your family did it a different way, but they do it biblically?
IV. The Priest of the Home
Isa. 38:19 The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day: the father to the children shall make known thy truth.
You see, the prodigal son, when he came to himself, remembered how his daddy loved him and cared for him and had taught him the right way. He also knew that his dad would accept him again.
V. The Family Intercessor
In bible times, the dads would offer sacrifices to God for their families.
Job prayed for his children every day. (Job1:5)
This is still the duty of a godly dad. Not just when they are living in your home, but even as they find their way in life.
When the prodigal got close to home, he found his dad looking and waiting for him. Dad never lost hope. He was believing that his wayward boy would repent and come back home.
Dads, do your children know that you are interceding for them?
VI. He Did NOT Condemn His Son
The prodigal came home with a humble and contrite spirit. He had repented.
Beatings and chastisement were not necessary. He had already suffered greatly for his foolishness.
What he needed was a dad who would be compassionate and forgiving. That is exactly what he found, and more
Dad showed him in more ways than one that he was welcome and wanted. He
even threw him a big party and let him know that he would still be treated as a beloved son, and not a slave.
VII. No Partiality
IL.: A man asked another man with 9 children, "which one of your kids have you loved the most?" The dad responded that he loved all his children the same, that he did not show favoritism. The other man stated, "no, you have loved your eldest longer than the rest of the kids, so you have loved him more."
This dad was careful not to give special treatment to one more than another. In spite of all the shortcomings of the prodigal, the dad was careful to let him know that he just as much a beloved son as his brother.
In theology, we say that the prodigal had received justification.
Justification = just as if you never had sinned.
Come on dads. Let us examine ourselves and stay after the task of being a dad that glorifies God and endeavors to be an example for our children to follow.