Summary: 1- Hidden wisdom 2- Chosen relationship 3- Comforting rest

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INTRO.- ILL.- A father and his son were having a conversation one day. The son said, “Dad, here’s my report card and here’s one of your old report cards that I found.”

The father replied, “Well, son you’re right. This old report card of mine you found isn’t any better than yours. I guess the only thing to do is give you what my father gave me.”’

Eph. 6:4 “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” Most people believe that for a father to raise a child in the Lord he must also use some discipline.

ILL.- There was a farmer who sold a mule to another person down the road. He explained carefully: “This old mule is a good mule, but you must be gentle with him, ever so gentle.”

The next day about ten o’clock, the purchaser appeared at the door of the seller, most irate, demanding his money back.

“What’s wrong?” the seller asked. “That mule is sitting in the middle of the barn and will not move. I have been ever so gentle...” “Oh, let me help you.”

They went down to the mule, the seller got a big stick and hit it as hard as he could on its rear. The mule got up. “But I thought you said to be ever so gentle.” “Yes, but first you got to get his attention.”

When children are little you have to first get their attention. And often it doesn’t quit in the toddler stage!

Prov. 13:24 “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.”

When a father loves his children enough to discipline them he will give them other things in life as well. He will provide for them as best he can materially and he will give them his time as well, which may be one of the best things a father can give to his children.

ILL.- In the Diary of Brooks Adams is a note about a special day when he was eight-years-old. He wrote, “went fishing with my father; the most glorious day of my life,” and through the next forty years there were constant references to that day and the influence it had on his life.

Brook’s father was Charles Francis Adams, Abraham Lincoln’s ambassador to Great Britain. He also had a note in his diary about the same day. It simply said, “went fishing with my son: a day wasted.”

That father was dead wrong. Time devoted to your children is never wasted.

ILL.- Dr. James Dobson of FOCUS ON THE FAMILY said one time, “The Western world stands at a great crossroads in its history. It is my opinion that our very survival as a people will depend upon the presence or absence of masculine leadership in millions of homes...I believe, with everything within me, that husbands hold the keys to the preservation of the family.” Fathers are vitally important to the family. And without a heavenly Father where would we be?

Matt. 7:11 “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”

We have a loving, giving Father in heaven. He is far more giving than any of us humans. All we have to do is ask and sometimes He gives even when we don’t ask! What a Father!

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