Summary: What’s the key to being a successful father? In Psalm 128, there are at least three traits that can bring God’s blessing into your home.
OPEN: Proverbs 31 tells about the value of virtuous wife and mother. One woman has taken those thoughts from that chapter and applied them to her husbands and the father of her children:
Who can find a virtuous man? For his worth is far above chocolate.
The heart of his wife safely trusts him; for he will not mess around with bimbos.
He does her good and not evil all the days of his life.
He seeks motor oil and socket wrenches, And willingly works with his hands.
He rises while it is yet night, And makes coffee for her household, and feedeth the cats.
He considers a stock and buys it; From his profits he invests in a mutual fund.
He girds himself with sensitivity, and learns the art of listening.
He perceives that his benefits are good, and his lamp does not go out by night unless – of course - his Beloved desires his presence.
He extends his hand to the poor, Yes, he reaches out his hands to the needy.
He is not afraid of snow for his household, For all his household is stocked with batteries, a kerosene heater… and kitty litter for icy spots
He takes an interest in the laundry, and yea, can wield an iron and the can of spray starch and his socks match.
He remembers birthdays and writeth his own cards, and helps with the Christmas shopping and wrapping.
He watches not over-muchly of sporting events, And does not eat the potato chips of idleness.
His children rise up and call him Daddy, especially when his wife is down with the flu;
His wife also, and she praises him saying "I can’t believe you did the dishes all by yourself."
Charm is deceitful and hunkiness is passing,
But a man who fears the LORD, he shall be praised.
Let his works praise him in the women’s group.
APPLY: That woman had a high regard for her husband.
And the Bible tells us God also has a high regard for on Godly husbands and fathers.
In the days of Genesis Godly fathers and husbands were the leaders and priests and prophets of their homes. When they pronounced a blessing or a curse… those blessings and curses carried weight with God. These fathers spoke and things happened.
I believe God told us the stories of these men and their families so that we would see the powerful influence Godly fathers/ husbands can have in their homes.
Psalm 128 repeats a common theme in Scripture: God has a very high regard for dads. Why? Because earthly fathers are the model of our relationship with God… our “heavenly Father”.
QUOTE: As one man once said: “God loves fathers. He is one.” (Dr. James I. Lamb)
In this psalm God tell earthly fathers that He wants to bless their families and make them strong. He wants to make their homes to be safe and happy places. And He’s telling fathers (in this psalm) there are some things they can do to ensure that result.
So what can fathers do to obtain God’s blessing?
I. Well, the first thing is this… Godly fathers have to want their homes to succeed. Notice the location of the blessings listed in Psalms 128:3. “Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your sons will be like olive shoots around your table.”
Notice: it’s "Within your house" "Around your table."
Too many men find their greatest joys at work, in recreation, possessions, etc.
Now, as breadwinners, men HAVE to work… you can’t be at home all the time.
And there’s nothing wrong with having some recreation time, playing golf or going fishing.
Nor is there anything particularly wrong with possessions that you enjoy having around.
But, we need to realize that the allure of those aspects of our lives (job/recreation/possessions) can distract us from the priority of our homes and families.
ILLUS: William Willimon told about an adult Sunday School class where they were studying about Jesus being tempted in the wilderness. The teacher asked "How are we tempted today?"
A young salesman was the first to speak.
"Temptation is when your boss calls you in as mine did yesterday, and says ’I’m going to give you a real opportunity. I’m going to give you a bigger sales territory. We believe you are going places young man.’
‘But I don’t want a bigger sales territory,’ the young salesman told his boss. ‘I’m already away from home 4 nights a week. It wouldn’t be fair to my wife and daughter.’
‘Look,’ his boss replied, ‘We’re asking you to do this for your wife and daughter. Don’t you want to be a good father? It takes money to support a family these days. Sure, your little girl doesn’t take much money now, but think of the future. Think of her future. I’m only asking you to do this for them,’ the boss said.