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The Joy of Fatherhood (Father’s Day 2014)

15 Jun

Happy-Fathers-Day-2013- I may never be as clever as my neighbor down the street

I may never be as wealthy as some other people I’ll meet

I may never have the fame that other men may have

But I’ve just got to be successful as my little girl’s dad!

 

There are certain dreams that I cherish that I’d like to see come true

There are things I’d like to accomplish before my working days are through

But that task my heart is set on is no mere passing fad

But I’ve just got to be successful as my little girl’s dad!

 

It’s the one job I dream of, the task I think of most

For if I fail my little girl I’ve nothing else to boast

For all the wealth and fame I’d gather my fortune would be sad

If I fail to be successful as my little girl’s dad!

 

I may never come to glory. I may never gather gold

And men may count me as a failure when my business life is told

But if my little girl can just grow up godly then I’ll be glad

Then I’ll know I’ve been successful as my little girl’s dad!

Psalms 128: “Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in his ways. {2} You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours. {3} Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your sons will be like olive shoots around your table. {4} Thus is the man blessed who fears the LORD.

In an issue of the Journal of Youth and Adolescence, family scientist Laura Walker’s study found that parents’ awareness of what’s going on in their child’s life at college is associated with the children not getting involved in risky behaviors.

Specifically, students who said their fathers were in the loop of their lives had a lower likelihood of doing drugs or engaging in risky sexual behaviors. When mothers were in the know with their kids, students were less likely to drink alcohol.

“For parents, the fact that closeness plays a strong role is a message to not be overbearing,” Walker said. “Having a close relationship promotes the child wanting to open up and share what’s going on rather than the parent having to intrusively solicit the information from the child.”

They have choices & responsibility too, of course, and that will have huge effect on what they become. But what we do will set them way back and make it difficult for them or set them way ahead and open up a lot more possibilities. How we do family will also have a huge effect on the spouses. What we do will affect the future significantly.

“Fatherhood”

“So you’ve decided to have a child. You’ve decided to give up quiet evenings with good books and lazy happy-fathers-day-quotesweekends with good music, intimate meals during which you finish whole sentences, sweet private times when you’ve savored the though that just the two of you and your love are all you will ever need.

“You’ve decided to turn your soft into trampolines, and to abandon the joys of leisurely contemplating reproductions of great art for the joys of frantically coping with reproductions of yourselves.

“Why? Poets have said the reason to have children is to give yourself immortality; and I must admit I did ask God to give me a son because I wanted to carry on the family name. Well, God did just that and I now confess that there have been times when I’ve told my son not to reveal who he is. You make up a name, I’ve said…just don’t tell anybody who you are.

“Immortality? Now that I have children, my only hope is that they are out of the house before I die.” (Bill Cosby)

Dad’s Many Hats–First of all, he is to be a leader.

God has placed fathers in the family to take the lead. God’s authority in the home centers in dad.

Nowhere is that more succinctly stated than in the divinely established qualifications for an elder in the church. “He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?)” (1 Tim. 3:4, 5, NIV).

Studies have shown that there is a direct correlation between a weak father figure and a child’s problems in areas such as character, conduct, and achievement. Those who work with teens in trouble invariably discover the lack of an adequate father image in the home.

When dad abdicates his position of authority in the home, mom usually assumes the role she was never intended to have. The unhappy combination of a disinterested father and an overbearing mother can drive children to run away from home, enter early and unwise marriages, or suffer emotional difficulties and personality deficiencies.

“If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Tim. 5:8, NIV).

 “For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory” (1 Thess. 2:11-12, NIV).

As a godly manager, he prayerfully considers the feelings of others and his decisions are for their good rather than his own. He recognizes his wife’s abilities and encourages her to develop them and use them to their fullest extent.

She makes sure that he is aware of what is going on, and that he approves. And to be assured that he is in charge, that he has final responsibility for the smooth operation of the household, and that he will faithfully discharge that responsibility, brings a great sense of security both to her and to the children.

He is to be secondly a lover.

He must love his wife with an unselfish, forgiving love. Somebody has suggested that the very best thing a father can do for his children is to express a Christ-like love toward their mother. Paul exhorted “husbands love your wife as Christ loved the church” (Eph. 5:25).

Genesis 2:24 (NIV) For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

Simply stated, Dad, that means that after the Lord himself, your wife comes first in your life–before you, before your boss, before your friends, before your Christian service, even before your children.

And those very children will be the beneficiaries of your faithful adherence to this principle. Your love for their mother, openly expressed, will give them a sense of satisfaction and security that nothing else in this world can provide.

They may groan and cover their eyes when you take her in your arms and kiss her, muttering something like “Oh, brother, here we go again.” But deep down inside there will be a warm glow of contentment.

Some husbands and wives live only for their children and they never really get to know each other. One day, all too soon, the kids are grown and gone and mom and dad are left staring at each other like total strangers with nothing to say, toying with an uncontrollable urge to meddle in their children’s marriages.

So, Dad, take your wife out for dinner periodically. Bring her something that says “I love you.” Spend time talking about the things that are burdening her. Be sensitive to her needs and live to meet those needs.

Help her with the chores. If she’s had a particularly hard day, cheerfully take over and encourage her to go out for awhile. Don’t knock her or argue with her in the children’s presence. Be demonstrably affectionate toward her in front of the children. How else are they going to learn how to love?

The most frequent answer received, when college students are asked in what way they felt their parents might have failed them, was lack of love between their parents.

One girl wrote, “No affection was ever shown in our family, my father toward my mother or my parents toward us. I know I can’t blame them totally, but I am not a very warm, receptive person.” Some had never seen any open expression of love between their parents and were suffering from emotional malnutrition as a result.

The third major role a father must play is that of disciplinarian.

“And fathers, do not provoke your children to anger; but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4, NASB).

A father who rules by force and fear breeds the same personality and conduct problems as no father image at all.

“Fathers, do not exasperate your children, that they may not lose heart” (Col. 3:21, NASB).

1 Timothy 3:4 (NIV) He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect.

The fourth role God would have every father fill is that of companion.

That doesn’t mean pal. Some fathers have made fools of themselves palling around with their kids and trying to do everything they do, often to the embarrassment of the younger generation. By companion I mean comrade, confidant, and friend.

Malachi 4:6 (NIV)
6 He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse.”

This passage still awaits its final prophetic fulfillment, but illustrates what God’s grace can accomplish even today in restoring a cherished relationship between fathers and their children.

That will require time spent together, with open communication and intimate communion. Boys and girls both need time alone with dad.

An ideal occasion for communication and companionship with younger children is at bedtime.

A boy particularly needs to know his dad. Dad represents the man he will become–the husband he will be to his wife, the father he will be to his children, the provider he will be for his family, the leader he will be in his church, and the witness he will be in the world. He needs an example to follow, a model to identify with, a dad he can be proud of.

Build Me a Son, O Lord

“Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak, and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid; one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory.

“Build me a son whose wishbone will not be where his backbone should be; a son who will know Thee and that to know himself is the foundation stone of knowledge. Lead him, I pray, not in the path of ease and comfort, but under the stress and spur of difficulties and challenge. Here let him learn to stand up in the storm; here let him learn compassion for those who fail.

“Build me a son whose heart will be clean, whose goal will be high; a son who will master himself before he seeks to master other men; one who will learn to laugh, yet never forget how to weep; one who will reach into the future, yet never forget the past.

“And after all these things are his, add, I pray, enough of a sense of humor, so that he may always be serious, yet never take himself too seriously. Give him humility, so that he may always remember the simplicity of greatness, the open mind of true wisdom, the meekness of true strength. Then I, his father, will dare to whisper, “I have not lived in vain.”

Daughters need to know their dads. A girl learns from her dad what men are like. He represents the husband she will one day give herself to, the father of her children, the authority figure she will submit to. Cultivate a warm and cordial relationship with her. It will help her adjust successfully to the husband God gives her. If you deprive her of your companionship, the resentment she feels will be transferred to other men, even to her husband.

Psalm 121:1-8 (NIV) I lift up my eyes to the hills– where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip– he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over you– the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm– he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2014 in Family, Sermon

 

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