Notice that one of the responsibilities of John the Baptist was to “turn the hearts of the fathers to the children.” If ever there was a time that this needed to happen it is now.
A few Sunday’s ago I passed out a piece of paper on in that asked 2 questions: (1) What is a Father or Dad?; (2) What does your Father or Dad mean to you? Seven people responded & I am going to let their responses help me preach my sermon today as we honor our fathers.
Let me begin by reading something to you by Martha Bolton titled: What Is Fatherhood?
What Is Fatherhood?
Fatherhood is…getting to go anywhere you want for Father’s Day, getting to drive there, and even get-
ting to pay the bill!
It’s getting up in the middle of the night to see what the noise was outside, when you’d really rather stay in bed and hide, like everyone else.
It’s the best excise in the world to buy all those toys you wanted as a child and never got.
It’s catching yourself watching cartoons when no one else is home, and enjoying them.
It’s biting your tongue and remembering to be a good example when someone cuts you off on the highway.
It’s playing Santa at midnight on Christmas Eve, then paying for the privilege at 22% interest for 36 consecutive months.
It’s assembling toys that require one screwdriver and a nuclear physicist to assemble.
It’s praying for, hoping for, and anxiously looking forward to the day when your kids will be out of the house and on their own…and then trying to postpone that day as long as possible when it approaches.
It’s carrying sleepy kids into the house when you’re too tired to even carry yourself in.
Yes, fatherhood is sometimes a thankless job of fixing kites, breaking up fights, wiping up chocolate milk.
It’s dental bills, broken arms, and skateboards.
But today, Dad, we want to say we appreciate you, and all you do!
Notice that one of the responsibilities of John the Baptist was to “turn the hearts of the fathers to the children.” If ever there was a time that this needed to happen it is now. I know we talk of how the hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that controls the world, when we are talking about mothers. But I would like to suggest to you that the reason this world and the reason this nation and the reason the church is in the condition it is in is because of our fathers. Fathers who don’t have their hearts turned to their children. Fathers who have never put their arm around their child and told them that they love them. Fathers who have never showed their emotions in front of their children (many children have never seen their father cry). Fathers who have never taken their children to church or sent them to Sunday School and didn’t go with them. Fathers who have walked out on the family. Fathers who have never led their children in prayer or never prayed for them. Fathers who have time for everything in the world but never have time for their children.
Now let me share with you some of the answers to the question I asked, What is a Father or Dad?
Kelly Lee says, “A person that loves and takes care of you.”
Wendy Morgan says, “A father is someone who cares about you. They spend time with you and loves you, but most importantly a father should live a life as an example for their child.”
Michelle Lee says, “A special person in your life.”
An unknown person says, “A Dad is someone who loves you no matter what; who takes care of you; who provides for you; who spends time with you, even though he’d rather be doing something else.”
Rita Lee says, “A father is someone you look up to no matter how tall you grow. He is supposed to set the Godly example before his children.”
Vicki Lee says, “A Dad is someone who loves you, takes care of you and supports you no matter what.”
Cathy Morgan says, “A Dad is a male role model, who is always there, not only in the good times, but the bad times as well. He is someone who loves you with all his heart and would do anything to make you happy.”
The father commanded a high position in the family of O.T. times; his word was law. In addition, the Hebrew word translated into English as husband actually means “lord,” “master,” “owner,” or “possessor” (Gen. 18:12; Hos. 2:16). Because of his position, shared to some degree with his wife, a man expected to be treated as royalty by the rest of his family. The fifth commandment carries this idea of the importance of the parents one step further when it states, “Honor your father and your mother” (Exodus 20:12). The word honor often refers to one’s response to God. In other words, this commandment suggests that the parents should receive a recognition similar to that given to God.
Along with the honor of the position as head of the family, the father was expected to assume certain responsibilities. These responsibilities can be classified into 3 categories which I believe was seen in the response of the question I asked: spiritual, social, & economic.
First of all, the father was responsible for the spiritual well-being of the family, as well as the individual members of the family. In the earliest ages, the father functioned as the priest of his family, sacrificing on their behalf (Genesis 12:8; Job 1:5). Later, when a priesthood was established in Israel and the layman no longer functioned at an altar, the father’s spiritual role was redefined. he continued to be the religious leader in the home. This involved the training of the children in godliness.
Proverbs 22:6 – “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
The Living Bible puts it this way, “Teach a child to choose the right path, and when he is older, he will remain upon it.”
Socially, the father’s responsibility was to see that no one took advantage of any member of his family. Those who were not protected by a father were truly disadvantaged persons. The two most common categories of “fatherless” people were widows and orphans. Four specific duties of a father toward his son, as stated in the Jewish writings, were to have the son circumcised; to pass on his inheritance to his firstborn son; to find his son a wife; and to teach him a trade.
Economically, the father was to provide for the needs of the various members of his family. From time to time, however, a lazy person failed to provide for his family. conscientious men sought to mock the lazy man, shaming him to do what was expected of him:
Proverbs 6:6-11 – “(6) Take a lesson from the ants, you lazy fellow. Learn from their ways and be wise! (7) For though they have no king to make them work, (8) yet they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter. (9) But you – all you do is sleep. When will you wake up? (10) ‘Let me sleep a little longer!’ Sure, just a little more! (11) And as you sleep, poverty creeps upon you like a robber and destroys you; want attacks you in full armor.” (TLB)
The apostle Paul rebuked those who considered themselves Christian but who did not look after the needs of their families:
1 Timothy 5:8 – “But it anyone does not provide for his own, especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
The Living Bible: “But anyone who won’t care for his own relatives when they need help, especially those living in his own family, has no right to say he is a Christian. Such a person is worse than the heathen.”
Also we learn not only form the responses of those who responded from my question but we learn from the Scripture that Fathers are to be an example, a godly example to follow.
Two Scripture references, one bad the other good:
1 Kings 15: 25, 26 – “Now Nadab the son of Jeroboam became king over Israel in the second year of Asa King of Judah, and he reigned over Israel two years. (26) and he did evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the way of his father, and in his sin by which he had made Israel sin.”
1 Kings 15:1-3 – “(1) In the twenty-seventh year of Jeroboam king of Israel, Azariah the son of Amaziah, king of Judah, became king. (2) he was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem. his mother’s name was Jecholiah of Jerusalem. (3) and he did what was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Amaziah had done.”
It is important that we be a good example because of what happen to Judah and what is said concerning their sin: “The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron; with the point of a diamond it is engraved on the tablet of their heart, and on the horns of your altars” (Jeremiah 17:1).
Now let me close with a tribute to the Fathers of those who responded to the question: What does your Father or Dad mean to you?
Kelly Lee: “He takes good care of me. If I want something he will get it for me. And he comforts me.”
Wendy Morgan:”My dad is my friend. he is someone who I joke with and love.”
Michelle Lee:”He is a special person.”
Unknown: “My dad is deceased. But I remember how much he loved not only me but all of his other children. He did not always say it in words, but by his actions. He took care of, and provided for us in good times and in bad times.
Rita Lee: “My dad means the world to me. He loves me and supports me. My dad has set the example and the way before me. he is a Christian and I will always look up to my dad.”
Vicki Lee: “My father means the world to me. I love him very much.
Cathy Morgan: “My dad means everything to me. I’m his little girl who enjoys spending time with him, especially when fishing. I appreciate that I have a dad, because my dad basically grew up without one. I wouldn’t trade my dad for anything in this world. my dad is a great role model and a very good person to look up to.
Let me close with this reading:
Father’s day Is a Special Day
Father’s Day is a special day When we remember Dad, But God was the only Father That Jesus ever had.
And when he was a little boy He loved His Father so, That he desired to please him Wherever he would go.
So, this Father’s Day, like Jesus-Honor Dad in all you do,And reflect the love of Jesus for the Heavenly Father too.
Harry C. Baxindine III