Deuteronomy 6: 1-3
Rev. Samuel Wansley
The purpose of Father’s Day is to recognize fathers. It is important that I give you something to feast on for this special occasion. We are all children of God. He is our father and we have a responsibility to be an example and to share with our children what God has commanded us to do. We must be able to instruct and teach our children the word of God. We must be their guide on this journey called life. We must be able to lead them safely through life, so that when they are on this road alone, they will know what to do and what to look out for. One role of a father is to help his children avoid danger. They are there to warn their children of what the enemy is doing in order to take corrective actions when confronting the enemy.
Another responsibility the father has is to provide and protect his family. This will require discipline which is then passed along to his children. There is not a father who has not experienced chastisement or some type of punishment from God. We've all been taken to the woodshed at some time so that we’d gain valuable knowledge and discipline. This is what’s needed to develop true fathers.
The bible says in Heb. 12:11: “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Take comfort in knowing that when the Lord administers discipline it’s to train us for something. He does this because he cares and love us. We may not have understood it while it was happening but we know now that it was for our own good. God adopted us as his sons and as father he disciplined us with caring and loving directions. As fathers then we learn that hard times, the rough times shape us into God fearing men.
Whenever a father makes things hard on his children or allows them to go through hard times alone, he is trying to teach them something that will enable them to survive and thrive in life. How will a child learn how to fix a problem if they have never been allowed to handle a problem? We allow them to fall so that they will learn how to avoid stumbling blocks. God uses adversity as a purifier to cleanse us and to kill off the bad and evil parts of a man. The winter snow will kill certain species of insects: so, God sends His children through winter storms to kill certain species of sins. If you hadn’t gone through some Arctic storms in your life some of those sins that were clinging to you would still be hanging on.
Fathers understand that discipline made us better men and God disciplined us for three very important reasons: 1. We are his children. 2. He loves us. and 3. He istraining us so that we could share in his holiness. And he expects us to do the same with our children as their fathers. God's discipline trained us to be godly men. Those of us who had god-fearing earthly fathers to lead and guide us and train us molded us into the god-fearing men we are today.
As a child I was taught to go to bed early, eat my veggies. I didn’t necessarily agree with it but now I see myself teaching the same things to my child. When I became a father, things changed in my life; all of the training finally kicked in. There was less partying and more working. Less time hanging out with the fellas and more quality time with the family, and all of these things happened because of the training and disciplined I received from both my earthly and Godly fathers.
Women always ask the question...where are all the good men. We’re here. You just have to know how to recognize us and where to look for us. You're probably not going to find the good father material in the clubs.
There are some very distinct characteristics that show up in a man whose been trained by God.He’ll more than likely be found in church on Sunday morning. He's opened minded and willing to accept constructive criticism He does not have to be forced to spend quality time with his children. He protects and provides for His family. He accepts that his kids aren’t exactly like him. (Thank God!)
A good father teaches his children life lessons. He is concerned about their education, both secular and spiritual. The bible tells us to impress upon our children the commands of God. Duet. 6:7-9 says, “7Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”
Fathers, make time for your family. Show your children that they are important to you. Selfishness has no place in the mind or heart of a god –fearing father. Make sacrifices for them, food, clothing and an adequate home and your time. If you don’t spend significant amounts of your time with them, they might conclude that you care more for other things such as your job, friends or hobbies than you do for them.
Fathers, remember these four words: sensitive, listening, responsive, and questioning. Actually listen to what your children are saying. Ask questions to get them to talk even more. Have you ever wondered why children talk to their mothers more than you? If your children think that you will lose your temper quickly and be judgmental, they will have little incentive to express their inner feelings to you. Show them that you care and ask them about their lives. Then listen to them with sensitivity and calmness, you will show that you are genuinely interested in them. They will be more likely to share their precious thought and feeling with you. Even when you’re angry, the discipline you administer should be an expression of loving concern for the welfare of your child. Discipline is advice, correction, and education. Discipline is also chastisement when it’s needed. The theologian Martin Luther said, “keep an apple beside your rod...to give the child when he does well.” Discipline must be exercised with watchful care and constant training with much prayer. Discipline is much more effective when a father commends his children regularly. A fathers should look for opportunities to commend and to build confidence in his children and motivate them not do give up trying to do what is right.
One of the best things a father can does for his children is to respect their mothers. How proud are you when your child leaves home and continues to serve the Lord? This is evidence of how well you trained them. There are two types of fathers just as there are two types of mothers. One is the biological parent and another is a man acting as a parent who helps raise and looks after a child as if he were the parent. He is supportive and loyal and he leads by example. "Color Him Father" is an unabashedly sentimental song in which a boy expresses his love for his stepfather, a hardworking and generous man who married his widowed mother. She had seven children who he embraced them as his own.
No, being a good Christian father is not easy, however it is so rewarding! Follow the gps for Christians known as the Old and New Testament as your guide.