Happy Father’s Day!

Get Wisdom at Any Cost

Proverbs: 1-5 – 20-21

Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding.I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching.For I too was a son to my father, still tender, and cherished by my mother. Then he taught me, and he said to me,
 “Take hold of my words with all your heart; keep my commands, and you will live. Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or turn away from them. My son pay attention to what I say, turn your ear to my words. 21 Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart.

 

Here ends the reading.

 

This morning I decided to bring a message that focuses on this day, Father’s Day. Something we all have in common today, Fathers. We all have different and diverse histories about our Fathers. But this morning it’s about who our fathers are to us in  the present. 

Someone noticed that the word "father" appears in the dictionary just before the word "fatigued" and just after the word "fathead." So, to all us fatigued, fathead fathers, Happy Father's Day!

 

One time a little boy was asked to define Father's Day. He said, "It's just like Mother's Day,  only you don't have to spend as much on the present."

To address some of the things we can do to make ourselves better parents and grandparents.

There is a wonderful wisdom saying  in Proverbs 22:6 ..."Bring up a child in the way he should go and when they are old they will not soon depart from it". (Proverbs 22:6)

We love our children and grandchildren and treat them well, yet sometimes they turn away from us.

Sometimes they journey on roads that we do not understand or roads that we do not approve of.

But in the end, if our hearts are open, f the foundation is well laid  we see them return to us, much as the Prodigal Son returned to his Father.

The Prodigal Son

11 Then He said, “A certain man had two sons. 12 The younger of them [inappropriately] said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the property that falls to me.’ So he divided the estate between them. 13 A few days later, the younger son gathered together everything [that he had] and traveled to a distant country, and there he wasted his fortune in reckless and immoral living. 14 Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to do without and be in need. 15 So he went and forced himself on one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to [a]feed pigs. 16 He would have gladly eaten the [carob] pods that the pigs were eating [but they could not satisfy his hunger], and no one was giving anything to him. 17 But when he [finally] came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have more than enough food, while I am dying here of hunger! 18 I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; [just] treat me like one of your hired men.”’ 20 So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his servants, ‘Quickly bring out the best robe [for the guest of honor] and put it on him; and give him a [b]ring for his hand, and sandals for his feet. 23 And bring the fattened calf and slaughter it, and let us [invite everyone and] feast and celebrate; 24 for this son of mine was [as good as] dead and is alive again; he was lost and has been found.’ So they began to celebrate.

If the door is open, they will normally pass through it.         

I know I always wanted to be a better father. I always wanted to raise that bar a bit higher every time during the years Sara was growing up and at home, to spend more time, quality time.  

Well, I guess in many ways, we have raised that bar over the past three plus months. As Dads and Moms team up to take time during our isolation to teach, clean, play, hug, cuddle and learn,  have learned so many little things about our children that we didn’t know before this pandemic. So, you see not all of this isolation can be bad, but look at this as one of God’s many gifts of time and opportunity to grow in love for our families. This knowledge alone is God’s faith growing in a Father.

I want to spend time this morning on this Father’s Day first to look at the present, to look at what is most relevant in the life of a Dad in these past four months. How has life changed for Dads during this pandemic?  I found an interesting article from a writer named Chelsea Sheasley. In this article she talks about the shifting perceptions of Dad in these changing times. She starts by saying: 

The coronavirus pandemic has placed new stresses on home life – and how household duties are divvied up. But while much of the media emphasis has been on the extra burden being placed on women, men have been stepping up as well.”

“Before the pandemic, data shows women regularly spent more time on child carehousework, and the “mental load” of household management than men, even though 71.5% of women with children under age 18 participate in the labor force. Several media articles have spotlighted the intense burdens many mothers are carrying at this time. 

But fathers spend about triple the time on child care per week than they did in 1965. Times are changing, and more than double the amount of time on housework, according to a 2016 report by the Pew Research Center.”

Dads have a lot going on learning as we all go through this new normal lifestyle change. But at times we feel we have missed something along the way as your child continues to grow in their teen years.

I have some additional insight from Pastor Jeffery Smead.  He states: I

I  think part of the problem we have as parents is not that we have difficult children or even that they speak a different language than we do, though all this is very often true, I am convinced a portion of the problem is that we as parents often do not know the way our children should go.

And more importantly, even when we know the way, we so often fail to live it.

And so, As the saying goes -  Don’t do what I do but do what I say, our children are always watching, and they start on their own to discern what’s right and what’s wrong.

So, what is the way?

As men, we must actually live Godly lives.

We must keep promises concerning our relationship to the Lord.  

We as Fathers and Grandfathers must keep our promises, in our relationship with our family, and our relationships with other people.

We as Fathers and Grandfathers must be mature in the faith and be the spiritual head of the family as God has called us to be.

We as men must commit ourselves to building strong biblical marriages and support the mission of Christ with our time, with our talent and with our prayers.

Dads and granddads, how do we express our own feelings about the past months to our families? With fear, anger or trying to shield your family from all the events going on around us? Do we not talk to our children about what has to be questions that they have? 

Be the spiritual guidance your children need to lead the life God wants for them. 

In Jesus name, HAPPY FATHERS DAY!