Fathers Make a Difference in the Family
by Doug Keppel
1 Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding.
2 For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law.
3 For I was my father’s son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother.
4 He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.
5 Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.
6 Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee.
7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
8 Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her.
9 She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.
Our Heavenly Father has given an awesome responsibility to earthly fathers.
Americans have been celebrating Father’s Day since 1910 when one daughter determined to honor her father’s heroic efforts in raising his six children alone after his wife died giving birth to one of his children.
It is an unmistakable fact that fathers make a difference in the family:
According to the Christian Law Association:
80% of children who were part of the “Post World War II Generation” grew up with two biological parents who were married to each other. Today, only about 50% of children will spend their entire childhood in an intact family.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau almost 28% of children under the age of 18, almost 20 million children, live with only one parent.
The two driving forces that have led to the physical separation of fathers and their children are out-of wedlock births and divorce. 1/3 of all newborns are born out-of wedlock and nearly
four out of 10 first marriages end in divorce.
60% of divorcing couples have children and over 1 million children each year experience the divorce of their parents.
In addition, as of June 1994 there were almost 800,000 fathers with children under 18 who were behind bars.
It is also possible for fathers who are physically present with their families to be emotionally and socially absent.
More than half of Americans agree with the statement that “fathers today spend less time with their children than their fathers did with them.”
Even in two-parent households, fewer than 25% of young boys and girls spend more than one hour a day of relatively individualized time with their fathers.
The average daily amount of one-on-one father/child contact in America is less than 30 minutes.
It is not surprising therefore, that 72.2 percent of Americans view fatherlessness as the most significant family or social problem facing America.
Children from fatherless homes are more likely to be poor, to become involved in drug and alcohol abuse, to drop out of school, to smoke cigarettes as teenagers, and to suffer from health and emotional problems.
Fatherless boys are more likely to become involved in crime and fatherless girls are more likely to become pregnant as teens.
Nonetheless, whether absent or present, children regard their fathers as role models and want to follow in their footsteps.
According to a recent pole of students in grades 3 through 12, 94% ranked parents as their top role models, well ahead of teachers, athletes, politicians, singers/musicians, and actors.
As the English saying goes: “One father is more than a hundred schoolmasters.”
I. FOR BETTER OR WORSE MANY CHILDREN WILL NATURALLY FOLLOW THEIR FATHER’S EXAMPLE:
A. In The Old Testament:
1. In Genesis 26:18 we find that Isaac named wells of water after the names his father had called them.
2. In 1 Kings 3:3 we find that Solomon loved the Lord and walked in the
statutes of David his father. (See Proverbs 4:1-9)
3. In 1 Kings 15:25, 26 we find that Nadab, the son of Jeroboam, walked in the way of his father during his two year reign over Israel by doing evil in the sight of the Lord and causing Israel to sin.
B. In The New Testament:
Ephesians 6:4– “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
II. HOW SHOULD A CHRISTIAN FATHER MEET HIS BIBLICAL RESPONSIBILITIES TO HIS CHILDREN?
Clearly it is not enough to bring home a pay check, put a roof over the family’s heads, and feed and clothe them.
A. A Christian Father Should Love God Properly. (Deuteronomy 6:4)
You can never love your children properly until you love God properly.
Your kids are smart–They can see how much devotion you give to God.
Your kids know whether or not your love for God is just lip service.
B. A Christian Father Should Rely Upon God To Help Him Build His Family. (Psalm 127:1)
Who is building your house? Psalm 1:1– “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly…”
You bring up your children according to this world’s methods and you will do your children a disservice.
The world’s methods have been tried and have utterly failed.
C. A Christian Father Should Recognize Children As A Heritage Of The Lord.
1. An inheritance is a possession that you receive from your Father.
2. An inheritance is a gift from your Father.
3. An inheritance can be invested or wasted.
4. An inheritance is something that can be passed on from generation to generation. (A lasting legacy of Godliness)
D. A Christian Father Should Teach His Children To Walk In The Same Love He Has For The
Deuteronomy 6:6-7– “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt diligently teach them unto thy children.”
God requires fathers to train their children in a God-centered way.
1. This Responsibility Cannot Be Passed Off.
2. It Is Ultimately The Responsibility Of The Father Alone.
E. A Christian Father Should Look To His Heavenly Father As The Ultimate Example.
1. A Christian Father Should Love His Children.
God loves His children, we should love our children.
1 John 1:3:1–Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God:”
2. A Christian Father Should Discipline His Children.
If God disciplines His children, we should discipline ours. (Heb 12:5-11)
a. Proverbs 13:24- “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.” Betimes–means seek to do it early.
b. Proverbs 22:15- “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.”
c. Proverbs 23:13-14- “Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.”
d. Proverbs 29:15- “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.”
e. Proverbs 29:17- “Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give
delight unto thy soul.”
3. A Christian Father Is Faithful In His Marriage.
One of the most important things a father can do for his children is to love their mother.
Eph 5:25– “Husbands love your wives even as Christ also loved the…”
Col 3:19– “Husbands love your wives, and be not bitter against them.”
1 Peter 3:7– “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
1 Thess 4:3-4– “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;”
4. A Christian Father Is Involved With Their Children’s Lives.
Our Heavenly Father is at work in our lives.
Philippians 1:6–“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:”
We ought to be involved in the lives of our children.
5. A Christian Father Shows Honor For His Own Father.
Ephesians 6:1-3– “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.”
How about it Dad? Are you the Dad that God would have you to be?
Are you honoring your Father?
Are you loving your Wife?
Are you the Father for your Children like you should be?