A Compass for Dads

S.R.  Ephesians 6:1 - 4

6 – 16 – 201 3


A.     Father’s Day.  Officially recognized in 1972 as a holiday.

1.      Dad was not always available.  Chuck Colson/ my dad.

2.      Value of working hard and providing for your family (1 Tim. 5:8)

B.     Moms are vital – Know a lady – widow for over 20 years – all her children and grandchildren are devoted servants of Christ.  Great legacy.

C.     Four Points of a Compass  (Eph. 6:1 – 4)

1.       17 dads in congregation with pre – school children

2.      What is needed to be real men and fathers?  Discussion before marriage.

I.         Rear them in Fairness

A.     Don’t provoke your children to anger  (Colossians 3:21)

1.      Easy to do – push their buttons – God knows our inclinations

B.      Some men are stubborn and will not listen (1 Samuel 25)

1.      Nabal was stubborn and foolish

2.      Narrate the events – David and men hiding out and protecting sheep

a.       “Many people are running away from their masters”

b.      Servant of Nabal goes to Abigail

c.       “No man can speak to him”  - won’t listen to anyone

C.     Anger leads to resentment that leads to bitterness that leads to hatred

1.      Young lady – attitude toward her father

a.       Foolish father – daughter despised her dad

D.    How can fathers embitter their children

1.      Over protection – take son fishing.

a.       Mom – begins to ask, could he fall in the water? Are there any snakes? Could they bite?

b.      Fathers know that   Boy thinks: “I might not get hurt.”

c.       Love to challenge gravity – think we were invincible

d.      David said  (1 Samuel 17:33 - 36)  -  David was able as a teen to face the lions and the bears

2.      Favoritism -  Jacob - Joseph  tunic of many colors (Gen. 37:3 – 4)

a.       Reuben was probably mid 20’s  -

b.      Parents clearly showing preference to one of your siblings

c.       Brothers say – they hated him and could not speak peaceably.

3.      Discouragement  (Colossians 3:21)

a.       You will never amount to anything

b.      Can’t you do anything right?

c.       Why can’t you be like…?

d.      Children will live down to your expectations

e.       They remember those things for decades

4.      Neglect  (Deut.6:6 - 12)  Moses farewell addresses to his children – grandchildren

a.       To all future generations  (Judges 2:10)  complacent with idolaters

b.      Joshua  -  Jordan  (Stones of Jordan)   Sign to future generations.

(i)     12 Tribes  - so that in the years to come – Papaw  - why those rocks?

(ii)   Grandpa tells grandson – narrate the events (Joshua 4:6)

(iii) “What do these stones mean to you?”

(iv) How great is My God – real hero  

5.      Give your children – real heroes  (Romans 16:1 – 10)

(i)     Be careful  not to neglect the empowering narratives of Scripture

II.      Raise them in Tenderness

A.    Includes your sons:  Boys and girls – love, nourish

1.      Truest man who ever lived possessed this manhood of compassion

2.      Little children come unto me  - (Mark 9:36 – 37)

a.       “Then He took a little child and set him in the midst of them. And when He had taken him in His arms, He said to them,

b.      37  "Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me."

3.      A bruised reed he will not break  ((Matt. 12:19 – 21; Isaiah 42:3)

a.       Reeds flop over

b.      Smoking candle wick

4.      Cherishes and nurtures and loves.  Godly fathers are tuned into their children.

a.       Working to know and understand unique qualities of each child

b.      (Prov. 22:6) “Train up a child in the way he should go,…

5.      Naaman - - furious – servant needed to talk sense into – why not do the simple? (2 Kings 5)

a.       "My father, if the prophet had told you to do something great, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, 'Wash, and be clean'?"  (2 Kings 5:13)

b.      Can your children talk sense to you?  Come up with good ideas.

B.     Tenderness – young plants – work with shape  (Clematis) – down to the ground

1.      Jonathan and Saul -  “Why should David be killed?” (1 Samuel 20:32 – 33)

a.       Saul tries to kill his own son.

2.      Fathers, children are not challenging you when they ask sincere questions.

3.      Father – there is a time to say that’s enough.  But there is also a time, with open Bibles, to discuss your children’s concerns.

C.     Admit when you are wrong – applies in families  (Matthew 5:23 – 24)

1.      When your brother has something against you – is your child your brother?

2.      When you are at odds with your children – don’t give half confessions.

3.      If I might have or I’m sorry you misunderstood

D.    Be careful wives, about taking over, when men are in default.

1.      Moms – be careful that you not poison your children against their dad.

a.       Never correct your husband in front of the children.

2.      Abigail – On me, on me, your lord – Nabal – “fool”    (1 Samuel 25)

a.       David  recognized wisdom

b.      32 “Then David said to Abigail, "Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me,  33  and blessed be your discernment, and blessed be you, who have kept me this day from bloodshed and from avenging myself by my own hand.

c.       Abgails’ advice saved David a lifetime of regrets.

III.  Raise our Children with Firmness

A.    Term defined:

1.      Instruction – (Gk. nouthesia), calling attention to, i.e. (by impl.) mild rebuke or warning (Eph. 6:4)

B.     Admonition – setting godly boundaries

1.      Reasonable rules that are God centered and clearly communicated.

2.      Have children repeat the rules and the penalties for disobedience.

a.       You don’t have to count to ten or even to three.

b.      Obey or else.

c.       Good choice/ bad choice – your choice.

d.      Children like fences – they protect them from harm within and without

C.     Danger of being passive

1.      Sit back and don’t act as a firm and friendly father

2.      False threats and then a blow up.

a.       Children learn that their dad can’t be trusted to keep his word.

D.    How does faith (trust) come?  (Romans 10:17)

1.      We know what our Father has done.

2.      We can know what he wants us to do. And the rewards and consequences of our response.

3.      Emotions should not lead, but emotions should follow knowledge.

4.      Fathers, it is your duty to teach your children to know God

5.      Joshua lived and saw the mighty works of God (24:15)  “We will serve…” – another generation did not know the Lord. (Judges 2:10) “After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel.”

6.      When fathers fail – family fails.  General principle.

IV.   Raise our Children in Discipline

A.    Training (Gk. paideia) tutorage; i.e. education or training; by impl. disciplinary correction:--chastening, chastisement, instruction, nurture

1.      “Chasten your son while there is hope and do not set your heart on his destruction.”  (Prov. 19:18)

2.      Not allowed to party – not allowed to behave or dress immodestly

B.     That is not easy – trained by it – (Heb. 12:11) “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”

1.      Godly man can discipline – their tears and your tears

a.       Demonstration of love

b.      “Do you still love me even when I am bad?”

2.      One day you will be so glad your dad loved you enough to correct and ground.

3.      Discipline saves their soul from Sheol. (Prov. 23:13 – 14) “Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die. 14  Punish him with the rod and save his soul from death.

C.     Balancing firmness with tenderness.  It is about balance.

1.      Don’t treat every child the same – foster the discipline appropriate for that child  (Prov. 22:6) “Train up a child in the way the he should go…”

2.      Father cried when daughter brought home report card with D to B.

D.    Training and instruction must be administered with love—a love that “suffers long and is kind,” that “does not behave rudely,” and above all, “does not seek its own” (I Corinthians 13:4-5).

1.      Children will forgive many mistakes if they can always be sure of their parents’ love.

a.       “Love will cover a multitude of sins” (I Peter 4:8).

2.      Affection without firmness is disastrous, but equally disastrous is firmness without affection.  (Sewell Hall)

V.    Lead your children to Jesus Christ

A.    Don’t be an Eli and choose your children over God (1 Samuel 2 and 3)

B.     I know him Abraham bring his children  Blessed his family – God knew

1.      Gen. 18:19  “

2.      His son of promise  (Genesis 22:16)

3.      Got up early  in the morning – man of God

4.      Abraham was concerned about his children, not his ego.

C.     God is concerned with the outcome and we are servants whom He has entrusted with our little ones.

1.      We must pray daily for the wisdom that He has promised to supply (James 1:5) and for His providence to overrule our inevitable mistakes.

2.      And when our children have become what we hoped for, we have no ground for boasting, only for the humble exclamation, “to God be the glory!”

D.    The Greatest Gift:  Steve and Annie Chapman  (Lyrics)