Help For Fathers
Genesis 5: 21
What is a father?
Ham Mobley has given an informative and humorous response to this question:
"Between the joy of the bridegroom and the pride of grandfather, we find a bewildered
human being called a father.
Fathers are not born, and fathers are not made.
They are merely something that happens when a wife becomes a mother.
Fathers come in varying degrees of education, influence, temperament and wealth, but all fathers
have the same hope or dread -- to make life easier in every way for their offspring and to sacrifice
with diligence (a virtue acquired after the first baby) until the job is done.
Fathers are busy doing most everything -- piloting planes, making music, presiding as president,
pushing pencils, building buildings, selling suits, and digging ditches.
Wives try to remake them, daughters have their way with them, mothers still try to baby them,
fathers think they are a chip off the old block, and sons worship them.
A father is a Babe Ruth without hitting a home run, a Solomon without going to school,
a Rockefeller without the next house payment, and Tom Cruise (even without hair).
When daughters have dates, a father is an unnecessary, thoughtless, interrupting fixture about the house.
When his wife wants him to repair something, he has a thousand other things to do first,
or else he must buy an $80 set of tools to do the 25 cent job.
A father must be a composite -- he needs the cooking skill of a French chef,
the doctoring technique of the Mayo Brothers, the endurance of a machine,
the knowledge of the encyclopedia Britannica, the storytelling ability of Aesop, the patience of Job,
the understanding of a minister, the sternness of a prison warden,
the lung power to out yell an air raid siren; and when asked about a subject of which he knows nothing,
he must pretend he wrote a book on it and stayed up nights studying about it.
Fathers must like (or pretend to like) hot dogs, peanuts, banana splits, overnight hikes, birthday parties,
all day swimming, getting up early on Saturday for a family outing, going to the zoo, popular music, and spinach.
He must dislike (or pretend to dislike) second helpings of desert, fast driving, and late dates.
Nobody else is so eager for Friday and the weekend, or so thankful for Monday and the job.
Nobody else buys Christmas presents so late, or reserves homecoming tickets so early.
Nobody else gets as much pleasure out of giving away cigars, saying,
"She weighs 7 lb. 2 oz.," or hearing, "He sure favors his dad."
Nobody else carries in his head such knowledge as: how flies walk on the ceiling,
Henry Aaron's home run record, the latest hit tune, the current high school fad, the Morse code,
why the fish aren't biting, and how to have one car at two separate places at the same time
and what's wrong when the car won't start.
A father is a wonderful creature -- your Prince Charming, your coach, your banker, your adviser,
and your pal; an unyielding, non-understanding, old fashioned fuddy, daddy who still sticks out his chest
when he overhears you say, 'That's My Dad.' "
What is a father?
To some he is a biological incidental.
To some a father is an economic necessity.
To some a father is simply the responsible party.
Having been told by his North Korean and Chinese captors that he only had a short time to live,
and that he should write a letter to his family, General Dean expressed his love,
devotion, and faithfulness to those nearest and dearest to him.
He expressed the desire that the wives should, "Tell Bill, the word is integrity."
Standing on what he believed was the edge of eternity with possibly only minutes to live,
the great General did not say, "Tell Bill the word is... popularity... money... security...
General Dean said, "Tell Bill, the word is integrity."
Fortunate indeed is the family and the children who have the privilege of growing up to maturity
under the influence of one who personifies integrity and goodness and all those graces of character
that God wants to see nourished and flourishing.
God will help you to be a good father.
As a father, you are potentially the child's finest teacher about God.
When Jesus sought to teach His disciples how to address God in prayer, He taught them to address
the Eternal as, "Our Father which art in heaven.".
This statement was a great compliment to the father of the home in which Jesus was born and grew to maturity.
It also provided an insight into the nature and character of God.
Jesus did not describe the eternal God as mother.
He used the relationship of the father to the child to try to communicate something about the nature
and the character of God.
Christ will help you to be a good father.
There are many illustrations in the New Testament of fathers who came to Jesus in need of His help
and He responded affirmatively and graciously.
There was an official whose son was ill who came to Jesus in his distress. (John 4: 46-54)
Jesus met a need in the life of the son, which the father could not supply.
Christ will make a contribution through you to your children if you will come to Him and let Him work
His work of grace and power in your life.
A ruler of the synagogue came to Jesus on behalf of his daughter, who was at the point of death,
requesting His assistance in a time of crises. (Mark 5: 21-24)
Our Lord responded immediately to this father's plea for help and demonstrated His miraculous power
by restoring the daughter back to life again because of the great faith of the father. (Mark 5: 35-43)
We can be assured that our Lord wants to help us in this day and time when death comes
or when other crises confront us.
Matthew records the plight of a father whose child was a helpless epileptic. (Matthew 17: 14-20)
With faith in His love and His power, we need to come to Jesus Christ in order that He might help us
as we seek to minister to and to meet the needs of our children.
The Holy Spirit will help you be a good father.
Many are frightened at the thought of the Holy Spirit being at work in their hearts and lives.
This is due to some of the rather exotic and extravagant claims that are made by some concerning
the precious presence and the powerful work of the Holy Spirit.
We must not be frightened away from making a personal response to the Holy Spirit
by the exorbitant claims of some.
You became the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit at the moment of your conversion. (1 Corinthians 3: 16; 6: 19, 20)
God, in the Holy Spirit, took up His dwelling in your innermost being to work the work of our gracious God
within you on a day by day basis.
Do not remain in ignorance concerning the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is seeking to reproduce within you the character and the personality of Jesus Christ.
(Galatians 5: 22, 23)
The fruit of the Spirit described by Paul is a verbal portrait of the character of Jesus Christ.
This is God's plan and program for each of His children.
The gifts of the Spirit are for all the children of God.
Do not ignore or neglect to make a personal response to God's great gift to you, His Holy Spirit.
Do not seek to fulfill your responsibilities as a father without letting the Holy Spirit be your help.
You can give good gifts to your children. (cf. Matthew 7: 9-11)
Our Lord used the earthly relationship between a father and his children to describe the relationship
between God and His children.
He speaks of the fact that an earthly father seeks to give only good gifts to his children.
He will not deliberately give that which is harmful or destructive.
Give to your children a good name. (Proverbs 22: 1)
Perhaps the finest gift you can bestow upon your children is a character and an example and a heritage
of which he or she can be proud.
This comes as you bestow upon them a good name.
Give to your children a humble faith. (Hebrews 11: 6)
A genuine faith is described in terms of sincerely believing with all the heart that God is real
and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Impart this faith to your children.
Give your children love.
Be available to your children.
Give time to them.
Express appreciation for them.
Do not be stingy with deserved praise.
Help them to accept themselves and to appreciate themselves.
Give them a positive, optimistic perspective toward life and toward people.
Parents can help their sons become good fathers someday.
Lead your children to know Jesus Christ and teach them so that someday they can be
worthy fathers to their children.
A wife can help her husband to be a good father.
A man cannot be the father his children deserve and need without the sympathetic support, cooperation,
and encouragement of a good wife.
Put your faith in God and seek to help your husband to be the best possible man he can be.
A church can and must help fathers to become better fathers.
The church must provide opportunities for enriching family relationships and improving the quality of home life.
Each father must help himself become a good father.
In the final analysis, you are responsible for the kind of father you are to your children.
Let Christ come into your heart to help you.
Let the Bible assist you in becoming a good father.
Make much of prayer if you would be a good father.
Let the church have a vital place in your life in order that you might be a better father.
Sermon by Dr. Harold L. White
Email Dr. White at hleewhite@AOL.com