Building a Dad
I read this recently - Reasons Why It Is Good to Be a Man. I won’t read all of them but I did put together my own top-10 list:
10. A 5 day vacation requires only one suitcase and the laptop
9. You can go to the bathroom without a support group.
8. If someone forgets to invite you to something he can still be your friend.
7. You can drop by to see a friend without bringing a little gift.
6. You don’t have to go to a specialty store to buy your underwear and it only costs $8.95 for a three pack
5. One wallet and no purse to lug around.
4. There is always a game on somewhere. You can quietly watch a game without talking and no your buddy is not mad at you.
3. Your pals can be trusted never to trap you with, “So…notice anything different?”
2. If something mechanical doesn’t work, you can bash it with a hammer…
1. You carry a pocket knife that can do your nails, cut open a package and it has a toothpick and a screwdriver. That’s why we don’t carry purses.
I guess I ought to be a little serious today – it is Father’s Day. It was good that I was able to spend time with my dad this past week. On the 23rd my Dad will turn 93 years old. What a privilege that I have in having my father still here. My niece asked last Sunday when we all were having a family dinner – who are heroes are. My hero is my dad. He taught us so many life lessons – and still does. And one of those life lessons have to do with building. He passed on to us that generally speaking there are 2 types of people: those that build and those that tear down. Probably the greatest building we do is in regard to people. We are all builders - sometimes it is a positive build; other times we have a negative build.
WHAT ABOUT YOU? What type of build are you building? Do you realize that you, too, are a builder of people? It might be your children, your grandchildren but it might also be someone else’s children and other adults and young people. What type of build are you building? ARE YOU A POSITIVE CHRISTIAN BUILDER!
Hebrews 3:4 (NIV) 4 For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything.
- God is the greatest builder of all….He builds people in ways we never could!
- God is the builder of everything that is good and holy and right. And God is in the business of building of good fathers.
For Father’s Day I would like to share a few thoughts about building a father. If I could build a dad he would be a disciple of Christ. So I would like to build a foundation for you of a Christian dad – this can apply to all our lives.
I. IF I COULD BUILD A DAD I WOULD BUILD HIM WITH A GODLY CHARACTER
- Paul tells us in I Corinthians 11:1 “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” The greatest example that any parent or father can set for his children is that of godliness or Christ-likeness.
- If we are designing a Christian dad he must first be Christ-like. Acting, reacting, thinking, feeling, and motivated like Christ.
- WWJD – got a lot of attention for a while – we need to recapture that question as a parent, a grandparent or anyone working with children. What would Jesus do in this situation?
- Is our life reflecting a godly character? Christ needs to be seen through the way a father lives.
ILLUSTATION - The CBS news program 48 Hours did an investigation into the children of some famous people and how they were influenced by what they saw from their parents while growing up. On this program there was an interview with James Raymond, who is the son of a famous person. You couldn’t identify his famous father by his name, however, because he was adopted shortly after birth. He was raised by a California family who kept his adoption records sealed until he was 31. That was when Raymond discovered that his natural father is David Crosby of the group Crosby, Stills, and Nash.
Raymond’s habits, preferences, and attitudes were more closely related to his adoptive parents than his natural father. His behavior and beliefs reflected those of the parents who raised him and what is good came not from ancestry but from what he saw happening in his parent’s lives.
- Example is apparently more powerful than heritage.
- We parents and fathers set an example for our children to follow. Be it good or bad, they often do walk in our steps.
- Many young people, for example, have been raised by hard-working parents and they, too, became hard-working adults.
- The greatest example, however, that any parent or father can set for his children is that of godliness or Christ-likeness.
- If I could build a father I would build me with more godliness!
- IF I COULD BUILD A DAD I WOULD BUILD HIM WITH PATIENCE
ILLUSTRATION - There is a story about a father who became disturbed about the length of time his six-year-old son was taking to get home from school. The father decided he would make the trip to discover for himself how long it should take a small boy to cover the distance. The father settled on 20 minutes but his son was still taking an hour. Finally the father decided to make the trip with his son.
After the trip, the father said, "The 20 minutes I thought reasonable was right, but I failed to consider such important things as a side trip to track down a trail of ants...or an educational stop to watch a man fix a flat...or the time it took to swing around a half dozen telephone poles...or how much time it took for a boy just to get acquainted with two stray dogs and a brown cat.
"In short," said the father, "I had forgotten what it is really like to be six years old."
A. It takes great patience to be a good father.
ILLUSTRATION - A new study (June 6th) came out recently in HealthDay News that your parenting style affects your child’s weight and whether she will be overweight by first grade. "Children of authoritarian parents had five times the risk of being overweight compared to children of more diplomatic style parents.”
- What are we talking about? I think they are saying that a child’s health is in danger when parents are overbearing and don’t demonstrate patience with their children.
- And it may be that far more than their health is in danger. Sometimes this type of parenting could cause children to become estranged to people and to God.
- If a parent, for example, is a Christian and yet is extremely dogmatic and authoritarian those children could eventually become alienated from their parents and their God
- We’ve all heard the stories about parents who were perhaps overly strict and then when the children got older and were on their own that they had nothing to do with God and the church.
- Ephesians 4:2 “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”
- 1 Thessalonians 5:14 “And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.”
- We are admonished to be patient with all people, including our children. And there have been times in my life when I was not so patient with my Josh and Miriam – if I could I would start that conversation over.
- We have to let kids be kids because that is soon gone. And to do that we must all exercise more patience with our children.
- If I could build a father I would build me with more patience!
- IF I COULD BUILD A DAD I WOULD BUILD HIM WITH LOVE
- I Cor. 1:8 “We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.”
ILLUSTRATION – One of my father’s favorite story is about a Spanish father and son who had become estranged. The son ran away, and the father set off to find him. He searched for months to no avail. Finally, in a last desperate effort to find him, the father put an ad in a Madrid newspaper. The ad read: “Dear Paco, meet me in front of this newspaper office at noon on Saturday. All is forgiven. I love you. Your Father.” On Saturday 800 Pacos showed up, looking for forgiveness and love from their fathers.
- Harmon Killebrew who used to play for the Minn. Twins said, “My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say, ‘You’re tearing up the grass.’ Dad would reply, ‘We’re not raising grass, we’re raising boys.’”
Illustration - I ran into a friend of mine that I grew up with a number of years ago and as we reminisced about our childhood and teen years it was interesting to hear his reflections one of the things that was so important in his memory was our Friday night basketball games at our house. He remembered my dad coming out and playing basketball – we would gather in the back of the house and pick sides. The kid who had the first pick always wanted my dad. He could burry 30 foot set shots and he would scream in your ear just as you were about to shoot. But Gary then added “what was neat was all of us piling into your dad’s car and he drive us down for Baskin Robbins ice cream parlor and he treated as long as it wasn’t vanilla, chocolate or strawberry. He wanted us to have weird combinations.” The neat thing Gary said was – “I always felt your dad and mom loved me.”
- Dr. James Dobson said, “Loves isn’t something you buy. Your kids spell it T-I-M-E and it costs more than M-O-N-E-Y.”
ILLUSTRATION - With a timid voice and idolizing eyes, the little boy greeted his father as he returned from work, "Daddy, how much do you make an hour?"
Greatly surprised, but giving his boy a glaring look, the father said: "Look, son, not even your mother knows that. Don’t bother me now, I’m tired."
"But Daddy, just tell me please, how much do you make an hour," the boy insisted. The father finally giving up replied: " Twenty dollars per hour." "Okay, Daddy, could you loan me ten dollars?" the boy asked.
Showing restlessness and positively disturbed, the father yelled: "So that was the reason you asked how much I earn, right! Go to sleep and don’t bother me anymore!"
It was already dark and the father was meditating on what he had said and was feeling guilty. Maybe he thought, his son wanted to buy something. Finally, trying to ease his mind, the father went to his son’s room.
"Are you asleep son?" asked the father. "No, Daddy. Why?" replied the boy partially asleep. "Here’s the money you asked for earlier," the father said. "Thanks, Daddy!" rejoiced the son, while putting his hand under his pillow and removing some money. "Now I have enough! Now I have twenty dollars!" the boy said to his father, who was gazing at his son, confused at what his son just said. "Daddy could you sell me one hour of your time?"
- If I could build a father I would build me with more love!
If I could build a father I would build me with more godliness!
If I could build a father I would build me with more patience!
If I could build a father I would build me with more love!
Please click here for slides to accompany the sermon.