Posted by: Mark | June 23, 2010

Fathers

When you go to church one of the most important things is that you come away feeling blessed by the sermon. That can be in the form of receiving a challenge, being taught or just having someone show you the truths of God from the bible in a fresh way.

Louise and I are amazingly blessed here to have a church were most weeks we come away being blessed by the sermon. Our main teaching pastor is a man who knows, loves and respects the bible and can expound it superbly. We have now enjoyed his teaching for 6 years with a freshness every Sunday as he works through different books or series. He can enter into large depths in the scripture but has the teaching ability to bring us along with him. He once started a one week series that ended over 6 months later!! which we really enjoyed and learned some wonderful basics from.

This last Sunday was Father’s day and as is customary in most places our pastor preached a sermon for fathers. He has taught seminars before on the subject of parenting and condensed some of that teaching for the service today. He is heavily influenced by a guy called Ted Tripp whom we also like and who wrote a book Louise talked about here.

The base text for the sermon was Malachi 4.5-6. He started his sermon with an illustration about a man called Charles Steinmetz which you can read here. He explained that we have moral societal breakdown at present and the expertise needed was not in recognizing this but in the ability to know where to put the X to mark out the problem. For him he was going to put it on the family and in particular on the fathers. The rest of his sermon was then on the importance of parenting and in particular fathering. He made three points:

1. Deal with your heart first (Deut 6:5-7)

It is so true that we cannot, as fathers, raise our own kids by words only. The do as I say not as I do attempt. We have to live by example and if we don’t have God embedded in our hearts and we are not following Him to the best that we can how can we expect our children to do it. If we don’t say thanks to God around the table and visibly study the scriptures and pray to Him how can we expect our kids to do it. We have to deal with what is in our own hearts first. He made this point by exploring the order of the instruction in Deut 6.5-7 in that we are to love God and commit to his commands AND THEN we are to tell them to our children.


2. Have the right goal

He produced a goal statement (below) with several texts which he believes summarizes what the Bible asks of fathers as leaders of the home. I am a firm believer that in life to get anywhere you need to know where you are going. For an organization to succeed it needs to have a vision. Why not the same for a family. What would happen if we took this vision statement and tried to logically see what steps we had to take as a family (and in particular as a father) to meet its outcomes?

To produce children who are disciples (Matt 28:19-20) of Christ who hold the biblical world view (Romans 12:2) and who possess the godly character (Malachi 2:15) and wisdom (Proverbs 4:10-11) necessary to fulfill God’s calling (1 Thess 2:11-12) and live for His glory (1 Cor 10:31)


3. Follow the method in Ephesians 6:4

He brought out three things from this verse (I think he was running out of time at this point – the sermon was around 1.5 hours long I think).

a. Don’t provoke your children to anger

Some of the ways that he mentioned we can provoke our children to anger where:

  • Abuse of authority
  • Absence of authority
  • Failure to express love
  • Comparisons between kids
  • Failure to communicate
  • Selfishness
  • Not listening
  • Not apologising when appropriate

b. Administer Godly discipline

He mentioned that this may include the rod of discipline when it is applied with love and concern for you child (Proverbs 13.24) not when it is used in an abusive or angry way. A good use of the rod ends in love, reconciliation and embracing and a restored relationship. As a general principal he stated that the younger the child the more use of the rod and less other punishments is appropriate. And at all times we must address what is in the child’s heart when we are disciplining them. It is from the heart that sin comes so we must spend time talking to them and explaining to them what they have done wrong. Punishment should not be rushed.


c. Provide godly instruction

To do this he pointed out several things that we need to do:

  • You need to communicate with your children.
  • You need to listen at all times.
  • Spend time with each child.
  • Remove distractions if your child wants to talk.

As I said above this sermon lasted a long time – by UK standards anyway this is the normal time for us in this church. These notes are only a snippet of what was said and I recommend the sermon wholeheartedly to you. It should come online like most of his other sermons at http://www.sdgchurch.org/ eventually. If you are really interested and don’t want to wait please let me know and I will get it for you and email it to you. I hope that this is a blessing and a challenge to you if you are a father and the serious task we have in that role. God bless.

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Responses

  1. Hi. I am indeed blessed by the richness of your blog and the reference details you have shared. How generous of you to have posted that much. Thank you so much!

    May I request for more info on the sermon you mentioned? I want to be a spiritually excellent father and this I believe will help me tremendously. God bless you!

    Rainier

    • Rainier,

      I am not able to locate the exact sermon on the site currently but if you go to http://www.sdgchurch.org/ there are quite a few sermons on parenting and fathering there that I have found helpful. The sermons are on the front page of the site.

      Blessings,

      Mark


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