WHO’S YOUR DADDY? GROWING A STRONG FAMILY SERIES
June 16-17, 2007 TEXT: Eph. 6:1-3 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your
father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise “that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”
PURPOSE: To help people sincerely honor their fathers. INTRO: “Who‟s your daddy?” has become a catch phrase. It is a street question getting at,
Who is taking care of you? Who is the one providing for you and making things happen for you? Today I want to recognize what our dads have done for us and to share how we can honor them. The good news is that telephone companies are recording more calls to dad; the bad news is that the majority are collect calls. The folks at Hallmark are having a good day on June 17. This year, 100 million cards are going to 66 million dads across the U.S. in observance of Father‟s Day. It falls short of the 150 million cards that go out for Mother‟s Day, but it is still quite a tribute. Mother‟s Day has been around longer. It was started in 1913 by a Christian woman who wanted her church to honor all mothers on the anniversary of her mom‟s death. It wasn‟t until 1972 under Nixon‟s administration that Father‟s Day became an official national observance. I would like to speak about honoring our dads today. Most of my messages on Father‟s Day have dealt with passages exhorting men to be good dads. Absenteeism runs rampant among fathers today. Worldwide, 10 percent to 40 percent of children grow up in households without a father. In the U.S., more that 50 percent of divorced fathers will lose contact with their children within a few years. By the end of 10 years, two-thirds of them will have drifted out their children‟s lives, (Time, June 18, 2007). But on the other side of the coin, our society has such a lack of respect and honor toward our parents that it is frightening, especially in the day of euthanasia. Unfortunately, the fifth commandment has become the forgotten commandment. Paul combines the commandment to honor in Ex. 20:12 with the promise found in Deut. 5:16. This is the fifth commandment and in the Jewish perspective this was part of the duty to God. Lev. 19:1-3 also tells us that we are to revere our parents. The word “first” may not mean first as in a list, but first in the sense of the foremost or primary commandment with a promise. All of the commandments have promises (Deut. 28), but this one stands out. Things go well with those who honor their fathers. The favor of God is on those who honor their parents. The promise is of long life and material prosperity. God will prosper those who honor their parents. I have a deep honor for my natural and spiritual fathers. I feel God‟s favor and prosperity on my life. God has so blessed, and it is not just material blessing. I believe our emotional and spiritual developments are linked to the way we feel about our parents. Could the quality of your life be connected to your obedience to this command?
Could the legacy you leave your children be connected to your relationship with your parents? You reap what you sow concerning your attitude toward your dad, even if he abused you or has passed away.
HONOR BY HAVING THE RIGHT ATTITUDE TOWARD YOUR FATHER
A. REALIZE THAT HONORING BEGINS WITH THE RIGHT ATTITUDE 1. To honor means to prize, fix a value upon, revere, venerate (Thayer). 2. In Hebrew honor means weighty and heavy, valuable, priceless, costly. 3. Homer said the greater the cost of the gift, the greater the honor. You place value on what you honor--the more value, the more honor. Honor God, family. 4. Literally, it means to lay it on the person. I weigh you down with respect and prestige. I place upon you great worth and value. B. GET RECONCILED 1. Soon after my conversion I asked for my dad‟s forgiveness. 2. Write a letter. 3. As far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. C. REPENT OF ANY BITTER ROOT JUDGMENT TOWARD YOUR FATHER 1. Thank God for the things that your father did for you. 2. Bitterness is a vicious cycle passed from generation to generation. 3. You may ask, “How can I forgive my dad after what he did to me?” 4. Instead of having a victim mentality, let us be responsible for our actions. 5. If your dad had abused you, you need to come all the more in the opposite spirit by honoring. You will be breaking the cycle of bitterness and hatred. 6. It is very difficult, but see from his perspective. Most abusive dads were abused themselves. See his pain. My father told me how his mother had abused him. I was not surprised. It helped me truly to forgive him. 7. God has forgiven you; ask Him for the grace to forgive your father. 8. Sometimes it is a process. You may need to take up your cross daily. 9. Distinguish between forgiveness and pardon. Let God judge. Some might say, “Lord, couldn‟t you delegate some judging to me?” No. 10. See how God uses the pain for the good, as he did with Joseph in the Bible. 11. Forgive by faith, not on feeling. 12. See how it will benefit you. D. REPENT OF ALL CURSES TOWARD YOUR FATHER ← Prov. 20:20, A man who curses his father, his lamp will be snuffed out.
II. HONOR BY OBEYING YOUR FATHER A. THE CONTEXT OF OUR KEY SCRIPTURE IS TO OBEY. 1. Children, obey your parents because it is right. (It is a natural law--written on all hearts as opposed to special revelation). All cultures teach this. 2. Children, obey because it is God‟s commandment.
3. Prov. 10:1 A wise son brings joy to his father. B. WHAT ABOUT NON-CHRISTIAN PARENTS? 1. Obedience should be the norm and disobedience the exception. For example, if you become a Christian and your parents forbid you to get baptized, you can wait until you are an adult when the laws of this land give you freedom to choose. But if your parents tell you that you can‟t follow Christ, then I would say you have to obey God over your parents. Jesus said unless you are willing to give up father and mother for His sake, you are not worthy to be His disciple. 2. The key phrase in Eph. 6:1 is “in the Lord.” This takes precedence over Colossians 3:20, “obey your parents in everything” [emphasis added]. Obey them in compatibility with your Lord Jesus. Jesus obeyed his parents and was submissive to them (Lk. 2:51) until his Heavenly Father told him to go to the temple. 3. Learn to disagree without being disagreeable. Learn to appeal. 4. My father wanted me to go to seminary and get my doctorate. My pastors disagreed, but my grandmother was going to pay for it. C. TO WHAT AGE MUST WE OBEY? 1. I would say that we should obey our parents no matter what our age, as long as their admonitions are in the Lord, or congruent with what God is saying. 2. If you are in a gray area and are not sure, go with your parents‟ wishes.
III. HONOR BY TANGIBLY EXPRESSING YOUR LOVE TO YOUR FA-
A. LEARN YOUR FATHER’S LOVE LANGUAGE. (IS HE BLESSED BY GIFTS, TOUCH, SERVICE, WORDS?) B. HONOR YOUR DAD WITH WORDS. 1. One pastor writes of his regret over not taking the opportunity to express his love. “Every day that I can remember, my dad took me and hugged me and kissed me good night. Every night he told me that he loved me. My dad died four and one half years ago when I was a freshman in college. I was with him the night he died. That night he hugged me and kissed me and told me that he loved me, and I was too embarrassed to tell him that I loved him. He died of a heart attack two and half hours later after I had gone to bed. I remember standing over his body saying, „Dad, I love you.‟ But it was a couple of hours too late.” 2. I keep the notes and cards from my kids, for example, one from Joy. 3. Write your dad a tribute. Years ago, I read Dennis Rainey‟s book The Tribute. I was inspired to write a tribute to my dad for his 65th birthday. As I began to write of all the wonderful thing he had done for me--the sacrifices, the provision--tears began to flow. I realized that this tribute was doing more. a) Write with much prayer. b) Share your feelings. c) Share the good times and fun times. d) Present it personally and read it to your dad. 4. Life and death are in the power of the tongue. a) With words, we make fun of our dads, calling them, “The old man.”
b) Or worse, we curse them. The Bible says whoever curses his father, his lamp will be snuffed out, Prov. 20:20.
IV. HONOR BY REMEMBERING YOUR SPIRITUAL FATHERS A. THIS IS TRUE IF YOUR FATHER HAS PASSED AWAY. B. THE ANOINTING AND FAVOR FLOWS FROM YOUR FATHER DOWN TO YOU, PSALM 133. 1. Larry Tomczak blessing and release into ministry. 2. Alvin Chun, a pastor in northern Virginia, saw me as a spiritual father and began addressing me as “Dad.” As he did so, he found himself starting to minister under a similar anointing for miracles and healings. As we align ourselves under spiritual authority, the apostolic mantle flows down to us.
V. HONOR BY RECONCILING WITH YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER ← He will never leave you nor forsake you, nor break a promise to you. He will never abuse you nor reject you.
1. 2. 3. 4. HOW DID YOU HONOR YOUR DAD THIS FATHER‟S DAY? DO YOU HAVE A SPIRITUAL FATHER? WHO AND WHY? HAVE YOU FORGIVEN YOUR FATHER, EVEN IF HE IS NO LONGER ALIVE? PRAY FOR THE ONES WHO ARE STILL STRUGGLING WITH FATHER WOUNDS.