WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A DAD
Today we come to the page of the album where we see dad’s photos. Often he is pictured, fishing, teaching us to ride our bike, cooking at the grill, giving piggy-back rides, and teaching us to drive the car.
- For some the page may be blank because dad wasn’t part of the picture.
- For some the pictures may not be so happy and memories painful.
- GOD HAS PROMISED TO BE THE FATHER TO THE FATHERLESS
4 Sing to God! Sing praises to His name. Exalt Him who rides on the clouds — His name is Yahweh—and rejoice before Him. 5 A FATHER OF THE FATHERLESS and a champion of widows is God in His holy dwelling. 6 God provides homes for those who are deserted. He leads out the prisoners to prosperity, but the rebellious live in a scorched land.
Three Familiar Fathers – Some Negative Examples
- The Irresponsible Father “I’ll get around to it.”
- The Dictator Dad – “King of this castle” (Irritable, Impatient, Inflexible)
- The Absent Dad – “Where’s dad…hiding behind the newspaper
A Good Example from Scripture with 3 Crucial Characteristics
11 He also said: “A man had two sons. 12 The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate I have coming to me.’ So he distributed the assets to them. 13 Not many days later, the younger son gathered together all he had and traveled to a distant country, where he squandered his estate in foolish living. 14 After he had spent everything, a severe famine struck that country, and he had nothing. 15 Then he went to work for one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to eat his fill from the carob pods the pigs were eating, but no one would give him any.
17 When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have more than enough food, and here I am dying of hunger! 18 I’ll get up, go to my father, and say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. 19 I’m no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired hands.’
20 So he got up and went to his father. But while the son was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion. He ran, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him. 21 The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. I’m no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 “But the father told his slaves, ‘Quick! Bring out the best robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Then bring the fattened calf and slaughter it, and let’s celebrate with a feast, 24 because this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’ So they began to celebrate.
AN OPEN HAND – TOUGH ENOUGH TO RELEASE
This Tells us something about the Father’s Relationship to His Child
Remember that this is a parable that illustrates God’s love for us.
- He had an open and honest relationship with his son.
- He Had a mature and Secure Relationship with his son
AS PARENTS WE KNOW…
- There are times when we need to hold on to our children.
- There are times when we need to release our children. (Tough Love)
- Letting Go will not be easy to do.
- The Son’s Rebellion was severe – painful
- The son’s rebellion was severing – departed
- HE HAD SOMETHING TO REBEL AGAINST!!
- Apparently there were rules, standards, expectations
- Consider Adam and Eve and the rebellion in the garden
TWO OPEN ARMS – TENDER ENOUGH TO RECEIVE
Notice some things about the Return of the Son
- The Son walked Home
- The Father RAN to Greet him.
The Father’s Response Demonstrated
- Compassion – moved when he saw his son
- Passion – RAN to meet him
- Expression – Ordered a Celebration
AN OPEN HEART – TRANSPARENT ENOUGH TO REVEAL
- Bearing Burdens
- We do alright at showing Strength
- We need to work at showing sensitivity
- We do alright at showing displeasure
- We need to work at giving praise.
- To Know the Father’s Heart – Salvation
- To have the Father’s Heart – Discipleship
- To Share the Father’s Heart – Evangelism
I thought about something this week after considering the challenge we all have to be the LIGHT OF THE WORLD and REFLECT Christ to a “crooked and perverse generation.” Notice that none of the servants went to tell the boy that His father longed to have him come home. We must share the Father’s heart with the world of lost children.