Fatherís Day

 

Have you ever wondered how and when Fatherís day came about? Well the following source gives us the answer:

 

The idea of Fatherís Day was conceived by Sonora Dodd of Spokane, Wash., while she listened to a Motherís Day sermon in 1909, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Dodd wanted a special day to honor her father, William Smart, a widowed Civil War veteran who was left to raise his six children on a farm.

A day in June was chosen for the first Fatherís Day celebrationóJune 19, 1910, proclaimed by Spokaneís mayor because it was the month of William Smartís birth.

The first presidential proclamation honoring fathers was issued in 1966 when President Lyndon Johnson designated the third Sunday in June as Fatherís Day. Fatherís Day has been celebrated annually since 1972 when President Richard Nixon signed the public law that made it permanent.

 

So now you know how it got started. Just as I said about mothers on motherís day, I believe that good faithful fathers should be honored every single day and that they should be appreciated for what they do and I am thankful that our country has designated a special day to draw attention to our dads.

 

Now some in our society play down the role of the man in the family and some think that a father is really not needed, but that simply is not true. Every family functions at its best when both the father and the mother is present and they are both contributing to the familiesí growth. According to Godís Word, the man is supposed to be the head of the family. As Paul said,

 

1 Corinthians 11:2 Now I praise you, brethren, that you remember me in all things and keep the traditions just as I delivered them to you.3 But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.

 

When a dad follows His God given role, he will learn to be the spiritual leader in the family. In fact, this is one area where fatherhood begins. For instance, if a husband is not conducting himself as a Christian mate, then his children will suffer because they will not grow up knowing how a mother and father are to treat each in accordance with Godís will.

 

So, I want to begin by examining how husbands should treat their wives. Paul gives us a great lesson on this in:

 

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.

We learn from Paul that we are to love our wives just as Christ loved the church. Think about how great a love that really is. To put this in to perspective lets take a look a few passages that show what Christ was willing to do for the church, which is just another way of saying what he did for us since we make up the church.

 

Philippians 2 5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.

 

2 Corinthians 8:9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.

 

That is how much love Jesus has for you and I. He was willing to give up his home in heaven to take on the form of a man and to live like one of us and be tempted like one us, so that He could fully know how to help us in our time of need. He loved us so much that he was willing to face the torture of the cross for our sakes. Notice what John says about His sacrifice.

 

Romans 5 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.

 

Because Jesus loved us so much, he was willing to give His life for us and according to Acts 20:28 He purchased the church with His own blood. That is how much Jesus loved the church and as husbands, we are to have this same type of love for our wives. This means that we should be willing to love our wives with every ounce of our being. We are to love them as we love ourselves and we are to nurture them as we would want to be nurtured. We should also respect them and give them the attention and affection that they deserve.

 

1 Corinthians 7:3 Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband.4 The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.5 Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

 

Obviously, we learn from this passage that there is a responsibility for both men and women to give attention and affection to one another. So, there is great need for us to spend quality time with each other. As good Christian men, we need to recognize the importance of rendering attention and affection to our mate. I have known some men that donít spend much time with their wives, in fact they try to do everything they can to avoid spending time with them. This is not what God had in mind when comes to a happy marriage, and it certainly doesnít say I love you if you donít want to be around your wife.

 

Now some men after they get married still want to act like there single and they want to run off and do all things they used to do. However, we must learn that life is not all about us and we have to realize that we must make a few sacrifices so that we can spend more time with our wives and our children that is if we want to have a happy family life. If we continue to neglect our family, Paul tells us that Satan is going have a better chance at causing chaos in the family.

 

Another thing we should do is foundin,

 

1 Peter 3:7Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.

 

Peter is telling us that we need to be compassionate toward our wives and they need to be honored and respected because they are just as much as Godís children as we are. As Peter said they heirs of the grace of life and if we do not treat our wives with honor and understanding then our prayers will be hindered and not only that, it will make negative impact on our children.

 

This is why I believe being a good father begins by being a good husband because it lays the foundation that are children will follow.

 

Another important thing that will help us to be a good father is to have an active prayer life. Being the spiritual leader of the home and leading by example can be very challenging especial if we try to do it on our own. As Christians, we should never think that we donít need help because all of us do and the best source of help that we have is through the avenue of prayer.

 

While it might seem like we have our kids with us for a long time, we really donít. We only have short time to make positive impression on them and there is no doubt we are going to make some mistakes along the way, but I have full confidence that if we pray to God to be a better father and to do those things that we should that God will help us.

 

Since prayer should be a part of our lives, as fathers we should make sure to take time out to pray with our family. There is a saying that says that a family that prays together stays together. So many times we live such busy lives that we fail to stop and remember God is there for us and wants to hear from us. As Christians, we should learn to have a more active prayer life and learn to lean on God and trust that He will help us with our daily lives. So, let us never neglect or doubt the influence and power of prayer in helping us be better fathers.

 

Our next point comes from what Paul teaches us in:

 

Ephesians 6:4 And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.

 

First lets deal with the phrase do not provoke your children to wrath. First of all not all provoking is bad.

 

Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:

 

In this instance, there is a positive way that a person may provoke or stir someone up, and as fathers we certainly want to provoke our or stir up our children in such away that it will lead them to righteousness. However, Paul is teaching us that we should not provoke them in a ungodly way that will cause them to be angry or cause them to regret you being their father. Paul also tells us that we are to train them up, that is to fully teach them about Gods Word. This is one of the greatest responsibilities of a Christian father. Again, he should be the spiritual leader of the house hold, and he should take an active part in teaching his children about the Lord. This is not new concept. In fact, God has always wanted the fathers to be involved in their childrenís up bringing. For instance, notice what the Bible says about Abraham in:

 

Genesis 18:19 "For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the LORD, to do righteousness and justice, that the LORD may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him."

 

Even as far back as Abraham, God had this plan for the fathers. Also, Moses commanded the children of Israel:

 

Deuteronomy 6:6 " And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.7 "You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.

 

As a Father, we love to teach our children how to change a tire or mow the grass and many other useful things that they need to know when they get out on their own, but above all these we need to show our children that we love Lord and His Word. As we teach our children how to live life, we also need to include how God made our lives possible.

 

As Christian fathers, we should certainly set the standard when it comes to studying Godís Word. Do your children see you reading your Bibles? Now I am suggesting that you do this for show, but if you want you children to view Godís Word as being important, donít you think they should at least know that you read your Bible?

 

If you are failing to study Godís Word, then how do you ever expect to train your children in the admonition of the Lord? How can we expect to be the spiritual leaders of the home if we are not being lead by the Word of God?

 

We need to make a choice of who we are going to serve as Joshua said in:

 

Joshua 24:15"And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."

We cannot become lazy as Christian fathers because it is our God given responsibility to train up our children in the admonition of the Lord. Not only should we study our Bibles, we must also live by what we read. As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words.

 

We need to pay attention to what we say and what we do because our children are watching. If you use foul language or you are abusive then guess what your children will have tendency to follow in your footsteps. We should constantly be asking ourselves is what am doing a good or a bad example. Again, we are not going to be perfect at this, but we must continue to work at it so that we can have the best influence we can on our children, so that they will love the Lord like we do.

 

One area that seems to be more and more common today is a lack of respect for what Godís Word says and a lack of concern for assembling with the saints. I believe these two things go hand and hand because the less respect you have for Godís authority; the less you are going to care about His church. As Christians fathers, we need to instill in our children how we should never compromise Godís Word no matter how tempting it may be.

 

We need to teach them that even if the world says something is ok that it is not ok if the Bible says it is wrong. We need to prepare them for the persecution they might face for standing up for Godís way and we need to show the various examples in the OT and the NT where Godís people did this very thing and how God is pleased with us when we take a stand for the truth. If we fail in this area, then the problems we are seeing in the church in different areas right now are going to become worse and more widespread because when we stop placing importance on Godís Word, God will become less important and our way will become more important. As Hosea said,

 

Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.7 " The more they increased, The more they sinned against Me; I will change their glory into shame.8 They eat up the sin of My people; They set their heart on their iniquity.9 And it shall be: like people, like priest. So I will punish them for their ways, And reward them for their deeds.10 For they shall eat, but not have enough; They shall commit harlotry, but not increase; Because they have ceased obeying the LORD.11 " Harlotry, wine, and new wine enslave the heart.

 

We must also teach our children the importance of putting Godís kingdom first, which includes assembling with the Saints.

 

Matthew 6:33 "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

 

Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

 

Some Christians seem to think that if they assemble on Sunday morning that they have put their time in and that Sunday night or Wednesday night is not important. But, what kind of example are we leaving our children when we only attend on Sunday morning and we stay home on Sunday night and Wednesday night so we can watch TV or mow the lawn? Are we not teaching them that being a Christian only means that we should attend on Sunday morning, but that Sunday night and Wednesday night are not that important and that its ok to put others stuff before God at those times.

 

Friends, we need to remind ourselves that Jesus paid for the church with His own blood and that He made it possible for us have a church and have the forgiveness our sins. What message are you giving God when you decide that Sunday morning worship is all you are willing to give Him for what He did for you? Do you think God is pleased with you when you only offer up one hour of your time once a week when you could be giving him more? Now please understand, I am not talking about those who cannot make it to all the worship services because there are certainly legitimate reasons why some cannot come, but I am talking about those who have nothing hindering them from giving more of their time to serving God.

 

If we donít lead by example and show our children how important it is for us to put Godsí kingdom first, then we are going to have children that care less and less about Godís people and His way. Once our children start thinking that Sunday morning is enough, then they may progress and start thinking that once a month or once or quarter or once a year is enough. We certainly should not want that, so letís be sure and be a good example in this area.

 

So, I hope that as Fathers that we will do our best to be the spiritual leaders of our homes by being good husbands, having an active prayer life, studying Godís Word and living by it and that we will train our children up in the admonition of the Lord.