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The Indispensable Dad

 

Pastor Joe Elick 1940 - 2021

Matthew 7:21-28, Proverbs 14:26

A young boy was being given a tour of a friend's house (a house of great size and splendor). As his friend showed him from room to room his eyes grew bigger and bigger with each room they entered. As they proceeded down a long, carpeted hallway, the boy saw a heavy mahogany door afar and peeked in. It was a large room with thick, rich carpeting (the kind that tempts you to take off your shoes and socks, and wiggle your toes in it); floor to ceiling book shelves along the back wall (the kind with a ladder that slides on a track); a very fine den with a gold pen and pencil set and a Mickey Mouse phone. And in one corner there was a large, leather La-Z-Boy Recliner and a reading lamp with soft, white light. "WOW!" Said the boy, "What-a-ya call this room?" "O, that," said his friend, "that's my father's DEN." "Your father has a DEN? GEEE! My dad ROARS in every room of the house!" Well, there's no question as to whether or not that dad made an impression on his family. When he was around you knew it.

I would like to spend a few minutes with you thinking, from a biblical perspective, about a father's role in the home: The Indispensable Dad! Although in many families across America today it's a story of the Disappearing Dad. How important a loving intact family is to the healthy upbringing of children. So important in fact that where there is no father the Church is to take up the slack. Our text this morning is Proverbs 14:26 and it contains an important message for dads.

1. "He" (the "he" is a dad for the second part of the verse tells us that he has children who are watching him to see how he handles the give and take of life). A Dad, both by Biblical social definition carries the sobering title of "father." It is a sobering and thoughtful title because it is the same title that God has given to us to understand Him. Jesus said, "When you Pray, pray this way: "Our Father in heaven..." God is the pattern of all true fatherhood. That lays a tremendous responsibility on all human fathers. When we teach our children to call God "Father," as the Scripture would encourage us to do they will look to us, their earthly fathers, to see what "father" means.

2. "He who fears the Lord." This proverb expresses the long-term observation that an essential (not optional) characteristic of the successful father is that he "fears the Lord. "What does it mean to "fear the Lord?" It means to "Reverence God;" It means to stand in awed silence as we think about the God of the Universe; It means to take God into account in all of life. How is this lived out? Proverbs 14:2: "He whose walk is upright fears the Lord." "Upright" means straight or "the right way," or "God's way." (See Matthew 7:14; John 14:6). It means for us to give our lives over to Jesus Christ. The father who walks with Christ, seeking daily the counsel of His Word enjoys the blessings of God's care. The care of Christ is evident in his life and in his family. Herbert Lockyer writes: "Parents who seldom darken a church door, and have little interest in the spiritual benefits to be derived from contact with a house of worship, cannot expect their children to grow up with an appetite for all that is Christian, even though they send them to a Sunday school..." (all the Children of the Bible, P. 50).

3. "He who fears the Lord has a secure fortress..." This is a military word that refers to a fort with strong walls and defenses against the enemy. The father who builds his life and his home on the solid rock of the Lord Jesus Christ and God's Word has a strong fortress against the attacks of Satan and the world.

4. "...and for his children it will be a refuge." The Hebrew word here carries the meanings of "shelter," or "place of hope." The godly father is more than a "breadwinner." He is a carpenter building a secure spiritual fortress for himself and his family. A PLACE OF REFUGE WHERE THE DEVIL CAN'T GET AT HIS CHILDREN.

Until next time,

Pastor Joe

 

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