An Appeal to Fathers

Occasion: Sunday Worship 15th June 2014

Statistics:

  • 90% of homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes. [US D.H.H.S., Bureau of the Census]
  • 80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes. [Criminal Justice & Behaviour, vol 14, pp. 403-26, 1978]
  • 71% of pregnant teenagers lack a father. [U.S. Department of Health and Human Services press release, Friday, March 26, 1999]
  • 85% of children who exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes. [Center for Disease Control]
  • 90% of adolescent repeat arsonists live with only their mother. [Wray Herbert, “Dousing the Kindlers,” Psychology Today, January, 1985, p. 28]
  • High Schools
  • 75% of adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes. [Rainbows f for all God’s Children]
  • Put simply, the role of a father in a child’s life cannot be underestimated.

Text: Proverbs 2:1-22 

Purpose: Solomon wants to see his children experience God’s blessings as they walk in the fear of the LORD, therefore he teaches them to fear the Lord and to reject the company of those who do not fear Him, so their lives will be preserved in the Promised Land.

Proposition: God wants to bless young people as they walk in the fear of the Lord.

Interrogative: How can He do this?

Truth 1: Fathers must teach their young people the word of God 2:1-2 IF…

  • Solomon as the wise father is presenting a pattern for fathers to follow: The following statements showing us that Solomon was actively instructing his children.  This must be a regular part of family life. Which echoes Moses’ instruction in Deuteronomy 6These words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
    • Receive my words
    • Hide my commandments
    • Incline your ear
    • Apply your heart
  • Paul commands fathers to do the same: Ephesians 6:4 Fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
    • Nurture: Nourish or bring them up them by means of training and discipline (Do not let your children be undisciplined, disrespectful, shelf, and lazy.  You must restrain them, though the ultimate motivation for that restraint is not your ease as a parent or your pride, but their own good and growth in maturity.)
    • Quick note: Know where your children are in their relationship to the Gospel.  If they are unconverted, realize the need to instill within them the need to be reconciled to God through the Messiah.  If they are converted, instill within them a need to walk as disciples in light of their position in Christ.
    • Admonition: Warn them by means of instruction (Do not allow your children to learn everything the hard way.  Teach them what is right and wrong, so they can avoid some of the great hardships you may have experienced in your past before you were converted.)

How can this be done?

  • You must live with your children.
  • You must spend time with your children.
  • You must interact with your children. (ask questions)
    • Why do young girls pursue the attention of guys with no character who will take advantage of them and ultimately hurt them? They may not feel loved and valued by their fathers.
    • Why do young guys sit around the house and do nothing but look at porn and chase after women? They may not have seen the example of a Godly father.
    • Why are young people not industrious, hard working, and respectful? They have never been taught the importance of hard work, nor do the adults in their lives carry themselves respectably.
  • You must systematically set aside time to teach your children the word of God.
  • You must watch you children.
  • You must lovingly affirm them where they are doing well so you will have credibility and their confidence when you must rebuke them.
  • Be a father to the fatherless. There are many young people who practically speaking are fatherless.  Mercifully reach out to them and be for them what their father is not.

Truth 2: Fathers must be specific in their instruction: 2:7-22

Saying son: “you need to love God and do right,” is good, but not specific enough.  You need to get down to the practical basics of loving and obeying God.

  • Solomon emphasized the need for children to have a heart for God’s wisdom and truth. 2:3-4
    • Cry after wisdom (emotionally moved)
    • Seek wisdom as silver (motivated by the value of the object)
    • Search for wisdom as if it a hidden treasure (persistence)
  • Solomon warned his children about two specific categories of people:
    • Evil man: How will you know who is an evil man? 2:12
      • He uses perverted speech 2:12
      • His pattern of life is godless 2:13
      • He enjoys doing evil and hanging out with those who do evil 2:14
    • Strange woman: How will you know who is a strange woman? 2:16
      • She is a seductress 2:16
      • She uses flattery to get what she wants 2:16
      • She rejects the instruction of her parents 2:17
      • She ignores the things of the LORD 2:17
  • Solomon presents a contrast between the end result of two ways of life:
    • Way of the righteous (THEN)
      • God defends those who obey Him: 2:7-8
      • God will be his satisfaction: 2:9-10
      • His way will be consistent: 2:20
      • They will enjoy God’s blessings (for Israel in the Promised Land) 2:21
    • Way of the unrighteous
      • They are walking down a road that leads to an untimely death: 2:18
      • They are isolated from God’s blessings: 2:19
      • God will remove them from His presence: 2:22

Truth 3: Youths must humbly submit to godly instruction from their fathers

  • If you do not have a heart for God, it is your own fault.
  • If you do not obey God, it is your own fault.
  • If you do not listen to instruction it is your own fault.
  • If you choose your friends poorly and they hurt you…it’s your own fault.

Conclusion: Solomon wanted to see his children experience God’s blessings as they walked in the fear of the LORD, therefore he taught them to fear the Lord and to reject the company of those who did not fear Him. God wants to bless our young people as they walk in the fear of the Lord.  Are you fathers being faithful to your God given responsibility and calling?  Are you young people responding correctly to your fathers, and taking personal responsibility for your action?  May God convict us deeply where we are being disobedient and unfaithful, and encourage us as we walk in His ways and interact with those He has put in our care.

 

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