The Glory of Children is Fathers
Pastor Craig Ledbetter
Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland
June 19, 2016 AM BBC Ballincollig Father’s Day
A. A Bit of Humour
1. While flying from London back to Cork, I once overheard a mother telling to her nine year old son, "Jacob, now remember - run to Daddy first, and THEN the dog."
2. A small boy was at the Dublin zoo with his father. They were looking at the tigers, and his father was telling him how ferocious and dangerous they were. “Daddy, if the tigers got out and ate you up…” “Yes, son?” the father asked, ready to console him. “Which bus would I take home?”
3. The father of five children had won a toy at the funfair. He gathered together his children to determine which one was worthy of the prize. "Who is the most obedient?" he asked. "Who never talks back to mother? And "Who does everything mother says?" All five small voices replied in unison. "Okay dad! You get the toy."
B. There are 5 and only 5 key areas of life that makes or breaks a society.
1. I have been doing a lot of studying lately about the family, and I have come to the conclusion that there are 5 and only 5 key areas of life that makes or breaks a society:
a. Awareness and Fear of God in that society
b. Hard Work Ethic – only small percentage are unable to work. The rest make their own way
c. Freedom from Tyranny – the government and the State are small, and limited by the people
d. Servanthood Amongst the People – the culture has a servant spirit towards each other, not one of pride and arrogance and dominance
e. And Biological Fathers in the Home!
2. If ANY of the above are twisted, abused, or missing, the society is doomed to civil war, self-destruction, and the judgment of God.
3. Maybe there are others, but these are what I have learned over the years from history and from watching my generation go "to pot".
4. And the BIG one that you and I can change TODAY is the last one! Honouring biological fathers back into the home!
C. Now, I know, many mothers throughout history have been “left holding the baby”
D. But men who are taught and trained to be responsible, stay married and are there for their children’s children!
E. Unfortunately, MOST men are NOT well trained
1. They know how to build things in minecraft, and how to play FIFA 2016.
2. Some know how to kick or run with a ball
3. Most others have been: Coddled, Constantly Catered to, Hyper-protected, and Effeminised
4. And generally TAUGHT to be IRRESPONSIBLE – to do as they please
a. By most every movie they have ever watched
b. By most every book they have ever read
c. By watching the lives of most “males” today
F. What is this message all about?
1. Now, This message is NOT against the importance of motherhood
2. It is not intended to do anything except convince ALL of us to wake up to the need to FIGHT to HAVE and to KEEP our Dads in our homes and in our lives!
II. Background (Proverbs 17:6)
A. “Children’s Children…”
1. Solomon wisely concludes that Having a family; Having children, and especially Having GRAND-children
2. Are all the crowning achievement of old age! The JOY of old age!
3. They make growing old, worth it!
4. But take a look at the last half of the Scripture…
B. “The glory of children are their FATHERS…”
1. You would think it would say, MOTHERS, but it says fathers
2. Very important to learn why fathers are so important to everyone’s well-being!
C. “Glory”. What does it mean?
1. We have heard about the glory of God, and The glory of heaven
2. But Solomon says here, the glory of children
3. What does that mean?
a. The thrill, joy, brightness, boasting of children, is about their FATHERS
b. What a child looks up to and admires and almost worships
c. Don't think it is wrong either! Solomon here is stating a needful truth!
D. In other words, Dads are vital to the stability of EVERY nation and society and home and child
1. Looking at Homer Simson, you wouldn’t think so
2. It’s old news, that we have gotten used to
3. But we have lost too many generations of young men to Hollywood, and to sports, and to drink, and now drugs
4. Abortion, same sex marriage, multitudes of children born WITHOUT DADS, is all the result of the loss of Biblical respect FOR DAD! It’s that simple!
E. What if DAD’S actually could have made the difference?
F. God says, that DAD’S still can make the difference!
A. A Father’s Effect (Ephesians 6:4)
1. Having a Dad in our lives is VERY important – not just for children, but as long as possible!
2. According to Eph 6:4, fathers can make or break a child’s life!
3. Fatherlessness is hard
a. I grew up without a father – from the age of 12 onward
b. Not impossible to break the curse of divorce and fatherlessness, but it is hard
c. That’s why GOD commits to stepping in and helping fatherless children (Ps 10:18; 27:10)
d. That’s why Christians are commanded to step in and take care of them (James 1:27)
e. And that is why society is supposed to step in (Psalm 82:3; Isaiah 1:17)
f. Because growing up without both parents is hard!
4. Study after study for the past 50 years has shown strong links between a father’s residence with his children and their well-being. (http://www.vision.org/visionmedia/article.aspx%3Fid%3D4210)
5. Children who grow up without their father…
a. 1 in 4 families with children in Ireland are one-parent families (Census 2011)
b. Over half a million people live in one-parent families in Ireland (Census 2011)
c. People in lone parent households continue to have the lowest disposable income out of all households in the state (EU-SILC 2014)
d. In 2014, 11% of children aged 0-17, or 1 in 9 children, lived in consistent poverty. Consistent poverty means that these children are living in households with incomes below 60% of the national median income and experiencing deprivation based on the agreed 11 deprivation indicators. This can mean going 24 hours without a substantial meal or being cold because parents are unable to afford to heat the home.
e. Children living in one parent family households are almost twice as likely to live in poverty than other children
a. "Absence of a loving father can wreck a child's life: New study shows relationship with both parents is crucial"
b. A study of 10,000 UK children and their parents (no matter the home life situation) concluded…
c. ‘In the US, Great Britain and Europe, we have assumed for the past 300 years that all children need for normal healthy development is a loving relationship with their mother,’ he said.
d. ‘And that dads are there as support for the mother and to support the family financially but are not required for the healthy development of the children.
e. ‘But that belief is fundamentally wrong. We have to start getting away from that idea and realise the dad’s influence is as great, and sometimes greater, than the mother’s.’
f. His research shows a father’s input is particularly important for behaviour and can influence if a child later drinks to excess, takes drugs or suffers mental health problems.
g. Norman Wells, of the Family Education Trust, said: ‘This study underlines the importance of intact and stable families where both the father and the mother are committed to bringing up their children together.
h. ‘Successive governments have failed to recognise the fact that men and women are different and that they parent differently.’
i. He criticised ministers for ‘pretending that one parent is as good as two, or that two parents of the same sex are as good as two natural parents of the opposite sex’.
7. In America, the stats are everywhere (all the sources are given on the National Fatherhood Initiative website)
a. 5x more likely to live in poverty and commit crime when they grow up
b. 9x more likely to drop out of school
c. 20x more likely to end up in jail and prison
d. In a study examining father involvement with 134 children of adolescent mothers over the first 10 years of life, researchers found that father-child contact was associated with better socio-emotional and academic functioning. The results indicated that children with more involved fathers experienced fewer behavioral problems and scored higher on reading achievement.
e. Being raised by a single mother raises the risk of teen pregnancy, marrying with less than a secondary school degree, and forming a marriage where both partners have less than a secondary school degree.
f. Even after controlling for community context, there is significantly more drug use among children who do not live with both their mother and father.
g. 71% of [secondary] school dropouts are fatherless; fatherless children have more trouble academically, scoring poorly on tests of reading, mathematics, and thinking skills; children from father-absent homes are more likely to be truant from school, more likely to be excluded from school, more likely to leave school at age 16, and less likely to attain academic and professional qualifications in adulthood.
8. Quotes from Tupac Shakur…
9. There are exceptions, but they are EXCEPTIONS! Not the norm!
a. This is not about blaming single mothers, or calling for everyone to deny there are so many extenuating circumstances
b. But we do need to start blaming our attitudes about just how important it is to BE faithful, hardworking, strong fathers, and how important HONOURING our fathers and fatherhood is!
B. A Father is –MORE Than Just a Man (Genesis 17:1-4)
1. A father is a special kind of a man – specially designed
a. Anybody these days can “make a baby”
b. But it takes a special kind of MAN to make a father, who is there, with his family from start to finish!
c. Our generation has forgotten what it means to be a man
d. So when fatherhood comes along, there is no foundation for long term strength and stability and protection
e. Abraham was a man – even a great man. But God wanted to make something greater out of him – a father!
2. A father is a God-Given Example
a. Not just someone who made the baby
b. But someone that God gave to your sons and daughters to watch and learn from
c. As an Example of strength, godliness, patience, strength under control, masculinity, love and authority
3. A father is THE Authority (Genesis 18:17-19) – don’t take votes gentlemen, command
4. A father carries Loads of Responsibilities – burdens (Lam 3:27)
a. To be a man of integrity – honest at all times, trustworthy, dependable, on time
b. To work hard – harder than anyone else in the home – pay the bills
c. To mentor his children – personally show them how to live, and work, and love
d. To teach his children about God – not the church’s main purpose, or the mother’s
e. To LEAD in the worship of God
f. To correct and chasten his children (Prov 3:12)
g. To love his wife – their mother sacrificially, constantly
h. Pass on an inheritance – have something to pass on
5. A father reaps in grandchildren (Prov 17:6) – “children’s children are the crown of old men!”
6. Gentlemen, become THAT kind of a man… Be A Father On Purpose… not by accident!
7. And you MIGHT be trusted one day by some woman to be a Dad!
C. A Father is - Someone to Look Up To (Exodus 20:12; Ephesians 6:1,2)
1. The only commandment with a reason
a. If you build a society where children honour their parents, your society will long survive
b. If you allow for a society where parents are treated as older equals, your society is doomed
c. Most parents want to be loved
d. Children NEED to honour their parents
2. It is VERY HARD to honour God, without first knowing how to and actually honouring your earthly father.
3. Your attitude towards your biological father determines and fashions your attitude towards God!
4. THAT’S why you HAVE to forgive your husband, your flawed father, and go ahead and honour him!
5. By the way, if your children see you honour YOUR parents, and especially your father, then your children will probably honour YOU when you get old!
D. A Father is – Flawed – and most of us are ashamed of this fact!
1. Just everybody else – all have sinned and come short
2. Thankfully, Fathers Don’t have to Be Perfect
a. Quit expecting a man to be perfect before he is honoured
b. Yes, there are right things to expect of men, but this hyper critical age we live in sees only flaws, and not manly fathers
3. Ladies, sorry, but real men, good men… are… MEN!
a. We are NOT prince charming! No matter how hard we try to be!
b. But have body odour
c. Get dirty and don’t mind it
d. Love to work and sweat and stay at projects way past bedtime
e. Love competition and competitive sports
f. Hate nagging
g. Are loud
h. Get upset at other drivers, at referees, and politicians – get over it!
i. Take risks, and fail
j. Enjoy a good fight every now and then… on TV!
k. Love to do their own things
l. Hate being late for things
4. And, We hate to DO some things
a. Do not love to shop, hoover, talk a lot, comment on what you should wear, or fret over what to fix for dinner
b. Most men think fishing, hunting, abseiling, working on the car or lawnmower is better than watching any chick-flick!
5. But then again, real men, good men, WILL do all the things they hate, as often as necessary… for the people they love!
E. What Good Men Need to Thrive as Good Fathers (Jeremiah 32:39)
1. A new heart (Jeremiah 32:39; Ezekiel 36:26)
a. God offers a whole new heart gentlemen – clean, washed, forgiven, soft – if you only wanted it
b. ONE heart – like the Lord Jesus’
c. ONE way – the RIGHT way, good way, safe way
d. So that we as men can start to fear only ONE Being – the Lord God, and not the neighbours, friends, enemies, mother-law, or ISIS
e. It will make for a good life for both us and our children after us!
2. The Fear of God (Proverbs 16:6)
3. Their Own Walk with God – not their wife’s, or their pastor’s (Micah 6:8)
4. A godly woman to sacrifice for
5. Praise (Prov 27:21)
6. Allowance for Failure (Proverbs 24:16)
7. Prayer – pray for your Dad, your husband
a. Spend time with him – NOT just on Father’s Day
b. Do what he thinks should be done – quit constantly arguing
c. Listen to him as he tries to teach you and talk with you about things
d. Love to be with him – one day he will be gone!
IV. Summary Review
A. There are 5 and only 5 key areas of life that makes or breaks a society.
1. Awareness and Fear of God in that society
2. Hard Work Ethic – only small percentage are unable to work. The rest make their own way
3. Freedom from Tyranny – the government and the State are small, and limited by the people
4. Servanthood Amongst the People – the culture has a servant spirit towards each other, not one of pride and arrogance and dominance
5. And Biological Fathers in the Home!
6. And the BIG one that you and I can change TODAY is the last one! Honouring biological fathers back into the home!
B. “The glory of children is FATHERS…”
C. Glory. What does it mean?
1. The thrill, joy, brightness, boasting of children, is about their FATHERS
2. What a child looks up to and admires and almost worships
3. Don't think it is wrong either! Solomon here is stating a needful truth!
D. In other words, Dads are vital to the stability of EVERY nation and society and home and child
A. Believe that you ARE ‘The dad’ – you are so important to your children!
B. Be MORE than Just a Man
C. A Father is - Someone to Look Up To
D. It is Okay to be Flawed, as long as you are seeking…
1. A new heart
2. To live under The Fear of God
3. To have your Own Walk with God – not your wife’s, or your pastor’s
4. A godly woman to sacrifice for
5. To Learn from the Ultimate Father – God
a. Get into His family by obedient faith, and…
b. God will show you how to love, teach, have patience with, invest in, and chasten YOUR children