A Father’s Joy

Making Our Dad’s Happy

3rd John 1:4


DATE: 19 June, 2005  AM                                                               Father’s Day                                                                PLACE: BBC Ballincollig

I.         Introduction (3Jn 1:4)


A.      Spoken towards the very end of our Bible is a sentence so profound, and so needed in this 21st century -  “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.”


1.        The apostle John has been around the block so to speak, and seen many things, and come to a very powerful conclusion – that there is nothing more joyous than to know our children are living out the truth of Jesus Christ!

2.        Success doesn’t matter – achievement – reputation – wealth – accumulation – possessions – family – religion – NONE of that matters if it is not a result of living out the truth of Christ in their lives!!!


B.       There are many “fathers” in the Bible – some were good, and some were pretty bad. I think almost ALL of them would be shocked at the state of “fatherhood” today!

C.       The modern perversion of what it means to be a father:


1.        A drunkard, an angry man, a brute, a dope-head, a workaholic, a dim-wit, a spend-thrift, a waster, a lazy bum, a TV-addict, a sports-fanatic

2.        JOKE: Two kids are talking to each other – the one says, “My dad’s a magician.” The other kids says, “Really?” The first kid says, “Yes. He walks down the street and turns into a pub!”

3.        JOKE: A boy walks into the sitting room and faces his smiling Dad who is sprawled out across the entire couch. The kid says, “What are you smiling about Dad?” The Dad replies while pointing to the couch itself, “One day son, all this will be yours!”

4.        The media portrays people like Homer Simpson and unfortunately, people live and think just like him!

5.        To so many, the term husband, and father is an old, and dead label – partner, and parent – now those are ok. You rarely hear about women saying “My husband says such and such…” Sad!


D.      The Biblical perspective of fatherhood:


1.        A man is a man when he fears nothing but God, and loves supremely the truth!

2.        That is the kind of man that makes a good father


a.        A dad that takes his God-given role seriously – not a selfish animal out to satisfy his instincts

b.       A dad that loves God, and loves Momma

c.        A man who breaks his back for the benefit of his family and for the future

d.       A man named Bartrand Hubbard said this: “I've had a hard life, but my hardships are nothing against the hardships that my father went through in order to get me to where I started.”

e.        Good statement!


E.       This morning we will take a good look at just what would bring joy to any father’s heart


 “Top Ten Gifts Your Father Really Wants


10.   Meat!

9.     A remote that helps him understand his wife and allows him to change the subject!

8.     A reclining BBQ!

7.     The ability to get up without making several funny noises!

6.     More shower heads than toes and fingers!

5.     A study that supports what he has known all along: there is no bad cholesterol!

4.     The ability to be invisible on Saturdays!

3.     A search and rescue dog for the remote!

2.     A world-wide moratorium on Tofu!

And the number one gift your father really wants is:

1.     Your love, your forgiveness and your understanding!


II.       Message


A.      The Joy of Just Having a Wise Child (Pr 23:24,25; 15:20)


1.        It is what a real Dad wants – he does not want someone just like himself, but wiser, and better equipped to do right than he himself was!

2.        One that loves good things, and good people – hates darkness and sin (Ps 97:10; Tit 1:8)

3.        One that lives the truth – really LIVES it – doesn’t just mimic daddy’s religion, but lives it out every day!

4.        THAT is a wise child, and that brings great joy to any dad’s heart!

5.        Did you know, that that doesn’t just hold to an 12 year old, but to anyone whose dad is still alive – they would rejoice in the wisdom of their son!

6.        A lot of parents – and I mean a LOT of them need a good dose of encouragement from their kids that they are wising-up! The Bible-way!


B.       The Joy of Winning the Soul and Heart of a Child (1Cor 4:14-16)


1.        Soul-winning begins at home folks

2.        God gave us Dad’s the greatest influence on our children – do not let anyone else take that place


a.        The Philippian Jailor led his family to faith in Christ (Acts 16)

b.       Cornelius led his family to faith in Christ (Acts 10)


3.        There is an old song that goes something like this…


There are loved ones up in the glory, Whose dear forms you often miss;

When you close your earthly story, Will you join them in their bliss?


Will the circle be unbroken  Bye and bye, Lord, bye and bye

There's a better home a-waiting In the sky, Lord, in the sky


In the joyous days of childhood, Oft they told of wondrous love,

Pointed to the dying Saviour  Now they dwell with Him above.


You can picture happy gatherings  Round the fireside long ago,

And you think of tearful partings, When they left you here below.


One by one their seats were emptied, One by one they went away;

Here the circle has been broken. Will it be complete one day?


Will the circle be unbroken  Bye and bye, Lord, bye and bye

There's a better home a-waiting In the sky, Lord, in the sky


4.        Dads! There is a small circle gathered around you and Mom! Will it break forever down here on earth, and NEVER be gathered together again? I wouldn’t let that happen if I had ANY influence in my home at all!!!


C.       The Joy of Helping His Child Grow-Up (Gal 4:19)


1.        Much to the disappointment of the feminist movement, the job of a father is not finished with conception, or even birth!

2.        It is amazing how that psychologists in the 60’s said Dad’s stay away and let the schools and the Moms raise the kids

3.        And how that they are screaming today, “COME BACK, COME BACK!” Listen to this assessment:


a.        The relationship people have with their fathers directly affects their ability to relate to God the Father. A "loving heavenly Father" has no meaning to those who don't know what a loving earthly father is. In fact, if their fathers were so terrible, any god who's also a father must be infinitely terrible! And if an earthly father just “isn’t there”, how easy is it going to be for children to believe that an heavenly Father is really there either?

b.       There is also the epidemic of one out of every three children in Europe growing up without a father is not a coincidence. There is a concerted attack on the institution of fatherhood by Satan himself. The Devil's work is to influence dads to be disconnected, distant, or even abusive, so that children start life believing that this is how all fathers are—even a heavenly Father.


4.        Dads! We need to take our spiritual role dead-serious!


a.        Mark Twain said, “When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.”

b.       Charles Wadsworth said, “By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he's wrong.” THAT ought not to be so!

c.        JOKE: One day a small boy was taking a walk with his father. When they passed an unusual looking vehicle, he said, "What kind of truck is that, Daddy?" "I don't know," his father said. Then they came to a large warehouse, "What's in there, Daddy?" the little boy asked. "I don't know," his father replied. After they had walked on a short way in silence, the little boy turned to his father and said, "Daddy, do you mind me asking you so many questions?" "Of course not," responded his father proudly. "How else are you going to learn anything?"


5.        A Dad is meant by God to be there in the family, leading the family, helping, and influencing the children right down through to the grandchildren and even to the great grand children


a.        It is expected that a Dad would be charging/commanding his children to live and do right (1Thes 2:11,12) – He has God-given authority

b.       Listen to King David express it (Ps 78:1-6 and in Ps 71:18)

c.        God commanded it in Dt 4:9


D.      The Joy of Watching God Change His Children’s Lives (Luke 15:11-24)


1.        This has got to be the greatest story in the Bible!

2.        Just look at that joy!

3.        Yes the son wasted his life, and his substance, and his health and his potential

4.        But when the kid came to himself (that means he wised up and humbled himself and went home ashamed of his own stupidity), that there was such rejoicing – people for miles could hear it!

5.        Hey! What kind of changes has Christ made in your life young people? I mean CHANGES!


a.        No longer addicted to that TV 12 hours a day!

b.       Repented of ever picking up a beer, or hanging around the wrong friends

c.        Humbled yourself to your parents and apologized for being so dense and stupid and stubborn to their every influence in your life!

d.       Started praying for your family, and your friends

e.        Got busy in church, and in soul-winning

f.         Repented of all the bad attitudes!


6.        Now THAT would bless any Dad’s heart! There is not a Dad alive that rejoices in the complaining of their child, or in the rebellion of their son, or in the selfishness of their daughter!

7.        It ought to be a child’s joy to make their parents happy (Pr 17:6)!

8.        Aren’t you glad God works on us to bring us to this same place where we change too? It’s called conversion – getting born again, when you realize that Jesus died to save you from a devil’s hell!


III.     Conclusion – Dare to be a Godly Dad!


A.      Dr. James Dobson said, "The Western world stands at a great crossroads in its history. It is my opinion that our very survival as a people will depend upon the presence or absence of masculine leadership in millions of homes... I believe, with everything within me, that husbands hold the keys to the He preservation of the family."

B.       Before you ladies in here start “Amening” you had better make sure that you are helping your husband lead, and supporting his leadership, and praying for his decisions instead of hindering them simply because you don’t like how he leads!!!

C.       Dare to be a Godly Dad, Men!


1.        Walk in the truth Yourself!

2.        Develop a home that nurtures Godly wisdom and learning

3.        Is YOUR heart surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus Christ?

4.        Set out to pray and win the hearts of your whole family

5.        Are you personally growing spiritually? Are you faithful to church, and to Bible study every week? Are you reading at least 2-4 chapters in your Bible every day? Are you witnessing to the co-workers and friends? Are you growing, or dying spiritually? One or the other

6.        Have you changed any lately? What kind of changes has Christ made in your life? I mean CHANGES!


a.        No longer addicted to that TV

b.       Put down the cancer sticks

c.        Repented of ever picking up a beer

d.       Confessed some secret faults to your wife and got victory over them

e.        Humbled yourself to your kids and apologized for being so dense and stupid and Homer Simpsonish!

f.         Started praying with the family and reading the Bible with them every day

g.       Got busy in church, and in soul-winning

h.       Repented of all the bent-up anger and frustration that constantly exploded in front of the people you loved!



Craig Ledbetter