God Shows Us How to Honour Our Fathers
June 20, 2021 Father’s Day
Pastor Craig Ledbetter
Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland
A. Happy Father’s Day! (I am so glad to be back home in Ireland)
1. Today is a day set aside pretty well all over the world to honour our Dads
2. And it is a great thing to do!
3. But more than that, it is the right thing to do!
B. Why Honour Our Fathers?
1. Because Honouring Dad is God’s Command (Exodus 20:12)
a. Exodus 20:12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
b. We don’t do it because culture says do it
c. We definitely don’t wait for a designated Father’s day before we tell our Dad’s that we love and appreciate them
d. We do it because GOD said do it
e. Honouring or fathers is to be a life-long effort on the part of children everywhere!
f. No matter if your father is saved or lost; at home, or away; young or old; good or bad…
g. God says we are to honour our fathers.
h. And if God commands it, That means it is for OUR good, not just good for our Dad’s.
1) Listen to Ephesians 6:2, Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.
2) Did you notice the benefit of honouring your dad? A long, good life!
2. Because we all want to be DOERS of this word, and not hearers only, RIGHT?
a. God says to do it (Exodus 20:12)…
b. Therefore we do it
c. And amazingly, we get the benefit of it! “That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth”
3. Lastly, because Fathers are vitally important, and necessary to have a strong, whole, lasting family.
a. You do realise that every one of us has a father! But there is coming a day, if Jesus tarries His Second Coming, when children won’t have a Dad, and maybe not even a Mother! And, doesn’t that scare you?
b. Someone concluded this great truth… The difference between a ‘man’ and a ‘father’ is that a man only shares his genes with his children, but a father shares his life.”
c. Dads are specially designed, and given to every one of us for an irreplaceable purpose by God.
d. Dads are not disposable/unimportant - Like a part of a machine (COG) – if it is missing, the machine quickly breaks apart
e. And I am talking about being godly fathers – we need fathers who KNOW their role – not just deadbeat dads and couch-potato head dads
C. Are Fathers Really Necessary?
1. The New York Times recently published a discussion between 5 intellectuals asking, ‘What are Father’s For?’ One of the writers named Hannah Rosen, stated “I am not sure a child actually needs a father”
a. What a statement! And yet, more and more people actually believe that Dads are disposable and even replaceable! That they are not necessary to have a stable home.
b. That’s like saying a person does not really need water, or air to live!
c. Modern day thinkers have concluded that the home works well no matter who is there, or whether there are two daddys or two mommys in it, or whether children even have all the same mommy or daddy.
d. What have we come to?
e. We should NOT need major university studies to tell us that having a father and being a father is vitally important to not only children, but to all of society!
f. Every one of us know this to be true already!
g. And GOD told us in His word that it is true!
2. But I read a powerful report about fathers this past week… just listen for a moment to what a man named Dennis Prager discovered about fathers… it is short and intense…
a. “Did you know that boys do NOT have any built in understanding about how to be a man? Especially how to be a good and responsible man!”
b. “Male nature is wild – especially regarding sex and violence”
c. “If a boy does not have a father who shows how to control himself, he will most likely NOT know how to control HIMSELF, let alone WANT to control himself.”
d. “That’s why most males in prison for violent crimes grew up… without a father!”
e. “A woman named Christina Odone wrote a column for the London Telegraph back in 2011 after a series of riots in London, The facts are, “The majority of rioters are gang members… like the overwhelming majority of youth offenders behind bars, these gang members have one thing in common: they have no father at home.” No father restraining them.”
f. Denis Prager goes on, “There is no question that many mothers have done an excellent job of raising a boy without their son’s father. But common sense alone suggests that a mother simply cannot model what a boy should be, any more than a man can model to a girl what a woman should be.”
g. “And then there is the issue of controlling boys and their wild natures. There are some mothers who can do this, but if a boy is at all difficult as so many are, most mothers will find it more and more difficult to control their son. Why? Because unruly boys listen to their fathers much more than they listen to their mothers.”
h. “Which is precisely why most violent criminals grew up in fatherless homes. They obviously did not listen to their mothers!” Do we blame the mothers?
i. “As far as daughters are concerned, the father is THE man that girls learn to relate to. Without a father to relate to and bond with, there are at least two destructive consequences:”
1) 1st She will not know how to choose a man wisely; she will not know how a man should treat her; and she may well end up with a man who mistreats her
2) 2nd To fulfil her desire to bond with a man, She will go from man to man, and then end up either alone, or stuck in an abusive relationship until she gives up on relationships completely!
j. “Girls without fathers in their lives are far more likely to be sexually promiscuous, and to begin sexual activity at an earlier age, which in turn are reasons many women are depressed.”
k. “Few women find sleeping with man after man fulfilling – most find it ultimately depressing.”
l. “Fathers give both sons and daughters the thing that children need most – a sense of safety and security. As much as children need love, they need a sense of security more!”
m. “In general, Moms give love, and dads give security.”
n. Thankfully, “Many men can fill the role of a father figure in a child’s life: grandfathers, uncles, teachers, and pastors… But some man needs to be their father!”
o. Wow! Isn’t that the truth!
a. DON’T imagine for a second that YOU Dads aren’t important to your home, your own sanity, and to society in general! The world mocks you
b. And quit accepting all the world’s reasons for dishonouring fathers, making jokes out of them – no matter how flawed he may be!
D. But What if Your Father is Not Around?
1. Maybe he left – like my father did when I was 12
2. Maybe is has already passed away
3. Or maybe he is a mess?
4. God says to Honour him anyway
E. I know that Father’s Day is Painful for Some People
1. How do you remember YOUR Dad?
a. As someone who was mean, or angry, or not there, or abusive?
b. Maybe he was there physically, but not emotionally.
c. Maybe he was flawed.
d. Or, Maybe you had a rare kind of a dad – someone who actually stayed with Mom, and loved her and his children enough to make a difference in your life like he was supposed to.
2. It would do both YOU and your Dad a world of good to go ahead and honour him anyways – no matter what kind of Dad you have!
3. Why do I say that? Because God promises to bless and honour YOU when you honour your dad.
F. Dads don’t need cards, or flowers, or gifts like Moms deserve on Mother’s Day
G. They just need to be honoured - valued, esteemed, admired, given due credit, and respected like this Book says do (AND NOT JUST ON FATHER’S DAY, BUT ALL YOUR LIFE)
1. But how do we do that? Especially when so many people have so many “issues” with their fathers
a. We will look through the Book of Proverbs this morning…
b. These 31 chapters are the words of a father (king Solomon) to HIS son (Rehoboam)
c. They are Inspired by God for all children on How to Honour your father, no matter what he has done or not done - no matter how big a failure or a success he is!
2. By the way Dads… most of my preaching, and most of the Bible is focused on making us Dads worthy of honour!
3. You and I had better start paying more attention to what God says, and doing what He says do, IF we want to start living up to the honour that we KNOW we don’t deserve, but should be getting from now on because of this message today!
II. Message – Honouring Dad
A. Starts with Listening to Your Dad (Proverbs 13:1)
1. Hear with both ears – consider whatever he says; no matter how old you may be
a. Allow him to teach you better ways to think and feel than what your friends are saying – than what your heart is saying
b. Flawed as they may be, your father is usually older and a bit wiser than you are
c. He knows some things – he has been through what you are going through
d. And most Dads really want to be a help!
2. We all started as listeners as children – then we started being influenced by the TV and media and friends…
3. God says always listen to your Dad
4. Listening doesn’t mean always agreeing with him, but always considering what he says
5. So LISTEN to him – that’s what a normal Dad yearns for…
a. Proverbs 1:8 My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:
b. Proverbs 4:1-4 Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law. For I was my father's son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother. He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.
c. Proverbs 13:1 A wise son heareth his father's instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.
6. Listening to him honours him more than you can know – until YOU are a Dad
7. No matter how old, or how young, make time to just sit and listen to your Dad teach you something that he knows
8. Just listening to him benefits YOU as well (Proverbs 4:10) Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many.
B. Allow Correction (Proverbs 3:11,12)
1. Being Dad does NOT mean being your “bestie” (best friend) – it means he has to say the hard things, and deal with the hard issues in your life
2. This is not easy for any of us – to allow someone to correct us when we are doing wrong
3. He needs to correct you when you are wrong
a. When you have a bad attitude
b. When you are not doing right
c. When you have done wrong
4. Proverbs 3:11,12 My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.
a. A dad corrects the son or daughter that he LOVES!
b. When your dad just lets you go and do what you want, he is proving he loves himself and his peace and quiet more than he loves your safety and growth!
5. Young man; young lady; One day you will be on your own, and have to face the consequences for all your decisions, but until then, let your Dad tell you when you are wrong, and help you get back doing things right
6. Proverbs 15:5 A fool despiseth his father's instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent.
7. Reproof is when you are corrected
8. Do you want to be a grief to your Dad – then fight him and argue with him, and yell and resist his attempts to correct you – and your home will be filled with grief
9. But if you will allow your father to BE your father, your guide, your corrector… you will mature, and will honour him… and his correction will keep you safe!
10. Proverbs 6:23 For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life
C. Accept God’s Sovereign Choice (Proverbs 4:3)
1. I know this is hard for some of you…
2. But accept YOUR Dad as God’s gift to you and your family
3. A lot of young people do not like or respect their fathers
4. Listen as Solomon speaks to his son Rehoboam in Proverbs 4:3 For I was my father's son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother.
a. Solomon says “My Dad was MY Dad.” And he accepted David as his father
b. Out of all the fathers of all time, Solomon got to have David as his father - hmmmm
5. God brought your Mom and Dad together, and therefore put your DAD into your family as a gift, just like He put YOU into your family! There are NO mistakes in God’s kingdom! Each person in a home is a gift to each other
6. So Accept the dad you have! As grumpy as he is, or frustrating
7. THIS is so, so important!
8. Only the devil wants you to reject the parents God gave you – don’t give him that power
9. Thank your dad for being your Dad, and thank God for giving him to you, warts and all!
D. Love Your Dad (Proverbs 15:17)
1. Just go ahead and Love him – just out of nowhere, hug him, and hold him – believe me, he will usually instantly turn and hug and hold and love you back!
2. Dad’s feed on LOVE as much as they do on food and air
3. Proverbs 15:17 Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.
a. A dinner of herbs / salad – where everyone around the table is loved
b. Versus a Stalled ox (a pile of huge thick steaks) – where there is hatred and fighting
4. God says, Don’t hold grudges and bitter memories.
a. If you are holding onto past hurts and bitterness, YOU are poisoning your home and heart more than he probably ever has
b. Because of Jesus Christ, every believer can and must forgive past hurts and failures
c. So, Forgive him, and start loving him again if you haven’t been able to in a while
5. Loving your father means Overlooking his flaws and faults and even sins – and covering them with love
a. Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.
b. Most dads KNOW they are failures – so a good word will help them more than cruel words
c. Proverbs 12:25 Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.
6. So, Tell him you love him – NOT just today, but often – that will so honour him!
7. And surprise him with hugs – It doesn’t matter if he is a hugger or not… it will make a Dad go 1,000 miles more than a bad attitude will!
E. Obey His Commands (Proverbs 6:20)
1. Your dad is responsible for teaching you to obey God – whether he knows it or not, HE is your first teacher! And your Dad uses COMMANDS, not suggestions
a. Proverbs 6:20 My son, keep thy father's commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother:
b. That’s why OUR parents got us to obey when we were kids – there was no messing when our Dads spoke!
c. And that was not wrong!
d. He was firm and I made our home under control – instead of out of control like today
2. Take the words of your father seriously. Why?
a. Proverbs 30:17 The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.
b. THAT is serious!
3. As long as you live in your parent’s house, you are supposed to do what Dad says do
4. So, Do what he says,
a. Maybe not do as he does, but at least do what he says
b. He probably will tell you to do the right thing even though he hasn’t done it himself
5. THAT honours your dad
6. A rebellious son or daughter is a sorrow and grief to your father, and blasphemes God! It says to the world that God is not important to obey!
F. Choose Wisdom (Proverbs 23:24) – Choose to live right and godly
1. Watching a son or daughter strive to do the right things, and live wisely honours their parent’s efforts – and brings great joy to our hearts
2. Proverbs 23:24 The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him.
3. What is wisdom?
a. Knowing what is the right thing to do according to God
b. Not what everyone else is doing, or what feels right – that’s foolishness
4. Proverbs 29:3 Whoso loveth wisdom rejoiceth his father: but he that keepeth company with harlots spendeth his substance.
5. That means shut off the influencers that cause you to reject God and your parents
a. Don’t get your wisdom and morality from your friends, or media or culture
b. Proverbs 19:27 Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.
c. Your youtubes will tell you a lot about how much you value wisdom or just entertainment
d. The amount of time and effort you put into reading your Bible will tell you a lot about how important wisdom is to you
e. So Get wisdom from THIS Book, and strive to live by it, and you will honour your Dad
6. Choose to learn to think and behave and act and feel and live wisely – independent of the culture around you!
7. Instead of on the impulse and at the whim of every wind of culture
a. Like, Getting tattoos and body piercings
b. Constantly changing hair colours and clothing styles
c. Sneaking out to drink and find new girlfriends/boyfriends at all hours
8. Choose wisdom over popularity and fashion and even over a good job, and you will so honour and bless and encourage your Dad, and you will be so much better off yourself!
a. Proverbs 8:11 For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.
b. Proverbs 16:16 How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!
G. Walk with God Yourself, First (Proverbs 3:5-10)
1. Remember, this is Solomon, a father, speaking to his son…
a. Proverbs 3:5-1- Trust in the LORD [REHOBOAM] with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways [YOU NEED TO] acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones. Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.
2. So, Do NOT rely on your father’s faith – don’t lean upon IT
a. Get your own faith in God from this Book!
b. YOU need to have your own Bible reading time
c. YOU need to have your own prayer list and learn how to talk to God and listen to His voice as you read the Scriptures
d. YOU need to trust in the Lord yourself!
e. You even need to tithe from your own income
3. That will bless and honour both your earthly father AND your heavenly Father
4. And YOU will be blessed by God…
a. He shall direct thy paths
b. Your trust in God shall be [your] health
c. So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine
H. Praise Your Dad (Proverbs 27:21)
1. Prov 27:21 As the fining pot for silver, and the furnace for gold; so is a man to his praise.
a. Praise helps your home more than pushing and nagging
b. Compliments do more good than criticisms
c. You know it works that way with you, why not towards your dad?
2. Appreciate him – find ways to say ‘thank you’ for his efforts, for just being your Dad
a. Most men are only appreciated and loved for what they DO, what they are good at, and what they offer – like money
b. A Dad is supposed to be honoured and loved just because he is Dad!
3. If your dad if he is still alive… honour him by saying something good about him
a. By finding something that makes you proud to be his son or daughter and say it to them
b. Give him credit for his efforts to keep food on the table, for making your house a home, for showing you how to drive, or how to work hard
I. Lastly, Pray for Your Dad (Proverbs 11:30)
1. Proverbs 11:30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.
2. If your father is still alive, he needs you to pray for him, and defend him against spiritual attack by prayer
a. We ALL live in a spiritual war
b. Satan is a destroyer of homes
c. And your dad is probably standing alone against darkness and spiritual attacks
3. You have an imperfect father – like all the rest of us
a. He is probably a mess
b. Probably growls and grumbles and complains a lot
c. Probably has a past too embarrassing to admit
d. Probably does very little right
e. Probably wishes he could start over all the time
4. He will fail you – and he will fail God
5. So Fight FOR your dad and fight with him, and never against him – by praying with your Dad, and praying FOR your dad!
6. Pray he knows God, and gets born again, and lives for God and stay living for God!
7. Your future depends upon it folks!
A. This is not a complete or exhaustive list – just a glimpse of help from Proverbs – things that every Bible believer should be doing every day to honour their fathers who are alive
1. I imagine you could find a dozen more ways to honour your father in the rest of the Scriptures, like Jesus honoured His father in heaven, and the like
2. Just start by doing these Scriptures and you will be well ahead of most everyone else!
3. And you will start to experience the many blessings and stability that is promised to people who actually honour their parents, and especially their father!
B. By-the-way, Your father is probably NOT worthy of you honouring and appreciating and praising and loving and obeying
C. But God says he IS worthy of honouring
1. You see, God sees all that your father is, faults, sins and all, and says honour him anyways
2. That doesn’t mean, praise him for sin in his life, or get excited about his failings
3. But it does mean respect him as your father, and pray for him like you will want YOUR children to pray for YOU, and love him like you know you will need to be loved
D. And by the way, Dads…
1. This is not just for your children, but these Scriptures are for YOU to honour YOUR father as well! You need to be an example of a man that honours your own father
2. And if your father is gone, focus on honouring your heavenly Father, Jehovah God in your home and in your life!
3. It is the foundation for a stable and blessed home!
E. And if you would like to be born again folks, if you want to get into God’s family, and be able to call God YOUR Father, then you need to just:
1. Humble yourself and admit you are a mess – a sinner, unworthy of heaven
2. And ask Jesus to forgive you for all your mess-ups and failures
3. And decide this moment on you are going to follow Jesus
4. Not to be a better dad or mom – even though that is a by-product – but to be forgiven and a new dad, or new mom, or new young person!
5. Would you like to do that today?
6. You can do it right now!