"Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding."
Billy Graham has said, "A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised,
unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society."
We honor motherhood, and we should.
But we often forget father.
The present economic system has somewhat deemphasized the importance of Dad.
Among the very poor, various governmental social agencies have become
the provider and in many of the affluent families a portion of the income
is a result of the wife's earnings.
From a Biblical standpoint, man was created for something more than
"bringing home the bacon."
God said concerning Abraham, "For I know him, that he will command his children
and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord,
to do justice and judgment that the Lord may bring upon Abraham
that which he had spoken of him." (Genesis 18: 19)
From a Biblical standpoint the father was to be a provider, a protector,
a priest, a guide, and a teacher, as well as a disciplinarian.
Potentially, the father is the best possible teacher about God that a child can have.
The father is the human counterpart of God in a manner
in which it is impossible for the mother to be.
When Jesus caught his disciples to pray, He said,
"After this manner therefore pray ye:
Our Father which art in heaven." (Matthew 6: 9)
He taught His disciples that they were to think of the eternal God
in terms of a wise, devoted, generous, forgiving father.
The child who never has the privilege of knowing a loving father
has a serious handicap at the point of obtaining a proper understanding
of the nature and character of God.
Dr. R. G. Lee tells the story of a father whose little son was stricken with diphtheria.
He was placed in isolation in the hospital.
It was necessary for the parents to wear a mask while visiting their little son.
The boy asked, "Why are you dressed that way?"
The father replied, "I want to protect others because you are very sick."
After some hesitation, the little fellow asked, "Daddy, am I going to die?"
The father who had taught his boy never to tell a lie said,
"That is what the doctor says."
After a great deal of inward agony, the father put a question to his little boy:
"Son, you are not afraid, are you?"
From the sick bed the little boy replied,
"Daddy, if God is like you are, I won't be afraid."
The home is the most basic institution in our society.
The responsibility for the spiritual stability and success for such
is too great for the mother to bear alone.
On this Father's Day it would be well for all of us to recognize that the help
of the father is absolutely essential if the home is to be fully Christian.
"But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house,
he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel." (1 Tim. 5: 8)
If we would provide our children with a godly father
there are certain essentials that must be considered.
Make certain that you give your heart and soul to Jesus!
This is essential if you would be the best possible husband to your wife.
This is essential if you would be the best possible father to your children.
There is no way by which you can practice the teachings of the Sermon on the Mount
unless you have the Christ in your heart as Saviour and Lord and Teacher.
Much time is required for the task of being a good husband and a good father.
It is not commendable for a man to hold down an extra job merely to provide
more gadgets for his family if he is denying his family of his time and presence.
They need him!
They need him more than the gadgets he can provide.
Be an example in all things.
A Chinese proverb says, "One picture is worth a thousand words."
Today, it is recognized by all teachers that visual education
is one of the most effective methods of teaching.
One good example may make a greater impact than a hundred lectures.
A father must seek to provide an atmosphere
which is conducive to good character development in the lives of his children.
Be an example in reverence and worship in church attendance.
Be an example of truthfulness in speech and action.
Be an example of honesty in all legal and financial obligations.
Be an example in both attitudes and ambitions.
Providing proper discipline
Ephesians 6: 4: "Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger,
but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord."
Proverbs 13: 24: "If you refused to discipline your son, it proves you don't love him;
for if you love him you will be prompt to punish him."
Proverbs 29: 17: "Discipline your son and he will give you happiness and peace of mind."
In our quest to provide material benefits for children, let us not be neglectful to provide
that which is the greatest benefit of all a godly father who loves Jesus Christ
sincerely and steadfastly, and who seeks to demonstrate this faith in every area of life.
I pray that every father here will make the decision, or the decisions,
that are necessary in order for your children to have the invaluable benefit of a godly father.
Sermon by Dr. Harold L. White