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The Alex McFarland Show-114-Father's Day

Alex McFarland Show / Alex McFarland
The Truth Network Radio
June 15, 2024 6:00 pm

The Alex McFarland Show-114-Father's Day

Alex McFarland Show / Alex McFarland

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June 15, 2024 6:00 pm

On April 24th, 1972, President Richard Nixon signed into law PL92-278 designating the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day. In this week's episode of the Alex McFarland Show, Alex talks about the importance of a father; specifically, how honoring your commitment as a father should be taken very seriously.  Take a listen as he encourages and equips fathers with the scriptures and tools they need to succeed.

Scriptures:  

Genesis 18:18-19

Romans 4

Proverbs 22:6

Deuteronomy 6:1-4

Exodus 13 

Alex McFarland

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The spiritual condition of America, politics, culture, and current events, analyzed through the lens of Scripture. Welcome to the Alex McFarland Show. Do you know the bill titled PL 92-278?

Have you heard of that? Well, April 24, 1972, on that date, then-President Richard Nixon signed into law PL 92-278, designating the third Sunday in June as Father's Day. Hi, Alex McFarland here, welcome to the program, and we're going to talk about the importance of a father, and the importance of commitments, and the role of a father. We're living in a time when parenthood and family are at best often ignored or minimized, and at worst denigrated, deconstructed, redefined, and said to be unnecessary. But fathers are vitally important, and from the Word of God in Genesis 18, 18 and 19, speaking of the one very often called the Father of Faith, and the Father of the Faithful, Abraham. God promised Abraham he would make of him a great nation, his descendants would outnumber the stars of the heavens. And verse 18 and 19 of Genesis 18 say that Abraham would become surely a great and mighty nation, all the nations of the earth would be blessed in him, because through the line of Abraham, Jesus was born the Savior, the Messiah. And verse 19, very telling about the role of a father, at least in spiritual terms, 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. Now God promised Abraham that he would make of him a great nation, he would give him a great land, and through Abraham all the families of the earth would be blessed. And on this weekend that we commemorate Father's Day, I want to give a little backstory and then talk about the vitally important role of a father, but notice what Abraham would impart to his children. Verse 19 of Genesis 18 says that his children and his household after him, so in other words, it would be set in motion that the children and the grandchildren, they will, quote, keep the way of the Lord and do justice. Really, the word there means righteousness. It speaks of salvation and a family lineage being in right relationship with Almighty God, and judgment speaks of moral uprightness, character.

And what a great thing that a father could impart. Abraham certainly did set this in motion. Romans chapter 4 talks about Abraham believed God and he was declared righteous. In faith, they looked to the Messiah that would come. In faith, we look back at the Messiah that did come, but keeping the way of the Lord. If you're a Christian and you know Yeshua, Jesus, as your Messiah, you are a child of Abraham.

And what an important thing that is. You know, the holiday has Christian origins, Father's Day, and let's talk about that just a little bit, because as I said, Father's Day became a national holiday in 1972, but Mother's Day had been made a holiday some years prior to that, and you might ask, why did it take so long for Father's Day to become the holiday that it now is? A lot of people know that the majority of greeting cards and certainly the majority of flowers are sold at Mother's Day. Mother's Day was first made a national holiday in 1914, so why did it take half a century later to recognize fathers? You know, when in 1914 President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the national holiday, Mother's Day, he said it was to acknowledge, quote, that tender, gentle army, the mothers of America. And, you know, maybe it was that men weren't so eager to be, you know, acknowledged alongside, quote, the tender, gentle army.

You know, the masculinity and maleness was a little more prominent, perhaps, than it is right now. But over the years, a number of people believe that fathers should be affirmed and acknowledged as well, and I'm really glad they did. Churches began to have Father's Day services in West Virginia after several hundred men had died in a mining accident, and ministers in West Virginia proposed that a Sunday be given to honor all fathers, and especially those that had died in this mining accident.

Let's go to Spokane, Washington, because it's very important that ultimately when Nixon did sign Father's Day legislation into law from Washington, there was that Walt Horan was one of the elected officials from Washington State that was present and had really championed this bill since 1971, and that's very appropriate because there was a woman, Sonora Smart Dodd, D-O-D-D, of Spokane, Washington. I've preached there, and she believed that fathers ought to be acknowledged, and she began to advocate a Father's Day service for the churches. And maybe it was 1908, 1909, 27-year-old Sonora Dodd convinced the Spokane, Washington Ministerial Association to set aside a Sunday in June to celebrate fathers. And so in 1910, Father's Day events commenced in the churches there. The local YMCA, again, that comes out of Moody Church in Chicago, D.L.

Moody, the Young Men's Christian Association. They would cut roses, and if your father was living, you would wear a red rose. If your father was passed, you would wear a white rose. And all of the ministers in the city of Spokane, Washington, agreed to preach on this third Sunday in June on fatherhood.

Now it would be, as I said, some years later until this would become a national holiday, but back in 1913 it began to be talked about, but finally under President Richard Nixon in 1972, Congress officially passed the act that made Father's Day a national holiday, and Sonora Dodd, who would champion this, saw it happen, and she died later at age 96. But, you know, this is very appropriate, and as we talk about fatherhood, I want to reemphasize how important it is that children today are imparted with an ethic of family, that they understand, and hopefully you have a father that you can thank God for, and you should. Maybe if you're a man listening, maybe you are a father, maybe you're not, but you can be a Christian male role model. When we come back, we're going to talk more about the role of a father, why it is so important.

And even if you have some memories of your growing up years that are not pleasant, with God's help you can learn to process this and forgive, and understand that regardless of your earthly father, we have a heavenly father who loves his son conditionally, and in fact gave the ultimate sacrifice in sending his son Jesus to be our Savior. Stay tuned. Alex McFarland here will be back after this. Fox News and CNN call Alex McFarland a religion and culture expert.

Stay tuned for more of his teaching and commentary after this. We unify by collaborating with like-minded organizations like the Family Research Council, the Family Policy Alliance, and My Faith Votes. We mobilize by providing practical tools you can use to impact your local community.

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He's been called trusted, truthful, and timely. Welcome back to The Alex McFarland Show. Welcome back to the program.

Alex McFarland here. We're talking about fatherhood. What a great legacy it is if you are a father. We wish you a happy Father's Day and thank you for being a father to your children. I often say this. It's not original with me.

I've heard it many times, though. But the best favor any man could do his children is to love their mother. You know, just as we're doing this program, I'm in the midst, going from our first of seven summer camps to our second in Georgia. We were in Montana with 140 teenagers and adults.

We'll have 1,200 middle school and high schoolers this summer. But let me say, having been face-to-face in front of more than half a million teenagers in the last 25 years, and it's been my joy to interact with thousands and thousands, let me say this. What young people talk about are not the things money can buy necessarily. We all have needs.

The Lord understands that. But kids have told me that the memories they have, whether positive or negative, are the dad teaching how to ride a two-wheel bike, teaching a boy how to throw a ball. The young ladies have talked about how safe they feel when their dad gave them a hug. There's this old saying, a father is someone you look up to no matter how tall you grow.

Isn't that something? So men, as you listen to this, rejoice in the role of being a godly man. Rejoice in the role of being a godly husband. Rejoice if you are so blessed to be a father. And even if you've not been the parent you wish you could have been, well, rejoice in the grace of God, where today, God's mercies are new every morning. We often say this, Jesus is as close by as a prayer, and God restores the years the locust has eaten. And I want to challenge you on this Father's Day, this time of year, maybe you want to pray and thank God for your father.

Maybe you want to pick up the phone and do some fence-mending, parent to child, child to parent. Let me just say this. Life is short. Just 48 hours ago, before I recorded this broadcast, I came from doing a funeral in Virginia, a man that had the privilege of leading to the Lord many, many, many years ago. And I knew this family, they were very close, and I was profoundly honored to perform this funeral service and share the gospel with a sizable audience, many people there needed to hear the gospel. But here's the thing, this was a family that, like all of us, had had their issues.

And I remember, I well remember when Angie and I lived in Lynchburg, Virginia, and I was in graduate school, and we ministered to this family, and there was marital issues, child-rearing issues. Like so many families, the road was rocky. But I'm telling you, at this man's funeral, it was nothing but tears, hugs, and love.

Because life is short. And I'm telling you, the thing I thought about, and I knew this family well, at the funeral, and they were celebrating that the deceased man was a believer and a devout Christian, but nobody was talking about the bad times. They were just ruminating in the memories, and saying how they would miss this person, and, oh, the great reunion day in heaven. Now Vance Havner, Vance Houston Havner, maybe you've seen the name, Vance H. Havner, he wrote a book, one of the great books on grieving, called Yea Though I Walk Through the Valley. And there's a quote in that book that is so true, and maybe it's just a little bit of a wake-up call today. Vance Havner said, once a person has passed, there's such a finality about that, that you would move heaven and earth to relive five minutes of even the most mundane day you ever spent.

Isn't that something? Once the person is gone. Oh my goodness, how you wish you could just have that good morning phone call one more time.

Just take a walk and do nothing. And so today, while you have opportunity, make a call and say, Dad, I love you. Hey, I know it probably wasn't easy raising me, thanks. Jim Valvano, the coach of NC State, who led NC State to an NCAA championship, died at a young age himself. But I remember reading a quote Jim Valvano said, quote, My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could ever give another person. He believed in me.

Isn't that something? Isn't that something that our childish ideas and our juvenile dreams, dads believe in us. They help us learn how to change a tire or a hammer and nail. Thank God for the mothers that might cook your favorite meal or teach you how to cook some dish. But the dads, very often, they're just presents. I remember in To Kill a Mockingbird, one of my favorite books, and Harper Lee, very famous, Atticus Finch was a widower.

And you don't hear these words too much anymore, these gender-specific words like widow, widower, actress, actor, stewardess, steward, because there's just been this forced egalitarianism now. But in To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus Finch was a widower. And he had two children, a daughter and a son, Scout and Jim. And I remember Atticus Finch, near the end of the book, says about his son Jim, quote, Before Jim looks at anyone else, he looks at me. And I've tried to live so that I can look squarely back at him. And the children respect their dad.

And Atticus, of course, in the book stands for honesty and integrity and courage, as all men should. And let me say, whether it be faith and obedience that we read in God's Word, and the Bible verses that tell us to train up our children in the way that they should go, that's Proverbs 22.6, you know, being men of fidelity and righteousness and integrity and grace. And maybe you feel like your father didn't do those things. Maybe as a man you feel like you've not exemplified those things. Well, again, our God is a God of grace, forgiveness, restoration. And maybe you don't even feel like you can muster the strength to be grateful for your upbringing.

Or maybe you can't face your dad and honestly say, I love you, I appreciate you. That is where the grace of God comes in. And let me say this before we take a brief break. It's been said that if you're a Christian, you should always be quick to give or receive an olive branch.

What does that mean? Peace. You know, the dove at the end of the flood brought the olive branch, which has come to symbolize peace.

Listen, if the Lord Jesus can forgive us, then who are we to hold anything over anybody's head? If God could extend grace to us, then we should extend grace to each other. And let's remember that life is short. The opportunities to say I love you are not unlimited.

The window of opportunity in which to say, hey, I'm glad you're in my family. Or whatever necessary words need to be said. Words of grace. Redemptive words. Words that build bridges, not burn bridges. The window of opportunity is not unlimited. Seize the moment. Stay tuned.

We'll be back right after this. Fox News and CNN call Alex McFarland a religion and culture expert. Stay tuned for more of his teaching and commentary after this. Christian author and speaker Alex McFarland is an advocate for Christian apologetics, teaching in more than 2,200 churches around the world, schools and college campuses. Alex is driven by a desire to help people grow in relationship with God. He arms his audiences with the tools they need to defend their faith, while also empowering the unchurched to find out the truth for themselves. In the midst of a culture obsessed with relativism, Alex is a sound voice who speaks timeless truths of Christianity in a timely way. With 18 published books to his name, it's no surprise that CNN, Fox, the Wall Street Journal and other media outlets have described Alex as a religion and culture expert. To learn more about Alex and to book him as a speaker at your next event, visit alexmcfarland.com or you can contact us directly by emailing booking at alexmcfarland.com.

He's been called trusted, truthful and timely. Welcome back to The Alex McFarland Show. Welcome back to the program. Happy Father's Day weekend.

Thank God for our fathers, and let's be grateful for a Heavenly Father. You know, before we resume the broadcast, I want to encourage people to go to the newly redesigned alexmcfarland.com website, please. Check it out. My tour schedule is there where I'm speaking. In a week I'll be in the Myrtle Beach area, Saccasti Baptist Church in the morning services. And we are working on a major fall of 2025, one of our national conferences, Truth for a New Generation.

This will be our 51st conference. We're bringing in national speakers, promoting it to the entire nation. And we've got a meeting coming up, and if you want to be a part of our organizational meeting, you happen to be in the Mid-Atlantic region, email us.

info, I-N-F-O, at alexmcfarland.com. You know, over the years it's been my joy, large and small, everything in churches to high school auditoriums to coliseums that we've rented. We have had, in addition to myself as a speaker, James Dobson, Chuck Colson, Lee Strobel, Eric Mataxas, Ben Carson, Josh McDowell.

You know, it's been a joy to book every great Christian speaker of our generation, every speaker you've heard of and probably many you haven't. And so we're working on building the coalition for the Grand Strand event that we're planning for the fall of 2025. If you want to be a part of some of our organizational meetings and help us build a coalition to not only bring people from around the country to get them equipped for defending the faith and saving our nation, just send us your contact info and email us, info at alexmcfarland.com.

We'll keep you posted. I'm going to be at the Cove in less than a month now, teaching 1 John, and then of course, please keep in prayer our six more youth camps this summer. And we'll be posting the video of 140 teenagers shouting, We are the generation who will restore America. We are the generation who will restore America.

It's great. And so thank you for your prayers and support. As always, if you felt led to support us financially, you can give online securely at alexmcfarland.com, or you can mail a check simply to TNG, as in Truth for a New Generation. TNG, P.O.

Box 10231, Greensboro, North Carolina 27404. But let's talk about fatherhood as we, in this segment, conclude the importance of a father. Folks, you want to hear one of the saddest terminologies that I picked up in interacting with young people, inner city, all over America. You have a child, ask another child, who is your father? Who is your daddy?

I heard this. They might say, Harry Houdini. Now, do you know what that means? The famed magician, right? Somebody who disappeared. If they say, his daddy is Harry Houdini, what that means is, it's a dad that vanished. Disappearing act.

Just wasn't there. Isn't that sad? When psychology tells us so much about the importance of fathers, there was an article not long ago in Psychology Today that talked about, fathers play an important role in a child's development, not only emotions, self-control, emotional regulation, but even social skills and confidence and the ability to interact meaningfully with others. And yes, thank God for mothers, but studies on both sides of the Atlantic throughout America and Europe talk about the important role of two parents.

And you've heard the statistics, how so many young people are not going to live till age 18 with both their biological mother and father under the same roof. And it's very sad because in addition to the security and just the development, little boys learn masculinity from dad. Psychologists, they're preaching our sermon for us because they're talking about how fathers, the daddy, the biological daddy, being present, being loving, they contribute to a child's physical, intellectual, emotional, and social adjustment.

And of course, as a Christian, I also know that the father biblically is to contribute to the child's spiritual development. Right now, the studies show that three out of four high school dropouts are fatherless. Children who have, as they say, houdini for a dad, not present, they have more trouble academically, truancy, poor impulse control. And psychologists, we don't have time to go over all of them now, but they talk about ten adverse outcomes that result from the absence of the father, and not the least of which is perceived abandonment. And I can tell you from having interacted with literally hundreds of thousands of people of all ages throughout all 50 states and Canada, there is this skewed, very often warped, perception of the Heavenly Father when there is a poor relationship with the earthly father, this longing for a relationship that was never there.

And one of the more recent trends that we've found, there's a link even between the climbing rates of obesity. There was a 2007 study that talked about when the father is present in the home, children are more likely to be physically fit, children are more likely to be physically active, kids are less likely to be sedentary and have poor eating habits. So there are a lot of reasons that we should care about fatherhood. And I'm always sad when in the media, you know, fathers are very often portrayed as either not there or detached or just some goofy, unintelligent buffoon. But really, in the eyes of God, God places a great premium on fatherhood and family.

I've talked about it many times as we wrap up. In Deuteronomy 6, 1-4, there's the very famous Shema, the great Jewish declaration of monotheism. Here, O Israel, the Lord our God is one. And it says, you know, you shall put his word always before your eyes. And God's commandments, it says in Deuteronomy 6, too. Keep all his statutes, his commandments, which I command you, you and your son and your grandson, all the days of your life. So the father is charged with really being the priest of the home. And then, Exodus 13, it's so beautiful, and I've quoted it many times on the program, the role of the father as the priest of the home. It says, when it comes to pass that your son will ask you, why do we do these things, then you will say, when Pharaoh would hardly let us go, God with a strong hand delivered us.

Now the implication, I've said it so many times, but dad, the implication of Exodus 13 is that you are living in such a way that your son and, yes, your daughter will come to you and essentially say, how do I have what you have with the Lord? Dad, why do we go to church when everybody else sleeps in on Sunday morning? Well, because we're Christians. Dad, why do we say the blessing before we eat our meal?

My friend's family doesn't do that. Well, we thank God, because he's the one who is our provider and our source. And whether it be Deuteronomy 6, Exodus 13, Genesis 18, 18 and 19, and throughout the New Testament, and even the book of Hebrews talks about loving fathers that correct and they act redemptively to build up their children. It's because not only behavior and character and a work ethic, but it's ultimately the Father role models what a godly person is to sow the seeds of the Gospel from the earliest age. I want to say thank God I had a Christian father.

He's in heaven now for 17 years. But to all out there, I've been so blessed. A lot of godly men have invested in me, like Josh McDowell, and, yes, Dr. Dobson, and Dr. Mark Cowart, and Andrew Wommack, so many people I could name that have invested in me.

And I hope, by God's grace, I can invest in others. But this is a great time to thank the Lord for our fathers. And so, men of God, husbands, fathers, Christian males everywhere, the blessing of God be upon you, and all of us, no matter who we are, let's remember that we are Christ's representatives. If we can help you spiritually, please go to my website. Any way we can encourage you in your walk and your witness and equip you to stand strong for truth, we're here to do that.

May God bless you in all things, and thank the Lord for our fathers. Alex McFarland Ministries are made possible through the prayers and financial support of partners like you. For over 20 years, this ministry has been bringing individuals into a personal relationship with Christ, and has been equipping people to stand strong for truth. Learn more and donate securely online at AlexMcFarland.com. You may also reach us at Alex McFarland, P.O. Box 10231, Greensboro, North Carolina 27404. Or by calling 1-877-Yes-God-1. That's 1-877-Y-E-S-G-O-D-1. Thanks for joining us. We'll see you again on the next edition of The Alex McFarland Show.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-06-15 20:12:10 / 2024-06-15 20:22:50 / 11

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