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3 Keys to Being an Effective Father

Lighting Your Way / Lighthouse Baptist
The Truth Network Radio
June 23, 2023 1:44 pm

3 Keys to Being an Effective Father

Lighting Your Way / Lighthouse Baptist

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June 23, 2023 1:44 pm

June 18, 2023 – Message from Pastor Josh Bevan

Main Scripture Passage:  Matthew 9:37, Deuteronomy 6

Topic: Discipling, Leadership, Fatherhood

Love Worth Finding
Adrian Rogers

Thank you so much for that wonderful song and some of us have fathers with us and some of us have them at home with the Lord.

Amen. And so praise God for his salvation. In your Bibles if you would look with me to Matthew chapter number nine, Matthew chapter number nine, and we're going to read. It's our starting point here today and... We'll start in verse number 37. The Bible says, Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labors are few. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest that he will send forth labors.

Into his harvest. And then in chapter 10 it says, And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits to cast them out and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. Now the name of the twelve apostles are these, the first Simon, who's called Peter and Andrew, his brother James, the son of Zebedee and John, his brother Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew the publican, James the son of Alpheus, Labious, surname is Thaddeus, Simon the Canaanite, Judas Iscariot who also betrayed him. These twelve Jesus sent forth.

Now one thing that you notice that's unique about these twelve, Jesus called twelve men. This isn't a slight against women. We know that if it weren't for the women in our life we would never be here and we would never be where we are. But I don't want to undermine the role that God has placed on the lives of men to impact this world. And though the world is trying to slight men and take away manliness from men, we still believe that God has called men to a very important role and I want to look at three keys to being an effective father today. Father we are so thankful that we have a heavenly father who is perfect. Many here today have wonderful fathers in their life and we praise you for that. And some today grew up without the presence of a loving father. But the good news is for all of us today we do have a loving father in heaven who is a perfect father for all of us. And Lord in that role of fatherhood I pray that the men in this church would strive to be all that you've called us to be.

That we would take very serious the call of God upon our life. Thank you for this weekend with the men's conference. A hundred plus men that were able to be a part of that. We thank you for the work you did in their hearts and may you continue to work in the hearts of men. Thank you for this weekend with the men's conference.

A hundred plus men that were able to be a part of that. We thank you for the work you did in their hearts and may you continue to work in the hearts of men. Thank you for the work you did in their hearts and may you continue to work in the hearts of men. And it was in that decision of surrendering their life to the will of God that resulted in countless millions of lives that would be impacted through the centuries by what Jesus did both in and through their lives. Today is Father's Day and just as Jesus looked upon the harvest fields in his day and saw a great need.

So I believe that we look upon the homes of America and see a harvest field of homes that are in great need. And just as Jesus sent 12 ordinary men to carry out this extraordinary mission. So God is calling on men today to step into your God ordained role of Father to lead your home to be an extraordinary mission of leading and loving and teaching and raising and passing faith on to the next generation. And when Jesus called they followed and that's my prayer today and has been that we would as men fully surrender to the will of God for our life to be the father, to be the dad, to be the husband, the man that God has called us to be.

And just as those 12 men's lives were used in greater ways than they ever would have foreseen or imagined. So listen men, God can use your life to do an impact upon your home, this community, this church greater than what you would have thought possible. And I'm thankful for you today for being here, for being in church with your family and what a blessing that is, how desperately our families need men to lead their homes.

The decision you make with Jesus in your life will have a ripple effect down through the centuries and that's a fact. LBC needs you to be strong, to have a good testimony, to be clean, to live pure lives, to love your wives, love your children, to live out your faith. Our cities need godly men to be salt and light in this world and different from the culture that we are living in. And I'm so thankful for the men that God has brought to Lighthouse and I just want to ask if you're a father or a man today, if you would just stand, we just want to honor you today, if you would stand men. Let's give these guys a hand.

Thank you so much for who you are. I can tell you that the delay for so many men to stand is because so often men are filled with regret, filled with struggles of not always feeling like they're doing or living up to what they could have done or could have been and many times teaching and doing right things and not always seeing the fruit of that lived out immediately in their kids lives but the Bible tells us be faithful and God will bring forth that fruit in his time. It is tragic in our culture to see the lapse of fatherhood in our homes and in our communities.

There's been a collapse of that role. Last year it was reported that 18.5 million children grow up without their fathers in the United States which has led to the United States owning the title of the world's leader in fatherlessness. The United States leads the world in fatherlessness. Wouldn't it be nice if a leader in our country would talk about that?

Wouldn't that be nice? I think the last president that did a fatherhood initiative was George Bush. 33% of children grow up today without fathers. One research showed that fatherlessness is associated with almost every societal ill facing our country's children.

Those without a father in the home are three and a half times more likely for a teenage girl to get pregnant if there's no dad present. You know why that's the case? Because women, little girls need daddies to love them. They're engineered to be loved. That's why the Bible tells us husbands love your wives.

They're engineered with that. God created them to be cherished, to be loved, to be felt as special. When a father isn't there, they will seek for arms somewhere that will love them.

And a cold meal at McDonald's and some smooth words by a young porn addicted kid will take that girl out and she'll lose her purity, seeking love and feeling later the greater hurt and wounds from such an event. They're five times more likely to commit suicide if they don't have a dad in the home. Children are nine times more likely to drop out of school, 32 more times to run away from home and end up homeless.

They're 20 times more likely to end up in prison. There was a study with 835 juvenile male inmates found that the father's absence stood out as the number one common denominator that resulted in significant increase in criminal behavior. Eighty five percent of all youths in prison come from fatherless homes. Eighty five percent.

Eighty five. So instead of maybe our president talking about the need for transgenderism, acceptance and male white supremacy, maybe maybe the greatest need in America is for fathers to be fathers. Is that is that true? The culture has gone on full assault by feminists who have wanted to rob men of the role of manhood. They they see men as being leaders in their homes is something that's really evil. And if the last generation sought to feminize men, today's culture wants to turn men into literal women. We're so proud of that, that L.A. Dodgers will bring them out and salute them before a game.

It was nice to see an empty stadium for the Dodgers, wasn't it? We will bring them on the White House lawn and celebrate them. We will bring men who dress up and think they're women into our libraries to teach our children.

This is insanity. You you think fatherlessness caused some problems. What do you think is going to happen when fathers act like adult women?

Not even adult women. They act like. Demonically possessed people.

I've said it before, but I'll say it again. If you want to see the closest thing to demon possession in our nation, it's transgenderism. False cults have always promoted that. If you study it down through the centuries, I was talking with someone about that just this week. It has always been a demonic effect upon a people in a society where sexual lewdness and wickedness begins to happen.

All through the Old Testament, all through pagan societies. In a godless world that's falling apart, we need men to be put together by God. My prayer is that we as men would pass on a godly legacy to our children and grandchildren. It's it's really a day for men to put down their video game remotes.

Isn't it? It's a day when men you recognize the challenge because this nation is falling fast. That there is no slowing down this train wreck. And it's only going to happen if God intervenes.

And he's going to intervene through prayer and through godly men, godly women, godly people, Christians who stand strong in the faith. I would like to ask the men in this room what kind of legacy do you desire to leave your family? What kind of example are you setting for them?

And if your children follow the path of your life, where will they end up? And so I just I just have three points. I just had kind of a different message I was going to do today. And I just I was pressed to just preach on this.

I really don't like to get away from a verse by verse study. This was a struggle for me. So but I just feel pressed. So so if I could just talk to the men here today for a moment and and maybe you're a single mom. You say, what do I do if I'm a single mom? And then you need to make sure your kids are around godly men.

Right. You need to make sure they're around godly men. We heard a testimony on Friday night.

Alex Martin, our youth pastor here, works with our seniors, one of our assistants. He didn't have a godly man in his life. He grew up in brokenness that I was not even aware of at the level that he shared it. And you know where he learned how to be a godly man of his five children that he's raising and doing a tremendous job with? He learned it here. He learned it from men like you. Anybody glad he's raising five children to know Jesus and is there for them and rises up at night and cares for them and loves them and trains them and teaches them?

Is that good news? That's that's how you win a nation back by one man at a time, right? But that takes, you know, his mom brought him here and got him around other men. Eric Woodworth, who grew up with his mom. And again, I'm not trying to downplay the role of women. We know Timothy in the Bible was raised by his mother and grandmother and he became an incredible pastor. But I can tell you, men need a man somewhere in their life.

There are some things that men can teach men and there's things that women can teach women. I have four daughters. There are some things I can't fully give to them, right? They need to go to mom. Hey, you need to go talk to your mom about that, right?

That's happened more than one time. All right. Yes, sir.

Yes, sir. He's right down the hallway right there. But there's other things I'll talk to you about.

I'm here, you know. So the first thing I would like to say is for you to be a godly man and you want to make an impact on your family. One of the first things that you can do is grow where you want your family to go.

Grow where you want them to go. Deuteronomy 6 is maybe a place we'll spend some time today. You can flip over to Deuteronomy 6, verse 4 in your Bibles. If you want to know where Deuteronomy is, it's the fifth book of the Old Testament.

Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Here is what's known as the Jewish Shema from the Hebrew word for hear. And it says, Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart and with all thy soul and with all thy mind. And these words which I command thee these days shall be in thine heart. Thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children. Shall talk of them when thou sitest in thine house and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down and when thou risest up. What you find here is God calling parents to be diligent teachers to their children. But before we're able to teach our children, we find that we must first be students. Because we cannot pass on what we do not have. What is the first word in verse 4?

We're here. How often did Jesus say, if you have ears to hear, hear. Why would he say that? That's because he's reflecting on the word of God. The 12 disciples listened. They learned the words of Christ before they could ever pass them on. You must hear the word of God.

You must read it daily, men. Listen to preaching. I have guys tell me, you know, Pastor, we've heard you talk about listening to sermons, so we sort of listen to sermons. And I listen to sermons when I work out in the mornings. I listen to sermons when I mow the yard. I listen to the word of God when I'm doing construction projects. Whenever I can, I want to receive truth.

You can listen to music, but you're not going to gain really much out of that. Learn the word. Get into a discipleship group. We have men that will take you one-on-one and disciple you and get into a men's D group. Be at church on Wednesdays, on Sundays. Be here.

Be a part of this. What happens after you hear the word of God, it says in verse 5, And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart. When you begin to learn about God, you will begin to love God.

The more you know about God, the more you will love God. Learning leads to loving. And because loving is action, loving will always lead to living. And that's what happened with our spouses, right?

I mean, I got to know Candace, and the more I learned about her, the more I loved her, and the more I loved her, the more I want to do things for her. And that fleshes itself out in our human relationships. And what happened then in verse 6 is this. It says, In these words which I command thee this day, it says, Shall be in your what?

In your heart. And so the word gets planted within us, guys. And what do you think will happen when the word of God gets planted inside the heart of a believer? Well, that seed of the word of God will begin to bring forth fruit, isn't it?

It's going to be fruitful. Jesus says that the Father is glorified that we bear much fruit, and you will become a fruitful person. What happened when you hear God's word, you love God, you have his word implanted inside of your heart is verse number 7. Verse 7 says, And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children. And you'll talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down and rise up. What happens is, when you fill your heart up, it just organically overflows.

Where you're going, you want them to go, right? I mean, when the bingles begin to win, people start wearing their stuff. We all had bingles here before. We only wore it when we were doing painting jobs around the house, though, right? But now we wear it proud. We're like the bingles, man.

We're walking around with our shirts on, hats on, and all nice. The Browns are still painting in their stuff anyway. Hey, now. I have a corny joke I'm getting ready to say, but I'm pulling it back, you know.

The safest place to be in a tornado is inside of the Browns stadium because they said there's never a touchdown there, so. See, let's just stay with the word. There's no good to go down this rabbit's hill. So, dads, what do you, I would ask the question, what are you filling your life up with? What are you filling your life up with? Be very careful what you fill your heart up with because where your heart goes, your family will end up following.

You need to know that, like what you invest in, what you're growing in, what you're loving, what you laugh at, what you're entertained by, what you're excited for, what you are pursuing, what you long to do, what you want, your desires, all of that that is filling up inside your heart. You will not even realize it, but organically is where your family will go. You're teaching them just in your life. And I cannot teach my kids what I do not know.

I can't take my children where I have not gone. When I got married, my oldest, my older brother, who was my pastor for five and a half years in Chillicothe, he told me, he said, never expect your family to surpass your spiritual growth. They may, it doesn't mean you're more spiritual than your wife or anything like that, but God has placed you at the front, Josh. And if you want your wife to be godly, if you want your kids to be godly, then you need to go there.

You need to be for them to be. And realize how big of a role we play. There was a study done with 10,000 teenagers to find out what moved a kid from a fringe commitment to an I'll die for you commitment to Jesus.

Like what caused that transition? In the study of 10,000 Christian kids, four things rose to the surface. Fourth on the list was a youth pastor or adult leader, 13%. Third on the list was another Christian friend, which was 13.9%. Said their friend helped them grow and become deeply committed to Christ.

Second was a tragic crisis, 14.2% said the greatest struggles led to their greatest growth. But number one, by far more than any other factor, 58.5% of these teenagers said parents were responsible for helping them grow in Christ. So in conclusion, out of 10,000 Christian kids, parents are the number one factor in developing a closer relationship with Christ. Parents, it is on your shoulders.

You have been placed as the number one influence. If I want my children to love the Lord with all of my heart, there's one way that will happen, I need to fall in love with Jesus. Dads, if you want them to be a right leader for their family and children, you have to lead your family.

You must be a follower of God in order to set that pace for them. Almost every time you see a dad wearing a sports jersey, you see their children wearing the same kind of jerseys, right? I mean, if they're even a Steelers fan, like their kids will wear that stuff. It's like a mess.

And if they'll do that, and whatever it seems, whatever you get excited about, the kids get excited about. You know the Bible tells us in Romans 13, 14, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, right? Make no provision for the flesh. How much more do we need to put on the Lord Jesus Christ so that they would put him on? You know, Paul had many sons in the faith, and he left an incredible impact.

And the reason he did was because he could bring people where he was. He said in 1 Corinthians 11, 1, be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. Be ye mimitize of me, be ye mimics.

It's the Greek word mimiti, where we get the English word mimic. Be imitators or mimics of me as I imitate Christ. Philippians 4, 9, he says, those things which you have both learned and received and heard and seen in me do. We need to be a living Bible, don't we? Dads, if you want your kids to read the Bible, what do you need to show them?

Well, I wish my son would read the Bible. Let me ask you, when's the last time he saw you do that? When's the last time he caught you praying?

When's the last time he heard you have a Christ-centered conversation? Just, it's not brow beating, it's not, but it just, it just is the overflow of your life. Show me somebody who is in love with a sport, and you get around them at work and it comes out of their mouth, doesn't it? You will listen and find out what is on the throne of their hearts, like what they really are passionate about.

If you want them to be a hard worker, you've got to be a hard worker. We need more fathers like Joshua who says, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. There's a song written years ago and it says this, I want to be just like you because he wants to be just like me. He says, he climbs in my lap for a good night hug, he calls me dad, I call him bub. With his faded old pillow and bear named poo, he snuggles up close and says, dad, I want to be like you.

I tuck him in bed and kiss him goodnight, tripping over the toys as I turn out the light. And I whisper a prayer that someday he'll see he's got a father in God because he's seen Jesus in me. So Lord, I want to be just like you because he wants to be just like me. I want to be a holy example for his innocent eyes to see.

Tell me, be a living Bible Lord that my little boy can read. I want to be just like you because he wants to be just like me. And I've got to admit, I've got so far to go. I make so many mistakes and I'm sure that you know sometimes it seems no matter how hard I try, with all the pressures in life, I just can't get it all right. Boy, that's where we as dads feel, isn't it? But I'm trying so hard to learn from the best being patient and kind filled with your tenderness because I know that he'll learn from the things that he sees. I think the older I get, I'm going to get softer through the years.

It's a problem. I just remember being a dad with my little girl and walking through the snow and snow drifts were deep and my daughter was just stepping in those snow drifts and I remember some 16 years ago thinking, that's such a picture of my spiritual life and man, I can't mess this up because where I go, she's going to take those steps behind me. My daughter's getting married here in a month and my oldest daughter and I, you know, if I dropped the ball, you know, where would she have been today? I gave her a purity ring when she was 13 to say, I want you to trust me with your purity, sweetheart. I want you to save yourself.

You know, in a month I can take that ring and give it to her husband and say, you know what? She's kept herself for you. Dads, we need to be there for our girls, we need to be there for our families. In a world filled with perverts, in a world wanting to turn your daughters into sex slaves for their pleasures, we need dads that wrap their arms around their girls and protect them and love them and say how precious they are. Dads tell me, you know, what if I've messed up, I haven't been perfect.

Well, you won't be perfect as a dad. Not only do our kids need to, and one of the dads even asked yesterday at the men's conference, he said, you know, what if I've messed up and I've, you know, I've taught some wrong things to my kids, I haven't done everything right. Not only do our kids need to learn from what we do right, but they need to learn how we respond when we've done something wrong, right? I mean, if I want my kid to be humble and repentive and respond the right way when they do wrong, they need to see dad do the same thing. My dad did such an amazing job at this, he was, I think of all men, the most humble of men I've ever known. He would, I probably blame my mom some for this, he would, you know, he had four boys, so he would come home and I said, mom, just before you tell him what we did, the holes in the walls, the things we broke, the fights we made, the disrespect, feed the animal first, you know, feed the beast. He had been working 10 hours, put some food in his gut, let him be the best spiritual father he can be, but she didn't do that. His hand hit the door and while he's turning it, it was, Nick, guess what the boys did?

You know, I was like, run, run, you know, escape. But my dad, if he ever disciplined us out of anger, if he ever got upset and said or did something, he would always sit down and with tears in his eyes, he would say, I'm so sorry. I saw my dad get on his knees before our family as we would have times of prayer and just crying out to God, pleading with God, seeking him, and I can tell you, that had an impact that has shifted us.

I mean, the reason that I'm standing here preaching is because my dad did stuff like that. I mean, our family was being torn apart, his marriage was falling apart, we were out of control as teenagers and my dad got on his face before God and cried out to God. We went to no family counselings, we had no pastor really that was close to us. We went to church, but it was just, we didn't have a, the pastor never really ever talked to us, like ever. There was no, you know, you can go 50,000 weeks in a row and not show up and he would never call, reach. There was just nothing there.

You go to church, he never shake your hand. It was just a distant kind of a situation and it was God that just put the whole thing back together. We was never in a small group ministry, was never in some kind of a setting like, nothing like that. We were so out of control that I don't know how much medication that people would have put me and my brothers on.

We had to move school districts. And my dad getting on his knees, crying out to God so radically transformed us that three of us today are preachers of the Word of God. It just revolutionized our life. He's got 18 grandkids today. I have a godly mother, a godly father.

It wasn't just my dad, it was my mom also. I remember one morning we missed church and we were so thrilled. Oh, just, you know, can we just not go today?

Just wearing them down and remember we didn't go. My mom's like, well, we're going to read the Bible. Read Revelation or something good. So she sits down and she starts reading Revelation 1. She gets to the end of the chapter and we get up, she's like, no, no, no.

You sit back down, boys. I think my dad had to work that Sunday. And she read chapter 2, chapter 3, chapter 4, chapter all the way through 22 chapters of Revelation. I said, let's go to church.

We'd have been home by now. She's like, you're a limbless mom. I said, why don't you get up and leave? Because my mama whipped the fire out of her. She's as sweet as an angel. She is like, she would melt in the rain.

She's so sweet. But she could light you up. You all know what I'm talking about? She'd be lighting us up, you know, you pick up the phone, hello. Yes, this is Cindy. I told you boys.

She was right by the back of her heel before, man, it lights you up. But you know what? My parents, my parents weren't perfect, but they were genuine.

They were real. And that's what it takes. It takes authentic parenting. Secondly, build upon the right foundation. You know, Jesus said in Matthew 7 24, whoever hears these sayings of mine and do with them. I liken him into a wise man who built his house upon a rock. The rain descended and the floods came, the winds blew and beat upon that house and it fell not.

It was founded upon a rock. Everyone that hears these sayings of mine and do them not. You hear the word of God and you don't do it. He says, you're a foolish man.

You're a foolish man. You're building on the sand. And he says this, and I'm going to tell you that the rain will descend, the floods will come and the winds will blow and they will beat upon a house and it's going to fall.

And that fall is going to be very great. Jesus is giving us a very vivid picture, isn't he? And the rock is his word, isn't it? Because he says, whosoever heareth these sayings of mine. And what is the sand? Well, the sand is the opposite of God's word. It's man's word. It's man's truths. And so dads, moms, fathers, mothers, parents, you have one of two choices to build your life and family upon. You build it upon the word of God and or your thoughts and opinions.

And if you notice, they both face storms. No matter which foundation you build upon, you're going to face the storms of physical, spiritual, emotional, psychological and ultimately death. You're going to come to challenges. Your kids are going to face a turbulent world with incredible challenges. And dads, I'm telling you, if you are not building your family upon the word of God, what are they going to do when those challenges come? Notice that Jesus says, if you build on his word, you're wise.

But if we don't build on his word, we are a fool. Notice that both men heard the same message. They both heard it. It's like they were both sitting in church, if you would. They both were taught the word of God. And the only difference is, is one applied it and one did not. And that is really the difference between knowledge and wisdom.

Knowledge can repeat the information. Wisdom can show you it by living it out. And that's James 1-22, right? To be doers of the word and not hearers only or else we deceive ourselves. Dad, would God say that you are being a wiser, foolish father in the way you're leading your family? Are you being hear the word and then you say, you know what? I'm going to go home and apply that.

I'm going to go do that. I'm going to live that out. Abilene University. Dr. David Lewis and Dr. Charles Dodd did a survey across generational study of six different tests to measure father's positive and negative influences upon teen spirituality. They found that every time dad's role as teacher came out to be the most important predicator.

Dad's role as teacher. Josh McDowell has written over 100 books. He's spoken in 84 different countries to over 10 million students in 700 universities and college campuses. He wrote a book years ago entitled The Last Christian Generation.

Some grave concerns that he noticed. He wrote about how the younger generation, the kids are growing up inside of Christian homes, but they're fast leaving the faith. He said it's between 69 and 94 percent of young people are leaving the traditional church after school and very few are returning.

He said the kids in American Christian homes are departing from the faith of their fathers and mothers. They're believing the media outlets and the Christianity that they're believing is not true Christianity. And these professing young kids, 63 percent don't believe Jesus was the son of the one true God.

They did. Fifty eight percent believed all faiths teach equally valid truths. Fifty one percent didn't believe Jesus even rose from the dead. They grew up in Christian homes and he didn't even know what the Bible said about these things.

He said the problem was for youth today, they're basing truth on themselves instead of the word of God. I wonder where they learned that. Where did they learn that? They learned that at home. So when challenges rose up instead of the parents saying, you know, what does the Bible say about this? What is God's word? They would say, well, and then they just apply what the dad or the mom or the person thinks.

Well, that's no difference in what an atheist would do. When's the last time you said, what's the Bible say about this? You know, it wasn't that, hey, son, daughter, child, I want you to get good grades because that's important to do.

No. What's the Bible say about that? Everything you do, let us do heartily is unto the Lord and not as unto men. You need to you need to give God glory in the way you study.

You need to honor the Lord in the way you apply yourself academically. Why do you need to clean your room? You don't need to clean your room because I'm your mom or dad.

You need to clean your room because you need to honor the parents that God has placed over you. And by honoring us, you're honoring the Lord. And obedience is not primarily to us. It's to Jesus Christ. You take everything back to God.

Make it a vertical motive, not horizontal. You know, the Bible says, hero is where the Lord of God is one Lord. And you need to teach your children that. Have you taught your children? Have you ever asked your child, how many gods are there? Why do you believe in Jesus anyway?

Do you believe in him? Do you know your children could have questions about their faith? And if they never have the ability to talk to you, who are they going to talk to about it? You say, well, I don't know what I would even say to them. And you're comfortable with that?

Are you comfortable not knowing? Some of us would do a better job of teaching our children how to change their oil and shoot a basketball than we would even knowing if there is one God. Which one do you think will benefit them more? Parents have left the role of teacher today to the church, and what do we get them, an hour a week? You think me preaching for an hour is enough? God has called us to teach our children the word of God. Ephesians 6, 4 says this, and ye fathers provoke not your children to wrath. And you know what can provoke children to wrath? Two things. Negligence and being an overbearingly strict parent. Overbearingly strict can cause them wrath and being too inconsistent and lenient.

Be consistent, be loving, stern, all of that needs to be mixed together. It says bring them up. It's a verb in the present imperative.

It's a command to be continually done. And the nurture, which means the training, education, teaching, discipline, aiming them in the right direction. And the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Admonition means to train children through your words verbally, teaching them. So parents are to train, educate, teach, aim and encourage their children in the ways of the Lord. That's what God expects, like of us dads. Fathers, and it does include both parents, but primarily he's speaking to the father here. Fathers, it lands upon you to be a teacher.

And note the priority. God does not put more emphasis on the physical than he does the spiritual. But what do we see happening in our society today? Does our society put more of an emphasis on dads teaching their children physical things or spiritual things? Now it's good to teach your children hobbies.

Nothing wrong with that. Teach them to fish, go hunting with them, play sports. That's a great way to interact, build memories. Me and my dad had great times together playing, doing things. He took me out fishing and doing all those kind of things. Wonderful. It's good to teach them hobbies.

There's nothing wrong with that. Secondly, I would say it's better to teach them practical areas in life. Teach them to work. My dad would take me to my grandpa's farm when we'd grown up. One of my brothers, we baled hay.

I remember the first time we baled hay. He's like, son, you better wear pants. I'm like, it's like 85 degrees out there. He's like, you really need to wear pants and a long-sleeve shirt. I'm like, I don't need to. He's like, you're going to get your legs torn up. I'm like, I'm a man.

I'm 13 years old. What are you talking about? Bring it on, straw and hay.

I got you all day long. Yeah, I did. After about 10,000 bales, I felt like the Israelites under the taskmasters. I was just red and striped with the cuts and the blades.

I was bloody. He taught me to work. We'd go out and cut wood together. He had a mown business. I began to help him with that.

I grew up doing masonry work, doing construction work. I taught your kids to work, teach them to work on cars, how to change oil batteries. Listen, do you really want your son to marry a girl and he doesn't even know how to change a battery? Right? Does any woman in here find it would be a discouragement and I don't want to like isolate anyone right now, that he doesn't even know how to jump a cable on a battery?

Would that be kind of bad? It's kind of those man things, isn't it? My wife's got a friend, they're not part of this church, but the guy, he's over at their house and they said, they said, we can't get the garage to work. You can't get the garage door to work?

Yes, it's all the power, you know, stuff's lights wrong, but we just walk over and I'm like, you see this red cord? I'll push the button, push the button, it goes down like, light bulbs out there, I don't know how to really change a light bulb, just stuff that's like, but the guy's a phenomenal athlete, one of the best athletes I've ever been around. Does any woman want to be married to that guy? You want to be married to the good athlete that can't change a light bulb?

Is that what you want? Does any woman, raise your hand, I'm curious, is there any woman that wants that guy? Raise your hand if you're a woman and you would rather have a guy that knows how to change a battery than play basketball, raise your hand. Okay, hold on, can you hold them up?

I'm serious, hold these up. That's what are you raising your boys to be? Is this important? Who talks about this? Does anybody talk about this?

Nobody talks about this. Raise them to be men. My wife wouldn't have married me if I was lazy. Teach them about cars, teach them about breaks, teach them finances, those are practical things, how to take care of their finances. Teach them practical things around the house. Don't do everything for your kids. We don't clean our kids' rooms.

If you do that, you are creating a monster. I don't care if it's a guy or a girl, don't clean their room for them. I talked to a dad the other day, he said, his daughter didn't clean her room, so he said, whatever you don't clean, I'm throwing out the window.

She didn't listen to him, it went out the window. But from that day forward, she always cleaned her room after we asked. Teach your son how to grill, how to cook on the grill, is that good? It's good to teach them hobbies. It's probably better to teach them some practical things, right? But you know what's best is to teach them spiritual, eternal truths. The most important thing, guys, the most important thing you can give them is the Word of God.

You want to see your grandkids one day in heaven? They're not going to learn that from a basketball court. They're not going to learn that swing at a baseball.

They're going to learn that by knowing things like Hebrews 6. And as you teach your children hobbies and practical things in life, realize that you can impart your life in all those practical areas. Life is the classroom. Life is the classroom, isn't it?

When you are growing, you will bring them with you. Because what you studied in the Word of God that day, as you're out working with them, as you're out going fishing with them, you know what's going to pour out of your mouth? What you learned. You're going to highlight the things that are important to you, and you'll bring them along. And all of life becomes the classroom. And it's like, man, I got to go fishing with my son, but I also got to teach him about the fisher of men, Jesus. I got to share and impart my life unto them. That's why Deuteronomy 6, 7 says, And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children. You talk when you sit in your house, when you walk in the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. It's everywhere.

It's everywhere. You're teaching your children biblical wisdom. Teach them spiritual disciplines. Teach them these kind of things. Teach them to pray. Dads, pray with your kids, please.

Teach them to study. I remember my dad made a big deal out of reading the Bible, and as a kid, I would read the Bible at night because I knew my dad would always peek in, and when he saw me reading the Bible, he says, I'm proud of you, son. And that set me on a course. He used to come in, and he would always take time to read this Bible devotional with us when we were little growing up.

And let me just say this, because it may help somebody. If my dad were here, he would say this with tears in his eyes. I remember my dad every single night coming into the bedroom and reading those Bible stories with me and my brothers. My dad is like the best dad ever. I know people say that, but he's the greatest grandfather ever as well. He's the guy who will be out playing with them all day, doing stuff, just talking about spirit.

He's just awesome. He moved into a bigger house. The American dream sometimes turns into the American nightmare, doesn't it?

And that took my dad away from us. He had to work more hours because he had a bigger house, more properties, things. And he started working a split shift at Airborne, and he would sleep for about six hours a day but only three-hour segments, and he did this for ten years. I've never seen somebody else live like that. It was just unbelievable.

I've never seen people that are harder workers than my mom and dad. And he says, Josh, he said, it was like I blinked and you went from six to 16. He said, I can't even hardly remember anything in those ten years. As a dad, he was doing the best he could. We weren't in a church like this. We weren't getting faithful Bible teaching like this. He just didn't know. He did what he thought was best.

He thought, man, if I could give them better physical things than I had, and no, dad, we don't need more stuff. We need you. You almost lost this marriage.

You almost lost us. I can tell you, dads, our kids don't need a sermon. They need just you living that sermon out. They just need you in their life.

I can't stress that enough. Teach them to study. Teach them to share their faith. Teach them the importance of church by your example.

One study showed this. If a father does not go to church, no matter how faithful the wife is, and I hate to even say that, but the study showed this. If the father goes to church, only one child in 50 will become a regular worshiper, even if mom went every week with the child. But if a father goes regularly, regardless of the practice of the mother, between two-thirds and three-quarters of the children will become churchgoers.

It's an incredible thing. Teach them to be faithful to the house of God. Teach them to endure hardships. Don't quit. There's so much I can say.

I don't have the time. Proverbs is a great book about a father who passes wisdom on to his son. David does for Solomon, and Solomon does for his children. There's an old story that tells about a man who asked three stonemasons what they were doing. He said he was laying brick. The second man described his work as building a wall.

But it was the third man who explained genuine concern for his work. He said, no, I'm raising a great cathedral. So, Dad, as you look at your children, what are you building? Do you see the weight and importance of your high calling of being a father? I look at so many of the dads in our church, and I praise God for your example, because you're not only affecting your kids, but you're affecting other men. Yesterday in their men's conference, one of the young men in the church, he said, I learned how to be a man from my father-in-law. He's taught me all of these things.

Men, we need you. And the last thing I would say is this, and it's just simply don't quit. Don't quit.

Be consistent. My dad would never let me quit anything. I mean, I begged him to quit stuff. Like, I'd be in a sport or something, and I'm like, Dad, I hate this coach. He's mean. I can't stand this kid on the team.

I would get upset. He would just never let me quit anything ever. I've never quit anything. I'm serious. I'm just going to quit.

I can't do that. Maybe a card game that I got upset with my wife because she's so fast, and I'm like, I'm just done with this. I'll probably finish the game, get slaughtered, and then leave. But anything serious in life, I just never quit. My dad caught me just never to quit. I'm grieved when I hear parents who have kids, and they let them out of things. Like, well, you're not a bad teacher. I'm going to change for you classes. I'm going to get you off that team.

Really? What are you going to do when they have a tough marriage and they have a tough job and they have a tough boss and they have a tough community and a tough world? You want them to be that weak? You think you're helping them?

You are robbing from them. Ask our kids, man. They had a tough teacher. We're like, what's the Bible say about that? The Bible says that, you know, Jesus had some tough guys over him too, didn't he? Did Jesus ever face him? And he says if the Lord went through trials, do you think we ever will?

You have some unfair things happening to you on that team? You know what, as Christians, life isn't always fair, is it? And it's good for you to learn those principles. You see, you parent not focused on getting out of the current situation. You parent focused on what you want your child to be 20 years from now.

You want character and strength and fortitude there. And you don't quit. You be consistent. That's why it says in Deuteronomy 6, 7, teach them diligently to your children. You know, the world knows what it means to saturate. If we as parents and dads are not diligent about teaching, I can tell you the world's diligent. You think the world's being diligent right now to teach your children what they want them to learn?

Oh, yeah, they are saturating them. $12 billion per year to reach the youth market is spent by advertisers. 12 billion, 40,000 commercials on average every year saturating your children with their jingles, with their advertisements on all the different platforms they can reach them to teach them the false idols in their heart.

Feed your greed, your selfishness, your lust, your gluttony, your self-centeredness. The world is promoting that. And I'm telling you, dad, if you don't get serious about this thing in fatherhood, your children's hearts will be robbed from your home. You think one hour a week, the world laughs. It says, bring them to us. Bring them to us. You think that one hour a week is going to do it for your kids? Yeah, give them to us the other 167 hours. I'm going to show you what we're going to do with them. 69 to 94% of them leave the faith when they go off to college or leave the house.

That's why. I'll raise them in church. They don't need to just sit in church.

They need to have church brought home. Deuteronomy 6, 8, 9, it says, you bind the word of God upon your hand as frontlets between your eyes. God's like, you need to have the word of God so integrated, saturated in your home that you would have it on your wrist and on your frontlets between your eyes. They began to make like little boxes and tassels that Jews would hang from their bodies that had scriptures in them or were reminders of the word of God. You know what, dads, it may not be a bad idea if you have a son, get a cool wristband, get some kind of necklace, get something that they could wear, put a verse up in your house, do something that just reminds them constantly. And they also did this among the Jews. It says, write them on the posts of your house and on your gates, the Jewish homes.

If you go up to even an apartment or a hotel in Israel, they have what they call mezuzahs outside and they have little scriptures inside of those boxes and they rub those and they think about the word of God day in and day out. But you know what, to be a parent, to be effective as a dad, we need to slow down and take the time to be a dad. I talked to a father a couple weeks ago.

He said, I know of 18 families that had a dad who led their family to church, was a strong, but all 18 families have just broken up spiritually. He said, because the dad was a strong dictator, oppressive, and he didn't express his love to his kids. Rules without relationship lead to rebellion. You need to love your children.

You need to love them. If you're a young dad, do not neglect time with your kids. Dallas Willard said this, you must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life. Hurry is the great enemy of a spiritual life. Hurry and spiritual growth do not mix. Martha didn't get that. Mary did.

I wonder how often the Lord would say stop and slow down. You cannot be a good parent in a microwavable fashion. Thinking you're being efficient with your time can cause you to become a very poor parent. You may accomplish much and turn out very little. I'll never forget this, and I read this somewhat often, that Charles Francis Adams, a 19th century political figure and diplomat, kept a diary.

This is a true story. One day he entered, went fishing with my son today, a day wasted. His son, Brooke Adams, also kept a diary.

I'm going to get old and emotional in these years, I swear. His son, Brooke Adams, also kept a diary, which is still in existence. On that same day, Brooke Adams made this entry in his diary, went fishing with my father. It was the most wonderful day of my life.

The father thought he was wasting his time fishing with his son, and his son saw it as one of the greatest investments with his time. Life is a classroom. We get a few short years. Guard yourself from wasting time. Don't lead alone, men. Have mentors in your life.

Have godly influences in your life. Let me just say a word to the wives. Wives, men need your encouragement. Encourage him for what he's doing right. Be careful not to be overly critical for what you want him to change. Encouragement in marriage always goes further than discouragement. Be respectful to your husband.

If you want him to love you, learn to respect him, verbally respect him. Give honor to one another, husband and wives. Wives, do not rebuke your husband for not leading if you're not respecting him. Praise God for the women in our church.

God has set you in the front of your home. Be a godly, courageous leader. Be a courageous leader. We're living in a world that is falling apart. We're living in a world that is collapsing.

America's greatest days sadly seem to be very far behind it. Your impact on this world will be in direct connection to your being impacted by God. When you get serious with God, God will get serious with you. There's some dads, they get real serious with God, then they fall off for six months. What's that going to teach your children?

What's that going to show them through the years? You say, well then I might as well throw in the towel. No, you keep falling forward as you fail.

Fail falling forward, you just keep pressing forward. And you sit down and you have an honest conversation with your family. You say, you know what, one of my struggles has been consistency and I'm sorry. And I need you guys to hold me accountable.

When I don't get where I need to be, you come to me and say, wives to the husband, husband, I need you to lead spiritually and do it in a loving way, not a condemning way. Children, go to your dad and say, dad, I need you to spend time asking me how my Bible reasons going. Ask them to do that for you, hold you accountable. Let them see you do that.

Whatever you want to happen in your grandkids and great grandkids and a thousand years from now, it's going to depend upon what you have done with Jesus Christ. If there's ever been a day in your existence that you would get serious with God, let it be today. I'm calling on dads to focus on your spiritual life. Build on the word of God. Be consistent. Don't quit. Realize you're building a cathedral.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-23 14:16:13 / 2023-06-23 14:38:41 / 22

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