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Our Father . . .

Matthew 6:9

Usually the pattern in churches, is to exalt motherhood on Mother's Day and beat up Fathers on Father's Day. We preachers usually chew the guys out for not spending enough time with the family, or for being spiritual dishrags. I don't want to break with tradition, so let's get that ritual over with. Guys, spend time with your family and don't be a spiritual wimp--be the head of your home. I feel better now, don't you?

Now, if you don't mind, I'd like to preach a "Mother's Day" sermon for our fathers. Being a father is a high calling. Think about this. God uses the "Father-child" relationship as a model to explain our relationship with Him. When we pray to Him, we pray as Jesus taught us, "Our Father which art in heaven . . ." Why Father? Perhaps it is because of the importance of that relationship.

Are dads disposable? Are they needed for a healthy family?

I have a feeling Paulette Edwards can answer those questions. She is a single mother rasing a 15-year-old daughter in Westland, Michigan. And she is doing it alone.

The father of her daughter doesn't pay any child support. Oh, he is supposed to, but he doesn't. Right now, he owes Paulette $78,000. Money the family desperately needs.

Paulette works two jobs, regularly shops at thrift stores for her clothes, drives an old car, is behind on her taxes and often has to skip meals. "Many days my daughter would eat, and I would watch," said Edwards. "It was demeaning." (Fresh Illustrations http://www.freshministry.org/illustrations.html)

It is nearly impossible for one person to fulfill the role of two. Some would have you believe it takes a village to raise a child. But what is everyone's job tends to be no one's job. I'd rather say, it takes two parents to raise a child--a mom and a dad. Paulette doesn't need a village, she needs the father of her child to be a dad, not a bum.

Fathers are responsible for the physical welfare of their children. Like Jairus was in Mark 5:23 when he came to Jesus and said, "My little daughter is at the point of death; please come and lay Your hands on her, that she may get well and live." And the royal official did in John 4:49 "Sir, come down before my child dies." 

These men were actively involved in the lives of their children. Not only did they provide for them financially, but they pleaded for help to save their lives when they were dying.

But fathers are needed for more than financial support. Children raised without a father are more likely to live in poverty, yes, but they are also more likely to have emotional or behavioral problems, commit suicide, be sexually active before marriage, engage in delinquent behavior and get a divorce when they are grown. (Fresh Illustrations http://www.freshministry.org/illustrations.html)

Fathers are needed.

Fathers are needed to take responsibility for the spiritual welfare of their children, like Job did. Job 1:5 says, "And it came about, when the days of feasting had completed their cycle, that Job would send and consecrate them, rising up early in the morning and offering burnt offerings according to the number of them all; for Job said, 'Perhaps my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.' Thus Job did continually." 

Unfortunately, not every child has a father like Job. Eli the priest, disgraced his calling because he did not rebuke his evil sons and take responsibility for their spiritual welfare. "For I have told him that I am about to judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knew, because his sons brought a curse on themselves and he did not rebuke them. [14] And therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever." (1 Samuel 3:13-14 NASB)

Fathers, are responsible for the spiritual condition of their children. I am your partner in ministry to your children, but you are primarily responsible. Your wife will certainly work with you, but you are responsible. Don't shirk that responsibility like, Eli did, instead, be active in the spiritual development of your children like Job was.

Fathers are also responsible for the emotional well being of their children. They are to love them. Like Thank you for reading the free preview of this sermon.  The full manuscript is available to Premium Members use these resources in their ministry.
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