A Father’s Legacy

Psalm 127

 

We are sad because of the tragedy last Sunday morning; keep praying for the 49 families.

There is so much grief not just from Orlando but around the nation.

Mothers and Fathers are in grief over the death of their children and worried about them in many other ways.

 

Like other special holidays Father’s day for many is a time of sadness or regret.

 

Originally, Father’s day was one daughter wanting to honor her dad in the spirit of Mother’s day.

William Smart raised a daughter and five sons on his own, after his wife died giving birth to their sixth child. As his married daughter Sonora Smart Dodd was listening to a Mother’s Day sermon in 1909 she decided she wanted to honor her dad because he had made all the parental sacrifices; he was a courageous, selfless, and loving man and he deserved a special day.

 

Happy Father’s Day – Dad

You make more of a difference than you know.

 

As I said to mothers and is true for us dads also. We struggle with a sense of failure. We don’t believe we are good enough.  We think we should have done more; prepared our kids better. We look at other dads and think I didn’t teach my kids that.  Sometimes at the end of the day we are just happy we made it home and most of the bills are paid on time.  We wish we could have provided better for them in so many areas.  Forget being the perfect dad and just love your kids and their mother by spending time with them.

I believe quantity time is quality time; how can you have quality time if you are never around.  When you are with your kids be all there; be focused on what they are saying and doing.  Be interested in what they are interested in.  Learn to enjoy what they enjoy.

Give what you have and God will take care of the rest.

 

Before I was a father I feared that being spiritual was not enough. I looked at Eli and Samuel and David and saw that even though they were men of God their sons did not follow in their footsteps.  That scared me.

What I found out through studying those men was that they did not discipline their kids.

 

1 Samuel 3:12 At that time I will carry out against Eli …13  For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons made themselves contemptible, and he failed to restrain them.

 

1 Kings 1:5 Now Adonijah, …put himself forward and said, “I will be king.” … 6  (His father had never interfered with him by asking, “Why do you behave as you do?”)

 

Dad you have to interfere in the lives of your kids and restrain them or they will turn out to be wicked even while you are godly.

 

Kids your dad disciplines you out of love; respect him for that. Even if your dad was heavy handed and did not encourage you respect him that he loved you enough to discipline you.

Dad – Just like you want your kids to forgive you and give you grace for your mistakes – forgive your dad his mistakes.

 

Hebrews 12:9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. …10  Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; … 11  No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

 

Learn and be trained by discipline. But dad be careful not to exasperate or embitter your kids.  Your goal is to train and encourage not tear down.

 

Ephesians 6:4  Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

 

Dad is does us no good to be so heavy-handed and unreasonable with our children that they are driven to frustration and anger. When we anger our kids we need to ask for their forgiveness.  Let them see your heart of love that you want them to be better than you.  Show them you don’t want them to make the same mistakes you made.

 

Colossians 3:21 Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.

 

Embittering refers to nagging or belittling our kids. It takes a small dad to belittle his kids.  Now that may have been how your dad treated you, please break the cycle.  Our kids need to be encouraged, they need to know they have worth and they are not a failure.

 

Your kid’s worth is not determined by you but they don’t know that. Your worth was not determined by your dad or mom but you have a hard time knowing that too.  But the way we were raised and treated effects what we think about ourselves.

Your worth and identity is determined by God, not you, and not your parents.

 

Make it easy for your kids to know God values you them because you value them. How is value determined?

There are two things that determine value.

  1. It depends on who owned it in the past.
  2. It depends on what someone is willing to pay for it.

 

How much is a baseball card worth? $0, but some people have paid up to $10,000 for a baseball card.  It is worth what someone is willing pay.  It also depends on who owned it.

 

Someone bought a pair of stinky, smelly, worn out basketball shoes for $7,000. Why, because Michael Jordan wore them.

 

What is your value? What is your kids value?

Whose are you and what was He willing to pay?

 

1 Peter 1:18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, 19  but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

 

You are acceptable and valuable, Dad. Make sure your kids understand that also.

 

Don’t you wish your dad would have instilled that into you as you were growing up. Some of us had that kind of dad others did not.  I had a rough way to go with moms but as for my dad I got a gem.  Now my biological father denies I exist but my dad loved me with an undying love.  I did not realize how much dad meant to me until he died.  I felt that I had lost my cheerleader in the corner.  Dad never understood ministry but I knew he was proud of me and he supported me.  I knew dad valued me.  I want my kids to know I value them so they will understand how much God values them.

 

Dad let’s figure out how to show our kids how much they are worth to us and to God.

First, tell your kids you love them. Some kids, especially boys, have never heard their dad say, “I Love You.”  Tell them today, call them, text them, drive to their house – don’t let the sun set tonight before your kids hear you say, I Love You.

 

Second, tell them you are proud of them.  Proud not because of their accomplishments but because of who they are.

(Last summer during church softball someone from the other team said, “You must be so proud of your son because he is such a good ball player.”  I said no; I am proud of him because of who he is.)  (I am proud of Julia and Sarah because of who they are not because of what they can do.)

Sure my kids, like yours, will disappoint you from time to time – I disappoint myself from time to time. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that I am proud of them and who they are becoming.

No matter what I love my kids unconditionally. I can be proud of them for accepting responsibility in their failure and deciding to change.

Dad if you say, “Good job” only when your kids accomplish something that will cause them to always seek approval from end results. I would rather encourage the process of hard work, determination, and integrity.

 

If your dad never told you he loved you or said that he was proud of you I ask that you forgive him.

I am sure you can look back and see that your dad expressed his love and his pride in his own way. Hear that loud and clear as if he said, “I Love You”, “I am proud of you.”

I remember several years ago Ralph Jester, in his 80’s, said he was always seeking his dad’s approval.  Don’t make your kids seek, give your love and approval unconditionally.

 

Ill. – If your dad did not have arms would you be mad at him if he never hugged you?

For some reason your dad did not know how to say I love you and I am proud of you.  He was emotionally damaged himself or was never taught how.  Forgive him and don’t make your kids struggle with the same issue because you were not given a good example.

Break the cycle.

 

I have said all of this to get to this point.

 

Psalm 127:1 Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain. 2 In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat– for he grants sleep to those he loves. 3  Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him.

 

Dad, your kids are a reward – treat them as such.

All your labor is in vain if you don’t let the Lord build your house and your legacy.

 

Dad be a spiritual example for your kids. Lead them and nurture them.

How? Moses told us.

 

Deuteronomy 6:5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6  These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

 

Dad, love the Lord and teach your children what you are learning every day.

 

Do you need to rededicate your life to the Lord? Do you need to find forgiveness for the first time?

God loves you. He values you.  Will you accept God’s joy and peace today?

Come willing to be set free – accept Jesus by repenting and being baptized.