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'Looking in the Stands For Dad'

Fathers have a tremendous responsibility. You have to be careful what you say, and what
you do, because someone is watching you.

A little boy came up to his pastor after the church service and said, “When I grow up, I’m
going to give you some money.” “Well, thank you,” the pastor replied, “but why?”
“Because my daddy says you’re the poorest preacher we’ve ever had.”

The responsibilities we have as fathers are so important, we must give careful attention to what God says to us in the Word. Let’s look at a few passages that challenges us to step up to the plate...and helps us to make some runs, and score some be the most effective father we can be...

In Proverbs 22:6

1. Building up a child with CONVICTIONS.

Train up....(not train down) there are things we might do that tear down, and we will look at those things in a moment, but consider what this verse means:

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

It is true that you can do the best you can, and still children will be what they will be. The reason I say that, is because, every person has a free will. They can be under the best guidance, hear some of the best instruction, and be given the highest standards of parenting model, but they still have a free will. Some people behind bars are from strict, religious families. But the rule is...when you train them right, and bring proper guidance, and teach them the ways of the Lord, they will not depart from it.
The goal should be to build up our children to have CONVICTIONS......
Many children grow up with beliefs, but lack convictions. When they are old, they may
still have their beliefs, but they are not committed to those beliefs, they lack conviction.
Someone asked Josh McDowell, who lectures to students all across America..he has
spoken on over 700 universities and college campuses, reaching more than 7 million
students in 84 countries, written over 60 books, best selling (Evidence that Demands a
Verdict)....someone asked Josh about the state of Christianity in America. He said,
“we’ve created two generations, parents and youth, who have beliefs. For the most part
many of their beliefs are accurate, but they don’t have convictions.” That is, many
people can not tell you why they believe what they believe. They are not prepared to
explain to another person the reason for the hope that they have in Christ. (SBC Life,
May, 2000)
Another important reminder from this verse is in the phrase “In the way they should go”
The literal reading is “according to their bent” A daycare in Lawrenceburg,TN has a sign outside the building that reads “As the twig is bent, so grows the tree” I believe that’s correct, “As the twig is bent, so grows the tree” You can do some bending of those little twigs you have, but when they are born, they come into this world with certain bents. You know what I mean, sometimes we say, “uh-oh! she’s got her daddy’s temper, or he’s pouting just like Moma does...”
We come into this world with a certain bent...some children are strong-willed, some are very fragile, and their temperament are like eggshells...some are more stubborn, some are very compliant, but sneaky....
One of the worst mistakes teachers make....I heard one say about our youngest..he will
start to school, I know he will be just like the others....he will do well....
Have you ever had a teacher say that to you, “I had your brother, or your sister, and I expect you to be just as smart as them.”...And in your mind your thinking...this teacher is in for a surprise....She doesn’t know...Big brother got all the brains...I just got the
muscles and the good looks!

What does this phrase mean? “in the way he should go” We are to treat each child
according to their bent. We are to treat them differently. You can spank one child, and it does not seem to phase them, but just give a stern look at another child and they bust into tears. The strong willed child needs to be dealt with differently, than the one that is not as strong willed. Did you ever wonder why you were spanked more than little brother?
What about if spankings don’t work? That’s where you train them according to their
bent, (in the way they should go)
Fathers have to be firm, sometimes that can turn out to be humorous. A small child was
sent to bed by his father. Five minutes later, “Da-ad” “What?”
“I’m thirsty, can you bring me a drink of water?”
Dad: “No, you had your chance. Lights out.” Five minutes later, “Da-ad”
what? “I’m thirsty, can you bring me a drink of water?”
I told you no! If you ask again, I’ll have to spank you!
Five minutes later, “Da-aad” “Now what?”
“when you come in to spank me, can you bring me a drink of water?

The goal we want to remember is to train them in such a way, when they are old, it will
not depart from will be more than a belief, but it will be a living conviction.

Let’s look now at Ephesians 6, for the last two instructions for fathers....

2. Fathers Do Not Provoke Your Children to Wrath Ephesians 6:4

What are some ways that fathers can provoke children and destroy relationships:

(1) Showing Favoritism, giving more attention and showing more concern for one
above the other. We can be the most moral father around, but if we show favoritism we
are igniting a flame of bitterness and a raging spirit that can destory a relationship with
that child.

(2) Neglecting Them. Nothing hurts so bad as being neglected.

(3)Overprotecting there must be balance, a father cannot be there to control a
child all the time. Being overprotective will prove to be a bad situation as children
become older.

(4)Discouraging Them Making remarks that are constantly negative will have a
discouraging effect upon a child. (Colossians 3:21) Unkind words can destroy the spirit
in a child.

(5)Failing to Recognize their Uniqueness. Parents can smother a child with
activities, and aspirations, and dreams for them that they were denied themselves
growing up....what they do...they live their youth through their children...denying them
the joy to explore their own talents, and interest. Every child is unique.

(6) Through Legalism Too many rules, regulations, and to-do lists often creates
inner rebellion.

3. Fathers, bring them up in the Nurture and Admonition of the Lord
Ephesians 6:4

Nurturing means “training”; and Admonition means “instruction”
We are to train them right. We are to instruct them in the right way. In the way of the

The best way to teach them is through

(1) through EXAMPLE
It is better caught than taught. Rather than giving a sermon, give one that they can see
everyday in our daily lives.

(2) through INSTRUCTION
We do have the responsibility to teach them the ways of God by deliberately teaching and
giving biblical instructions.

And the greatest way to teach is to teach with love. If love is not there, then everything said goes down the drain. ICor 13 tells us if we have all abilities, gifts, and talents, and can do commendable things but don’t have love, we are nothing.

ALL THIS MEANS.....DADS...We’ve got to be there!

May God help us to be the best we can....

A Little League outfielder stood in the hot afternoon sun eagerly awaiting the next play.
Sure enough, a line drive shizzed by the pitcher and made its way directly to the boy.
The coach and team watched in horror as he missed the ball. While stumbling around the
ball, it became apparent that he was disoriented and had not seen the ball coming. Later, in the dugout, his coach asked what happened. Blushing, he looked at the ground and admitted that he had not been paying attention. When asked why, his reply was simple:
“I was looking in the stands for my dad. He promised he would come.”

Whether young or old, boy or girl, many of us still “look in the stands” for our father and consider his presence and input one of the most valuable assets of life.

One thing encouraging according to one research, there are a growing number of fathers stepping up to the plate and recognizing the unique contributions they bring as fathers to their children.(National Liberty Journal, June, 2000, p.21)

We need to pray for many who do not have that priviledge, the priviledge of having a
DAD.....Many youngsters have had to grow up without the presence of a Dad, ...

You know, we have a heavenly Father that we can go to, A Father in Heaven, Who loves
us so much to allow His Son, Jesus to die on the cross to pay for our sins. Through Jesus
we can come to the Father, and know His forgiveness, His peace, His love, His mercy,
and His grace.

God, our Father can fill the emptiness in our hearts. He can heal the broken and shattered life. He can heal damaged emotions. He can heal the hurts of a past that is nothing but
heartaches, abuse, and emotional troubles.

Our earthly fathers can only go so far, but our Heavenly Father can go every step of the
way with you. Do you know Jesus to be your Lord and Saviour? Are you committed to
follow God in obedience?

by Chris Gowen
Swan Creek Baptist Church
June 18, 2000

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