A FATHER’S DAY MESSAGE
Taken from the text of Luke 15: 11-24 ... The
story of a father and his love for his son.
(To read this text
in the New Living Translation, click here)
And he said, A certain man had two sons:
And the younger of them said to his father, “Father, give me the portion of
goods that falleth to me.” And he divided unto them his living. And not many
days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a
far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. And when he
had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in
want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent
him into his fields to feed swine.
And he would fain have filled his
belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. And when
he came to himself, he said, “How many hired servants of my father's have bread
enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my
father, and will say unto him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before
thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired
servants.’” And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great
way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck,
and kissed him. And the son said unto him, “Father, I have sinned against
heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.” But the
father said to his servants, “Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and
put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted
calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and
is alive again; he was lost, and is found.” And they began to be merry.
On Mother’s Day, I preached
about a mother that God honors. Today, I want to preach about a father that God
honors. In this day and time I believe more than anything we need a strong
family unit, and I believe that need is greater than it has ever been. I know
we are caught up in the rat race of life, but there is no excuse for not
spending time with your family. If you are too busy for your children---you are
too busy. When they are grown and leave home, things are never the same. You
will have missed out on the best years of your life and time can never be called
back. Our nation was once strong because we had a strong family life. Today, we
are a generation of dysfunctional families, homes without a dad in the picture,
and families who never spend quality time with each other. Because of the
absence of a father in the home, we have kids with:
- No values
- No discipline
- No respect
- No accountability
- No decency
We wonder why things are as
they are. We can blame the economy for our problems. We can say it is because
drugs are more available. We can blame many things when, in reality, it is
because fathers are no longer in the homes like they once were. To think that
this does not affect your children is a sad mistake. Teen sex is on the rise.
Teen drug use is on the rise. Teen arrest is on the rise. Teen confusion is on
the rise. Teen rebellion is on the rise. What is the answer to all this?
We need dads in the home.
Single mothers are in a position they should never have been put in. As much as
I respect mothers in the home, I respect dads in the homes more. Every child
needs a dad, one that is connected to it, not a perfect dad, but a caring and
Every little girl needs a
father’s love. If she doesn’t get it at home, she will get it from the first
boy who comes down the pike and whispers, “sweet nothings” in their ear. If
young boys do not get a father’s guidance in the home, he will grow up treating
everyone like they were trash. How dare you bring a child into this world and
not teach them the ways of right and wrong. Just as much as we need fathers
that God honors, we need mothers that God honors.
In the Book of Luke, we read
of a father who had two sons. You know the story…The younger son went to his
father one day and said, “Father I want my portion.” The father out of love for
his son divided everything with his two sons. The younger son took his
inheritance and went to live in the bright lights of the city. The young man
soon wasted his substance on unrighteous living. When everything was gone there
he was “busted and disgusted” and hungry. One day he found himself eating with
the swine. He thought, “Even the servants eat better at my father’s house.”
Therefore, he swallowed his pride and went home. His father no doubt, had spent
many days looking for that wayward son to come home. When he looked up and saw
his son coming down the road, he ran and met him. He ordered the very best he
had to eat for his son and placed the very best to wear around his shoulders.
He loved his son and now that son had come home.
Just a note to you young
people -- Seek your education. Stay in school and get the best education you
can get. You say, “I hate school and when I get out of school and get my
driver’s license I am going to party, party, party.” Guess what! Welcome to
the real world. Let me give you young folks a jolt of reality. The possibility
of that happening is “rare to none. “ It is not party time…its work time! I
hope you love your job because moms and dads are not going to pay your living
expenses while you are having a good time “rippin and runnin.” Come on, Dad and
Mom, say “Amen” to that.
The first thing that God
honors in a dad is to love your children compassionately. Even if they are not
perfect, love them anyway. When you have to get that young son out of jail
because he was caught with dope…tell him how angry you are at the circumstances
of his behavior, then tell him you love him. Too many children grow up and
never hear their dad say those three little words, “I love you.” Never take it
for granted they know you love them. Tell them so, and don’t just grunt out the
words. Tell them loud and clear, “I LOVE YOU.”
Secondly, God honors fathers
who sacrifice for their child. Take time to go fishing with your son. You say,
“I can‘t take the time to do that, I’ve got things to do today.” Give up those
things you have to do for at least one day and spend a few hours with him. Ten
years from now, you may wish you had. Take your little daughter to the water
park. Don’t let somebody else be the one to take her…Give up your Saturday plans
and take her yourself. Too often people treat children as if they are a
nuisance. Please, please, please never do that. Time spent with them is time
well spent. Cherish them and cherish the time you spend with your family… It is
time well spent.
Thirdly, God honors those
who love their child with unconditional love. When they do something that
embarrasses you and you feel others are looking down on your family because of
that mistake….love them anyway. When your unmarried daughter comes home with
the news that she is pregnant, tell her of your disappointment in what she has
done with her life…then, give her a hug and tell her you love her.
Fourthly, God honors a dad
who sets standards in your home. Demand they go by your rules while they live
in your house. You are the parent; they need to show you, and others respect.
The father in the scripture
was willing to give all, even to his own hardship. I am not telling you to go
out and buy your son a brand new car. I think they should buy their own car.
They will appreciate it a lot more if their sweat bought it. I remember my
first car. It cost me $165.00. MAN, IT WAS TOUGH… A 1965 Dodge. Years later,
when I told that story, I thought I was really giving a good example of a story
of hardships until Tim Montgomery said his first car came out of a junkyard for
$50.00. Hey! You are doing nothing wrong if you let your kids work for their
first car. It is Ok for them to learn responsibility.
to share something with you before I close the message --
daughter Ashley was thirteen-years-old when she went into a Louisville hospital
for back surgery. We got up very early that morning -- Connie and Eddie went
with us. Ashley didn’t want to have the surgery but she was excited that she
was going somewhere with Connie and Edgar (Ashley’s name for Eddie). She went
skipping into the hospital. After 8 hours in surgery, they brought her back.
She was telling the nurses, “Slow down, you making me sick.” She was cut from
her neck all the way down to the lower part of her back. On Wednesday, she was
on a morphine monitor and doing well. Thursday, she was moved to a regular
room. That night was terrible! She was in so much pain all night long. Friday
morning, Lisa and I saw Ashley take her last breath before her heart stopped.
They revived her, but for the rest of her life she was on life support. Eight
years later, Ashley went to be with the Lord and my days of being a dad here on
earth ended. Do not take for granted that your children know you love them…Give
them a hug today and tell them you love them….Would you do that for me and
Lisa? Do it right now, if you want to.
JR. Fields, Pastor
June 15, 2008