Proverbs 22:28 Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set. Authorized King James Version 1611
In our “modern” and “educated” epoch, the father, in the institution of the family has been relegated to the dust bin of history. Dads today are made out to be uneducated dopes that don’t know anything and do not have any business raising children, or being in their charge, and they certainly should not be respected by their children. Pop culture, Hollywood, and Tv shows [the world] have all propagated this opinion of our fathers. So, now father doesn’t know best any longer, because we have “progressed” past structure, rules, honor, integrity, honesty, and the importance of recognizing the traditional family. The nuclear family. Dad, Mom, and 2.5 children. Our fathers are portrayed as character’s like Al Bundy, of Married With Children fame. Or, Homer Simpson, from the Simpsons. Radical feminists that write story lines for television, write the father as some subordinate idiot that, if he wasn’t married to a woman, he wouldn’t be able to make it out of bed in the morning. It’s all very exhausting to watch.
Let’s look at some verses from the Bible that we can apply in our lives to help restore the position of our dads in the family.
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Authorized King James Version 1611
Our first station in life, is to be teachers to our children. Not just of things like reading, writing, math, and social issues but spiritual things first and foremost. After those things, we should teach our children a trade of some kind or something that can be used to make our children self-supporting. Jesus was taught the trade craft of carpentry. Lets ponder that for a minute. Working day in and day out with wood and nails, the same objects would be used to kill him when he was 33 years old. In Jewish tradition it is imperative that a father teach his son something useful and profitable so he can support his family. A father is to be the head of his home, a strong leader, and the spiritual leader of the house. He is to teach his children of God, and Godly things like love, morality, law, self reliance, humility, selflessness, honor, conviction, thrift, sacrifice, honesty, courage, integrity and ethics. Imagine if we could just teach children the sermon on the mount and really drive it home with them so they understood all the tenets that Christ taught, think of how our country would almost on its own, fix a lot of our problems with very little effort. If we just teach our children the truth again our nation would begin to heal. If we would teach our children take from no man anything, and if a man asks you for your shirt, give him your cloak, and if a man compels you to walk a mile with him, go twain. Our nation would transform practically overnight, for the better. If we could just get those 48 verses of Matthew chapter 5 driven deeply into the hearts of our posterity, grades would go up, crime would go down, bullying would subside, the family would begin to revive.
Proverbs 13:24 He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes. Authorized King James Version 1611
We are commanded to discipline our children. If we do not the Bible goes so far as to say we hate our child. Look at how we have been handcuffed in our country regarding the discipline of our children. Now, parents have been so shackled down that they are even to afraid to correct little Johnny or Suzie for fear of hurting their egos, let alone the threats from children that they will call child services, it’s laughable! Our children have been empowered by the government to report discipline that their parents administer. Our children run the households, not parents. I am not advocating child abuse. But, I do advocate corporal punishment, it worked for thousands of years, until Dr. Spock arrived on the scene! I was whipped as a child, and deserved every one I ever got, multiplied by ten, believe me! My ego isn’t bruised, I’m ok, I’m still a productive member of society. You can take a trip down to your local Wal-Mart or grocery store, and see that the responsibility of disciplining our children has waned quite a bit. Some of the things you witness in these stores would have gotten the last generation slapped into next week.
John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Authorized King James Version 1611
As fathers, we must love our children as God loves us. Completely, sacrificial, wholly. But, greater than this, we must teach them of their first love. Jesus.
Romans 5:8 But God comendeth his love toward us, that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
This is the most important thing to pass on to our children. Christ. Charles Dickens the literary giant, wrote a book for his children from the years of 1846-1849 entitled The Life of Our Lord. If Dickens was alive, I beg to offer that he would say this book was his most important. He was writing this book while he was working on David Copperfield. The manuscript was not published until 1933 after his last child had died. It had been handed down as a family treasure. Dickens had asked that the manuscript would not be published while any child of his was still alive. In 1934 Simon and Schuster published it in America, It was one of the top books of the era. We need to, like Dickens, teach our children of Jesus, who, when we were so far from him, he came to us, and spanned the gulf of eternity that we could not, miraculously interjecting himself into history and died a sinner’s death on the tree. This one who made the lame walk, and the dumb talk. The one who raised Lazarus from the grave. The one who washed his disciples feet.
The verse I began with has special meaning for me. The word landmark normally means something solid, like a statue, or a rock, a memorial stone. I want you to see it in a different light today. I once heard a preacher say, a man had lost his father, he had passed away. The man, for the first few days, had felt deep loss, but, as time had passed; the man likened the loss of his father to living next to a giant mountain, and waking up one morning, and the mountain was gone when he looked for it. I can relate to how the man felt. Our fathers, often times mean more to us than we even know, but after they’re gone and they’ve broken through the shroud that is death, our memories of them have a way of haunting us. Like when you check your feet because of diabetes, and you remember, that the doctor’s had to amputate four of your dad’s toes and a bone in his foot, because of the same affliction. Or, you remember that fateful telephone call that you got, when the person on the other end of the line has the worst of news to share. You remember the lump in your throat and the sick feeling you had in your stomach when your ex-father in law tells you on that call, “son, somethings happened to your Dad, they think he had a heart attack. He is laying in the middle of his living room floor and the ambulance is on its way.” “I’ll keep you posted, but you may want to leave work and get down here.” The mountain in my life, is no longer outside my window, he passed away on September 21st, 2007 of a massive heart attack, minutes before the call I received. The day was both, the most terrible and the greatest day, all wrapped up in one. Even though I had lost, he had gained. In 2005, the Sunday after Easter, my Dad answered an altar call at the little country church I was a Deacon at. Many gathered around to pray with him, but I was especially grateful to God that I was able to kneel next him at that old altar made of stained two by fours, at the foot of the cross, at the age 59; God made him brand new again! Washed him of all his sins, and gave him a new life. I couldn’t help to think, my witness, drew him to Christ, it should have been the other way around. He was my mentor, my friend, my father.
Dedicated to Robert E. Stage Sr. December 21, 1942 – September 21, 2007 Sorely missed this fathers day.
I ask you on this LORD’s day, fathers, share Christ with your little ones. If you don’t know him, get to know him, accept him as your personal saviour today, and then share him with your kids! He comes highly recommended!
Robert E. Stage Jr.