Today is Father’s Day. A day when our nation honors Fathers and thanks God for the vital role of Fatherhood. A young boy was once asked to give a definition of Father’s Day. He replied, “It’s just like Mother’s Day, only you don’t spend as much on the present.” This is true because all dad really wants is a nap! While Mother’s Day may get better presents, Father’s Day is no less important. In our sermon this morning, we shall discuss a godly father’s priorities.
- Love the Lord. Dads, your utmost priority is to know Jesus as Savior and Lord. If you are not a Christian, you need to be born again. Admit that you are a sinner and repent. Believe that Jesus is the Son of God. Confess your faith in Him and become a Christian. It is noble to want to be a good dad, but what good is it to be a good dad and “lose your own soul?” (Mark 8:36). Nothing in this world is more important than knowing Jesus as Savior and Lord. No doubt you love your family, but Christ can give you a far greater love.
If you are a Christian, then “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength” (Deut 6:5). Make it your priority to walk in a growing relationship with God. Be a Christian man who is not ashamed to tell others about Christ. Be a disciple of Christ who makes disciples of Christ. Be a godly man. Make your relationship with Jesus your utmost priority in life.
- Love your wife. Dads, your second highest priority is to love and nurture your wife. She is very important and how you treat your wife reveals whether your faith is genuine. The Bible says, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her” (Eph 5:25). Your model for how you should love your wife is Christ’s love for the church. It is important to recognize that your children are watching you. Model a Christian marriage to your children. Be willing to forgive and be forgiven. Let go of any grudges.
Love her with the love of Jesus. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 says, “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” God has placed this woman in your life to help you grow spiritually mature. Make your marriage the second highest priority in your life.
- Love your children. Dads, your third highest priority is to love and provide for your family. Paul wrote to Timothy, “If anyone does not provide for his own family, especially for his own household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Tim 5:8). God has given you a family to care for and failure to do so is an abandonment of your faith. Care for them and love them, especially their mother. Theodore Hesburgh once said, “The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.”
Dads, your children are a blessing, not a burden. Ephesians 6:4 says, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” It is your responsibility (along with your wife) to train your children and impart wisdom to them. Keep in mind, however, for wisdom to be passed on it must be received. Fathers, don’t grow discouraged if your wisdom is not received immediately. Mark Twain once said, “When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.” Your children may reject your wisdom, but that does not mean it ceases to be wisdom. Love your children. Never give up on them. Pray for them continually. Make your family the third highest priority in your life.
I have yet to meet an elderly father who regretted the amount of time he spent with his family. I have, however, met many elderly fathers who regretted the amount of time they spent away from their family. Most of the regrets come from the times they told their children that they were “too busy”. If you have regrets, confess them to Jesus and be healed. Start investing in your marriage and family today. If you desire to be a godly father, make your utmost priority your relationship with Jesus. Make your second highest priority your relationship with your wife. Make your third highest priority your relationship with your children. It must be done in this order because only the love of Christ can fuel your love for your family.