Saturday, August 2, 2008

Dads listen up!

I am going to be preaching tomorrow on I Peter 1:17-19. And specifically I am going to be preaching on the concept of God as "father." The passage in I Peter discusses two aspects of that father/child relationship: fear and reliance. We fear God as judge in the same way that we would fear an earthly father as disciplinarian. Also, we are totally reliant on God to redeem us from our sin in the same way that we are totally reliant on an earthly father to provide our basic needs (food, clothing, shelter) especially when very young.

However, there is another sermon bouncing around in my head that I will not pursue tomorrow because of time constraints. And, because as a general rule I try not to use a passage as an excuse to preach on something that else that is unsupported by the passage but similar in theme. So, here it is:

Dads listen up! God uses metaphors a lot in scripture. He takes the whole idea of "don't just tell but show" to the extreme. And, one of the metaphors that he uses to explain our relationship to him is that of father/child. In order for us to understand our relationship to God, we compare him to our earthly father. Wow! What a challenge - to be the kind of father that helps our children understand God, the creator of the universe. For example:

What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:11-13

Are you kind to your children? Supportive? Loving?

Do you discipline them in order to mold them into Godly men and women? Or do you discipline them when they get on your nerves? Is that what you want your children to think about God - that he lashes out at us when we bug him to the point that he can't handle it anymore?

Do you spend time with them? Or, do you spend "quality time" with them? What a bunch of garbage "quality time" is. Children see right through that. If you spend 99% of your time away from your kids and treat them like a thorn in your side and then one night a week you take them to the movies or a Pacers game, they see what you are doing. And, they will think that God has better things to do with his time than talk to his children also.

Dads, you have an awesome responsibility. It's your job to help your children understand the God of the universe. This is probably a good time to pray. :)

In Christ,


briefs said...

An interesting sidebar from crazy blogger brother. In the book I read recently, The Shack, the author tries his hand at explaining the trinity. Tough eh?

The main character though has had a troubled childhood and huge problems with his father ... so when the main character first confronts God ... God does not come as a father figure.

I don't want to ruin the story, but you'll find it interesting or perhaps controversial to look at God as something very different than the burning bush, the Jewish carpenter, or George Burns.

Chad Dalton said...

I always imagine God as represented on the Simpsons - the clouds part and a white haired diety with a James Early Jones-like voice dispensing wisdom and justice.