Happy Father’s Day! Today, I am addressing all the men, and in particular husbands and fathers.
Psalm 128. Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee. Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table. Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the LORD. The LORD shall bless thee out of Zion: and thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life. Yea, thou shalt see thy children’s children, and peace upon Israel.
It has been said that before the fall Paradise was man’s home; since the fall home has been his Paradise.
If you want to build a house, you need a blueprint that shows the design of the house and the necessary materials. If you want to build a holy, Christ centered, God glorifying home, there is only one blueprint.
- Psalm 127.1 Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it.
No one in their right mind would consider building a house for his or her family without having a blueprint. And yet while we wouldn’t think of building a house without a blueprint, many people, even Christians, go about building their homes with no idea of God’s plan for marriage or childrearing or the kind of “materials” that are necessary to build one that will bring glory to His Holy Name.
Being A Real Man
Husbands, fathers and every young men who one day will be married and have a family, I want to say right up front that a non negotiable foundation for building a godly marriage and raising godly children is being a man who is waking in the fear of God. God’s eye and blessing is upon the man that walks in the fear of the Lord.
My dear brothers in Christ, old or young, married or unmarried, decide today that the Word of God is going to define what real manhood is, not Men’s Health Magazine, not ESPN, not GQ…but God’s Word, and His Son Jesus Christ as our Example.
In a Christian home, the father and husband are called by God to be the spiritual rudder of the family, the spiritual compass for direction and the thermostat that regulates the spiritual atmosphere in the home.
We see here in Psalm 128 that a fruitful wife and children are those who respond to the godly, loving leadership of a husband and father who fears The Lord and walks in His ways.
The blessed or happy home is one that is led by a man that fears the Lord and walks in His ways. As Joshua said in Josh 24.15 as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
For the man that fears God, the one overruling command for himself and each and every member of his family is simple. As for me and my house, we will serve The Lord. Did you notice here Dad that serving God in your home is not an option it is a commandment? Listen to how God described Abraham, the man of faith:
Gen 18.19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment.
Deut 6.4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: 5 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. 6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. 9 And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates
Headship is the divine calling of a husband to take primary responsibility for Christ- like servant leadership, protection, and provision in the home.
Men, we must stop making excuses for being passive and accept the call and challenge of God to lead by example and in love. Now when I say that word love, many people misinterpret that to mean either passive or weak. Beloved, Jesus as Son of Man was filled with the love of God and He is neither passive nor weak.
I declare to you this morning unashamedly, boldly and lovingly that God’s order for the home does not bow down to the “spirit of the age” or “feminism”. Eph 5 clearly tells us that the husband, the man is called to be the head of the home. Husband, father, despite all of our weaknesses, we need to own up to the fact that God has called us to be the spiritual head of our homes.
Men, as much as we might not like to hear it, we cannot escape the fact that we are examples to our children, either for good or for bad. Granted, no man is perfect, but fathers, is your lifestyle one that points your wife and children to Christ, or away from Him? It is so important that we live out our Christianity in our attitudes, words, and actions in the home.
Dads, your children need you to fear God. They’re facing humanism that tells them man is the center of everything. Materialism tells them happiness belongs in things. Hedonism tells them to live high, wide and handsome. Relativism tells them there are no absolutes, no fixed standards of right and wrong. They need a God-fearing dad.
Men, a great deal of what our children learn about family life and life in general comes from watching our example. Your children hear how you talk to their mother. They see the things that you watch on television. They see how much free time and money you invest in hobbies. They know who your friends are. They see the books and magazines on the coffee table. Scary, isn’t it! None of us have the luxury to say, I am not into that example thing, dude. Yes, you are….
Oh Happy Man!
Let me ask every single man a question. Who wants to be a blessed man? Even if up to this point in time in your life, you have not followed The Lord or the teachings of The Bible, how many of you would say, Pastor Ray, I want to be a blessed man.
Psalm 119.59 I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies
Look at Psalm 128.1,4. The word blessed can also be translated “happy”. Connect the dots of Scripture men; the blessed man, the happy man, is the man that fears The Lord and walks in His ways.
What is the fear of the Lord? I define it as a healthy respect and reverence for God stemming from the knowledge of God and resulting in obedience to God.
Thus, the fear of God is the cornerstone of all blessedness men. The blessed man is not the man that sings that once popular Frank Sinatra song, “I did it my way….”, the blessed man is the man that submits to Yahweh.
This fear of the Lord is the first fountain of holy living and marital and family life, for it is the fear of The Lord that cultivates an atmosphere of respect and reverence for The Lord that results in loving submission and obedience to The Lord. And this reverence, submission and obedience to The Lord are rooted in grace, humility and love of God.
The fear of The Lord is unlike common fears that we have. For example, I should not think that fearing heights, or fearing snakes is the same as fearing God, for they are not in the same thing.
Fearing heights or fearing snakes is not a moral issue. It has nothing to do with my heart, character or who I am.
The fear of The Lord comes from knowing Him, and you cannot have the fear of The Lord if you are not born again. The fear of the Lord stems from that mighty work of God’s Spirit and God’s Word in my heart that opens my soul up to an understanding of His greatness, power, and absolute holiness that never existed before.
As we have seen many times in studying the Word of God together, every time a man, even a righteous man, gets a glimpse of God in the splendor of His holiness, he is stricken with both humility and fear. A man who is proud, arrogant and a dictator may or may not be a man that controls his wife and his children, but I can tell you one thing for sure. That man is not a man that loves Jesus Christ and fears The Living God.
In terms of home life, a man who fears God will not use God’s Name lightly or name in vain. He will not joke about God or be flippant toward God or His Word. He will seek to cultivate an atmosphere of holiness and wholesomeness for the glory of God. He will take the initiative in leading his family in reading God’s Word, in prayer, and in a commitment to living a life both in the secular world and in the church for the glory of God.
Men, it is nothing but hot air to tell your children to walk after the things of God if you or I refuse to fear God and choose to walk after the flesh, or do things my way.
“if the heart is joined unto God, the feet will follow hard after him. A man’s heart will be seen in his walk, and the blessing will come where heart and walk are both with God.” Charles Spurgeon.
Verse 2. Thou shalt eat of the fruit of thy labors. Happy (blessed) shalt thou be.
Although the context here is speaking of enjoying the fruit of fearing God, let me say this morning that God is the God of laborers, and Christian men are to be examples of hard work. God has not called the husband/father to eat the bread of idleness, but to provide for his family according to the will and blessing of God.
1 Timothy 5.8 But if any provides not for his own, and specially his own household, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever
Though we are in God’s hands, God will give us the means to earn our daily bread by own by labor. This means that the man that fears God is a man that recognizes the providence of God in the realm of his vocation. Thus, he is thankful for the work that he has and the God given ability to do that work as unto The Lord Himself.
The man who fears God isn’t grumbling about how hard he has to work to provide for his family. He may indeed be physically or emotionally tired in his work, but for the most part, he is a cheerful, pleasant man to live with. Why? The key to his happiness is given twice, so we won’t miss it: He fears the Lord and walks in His ways (vv. 1, 4). This man’s happiness doesn’t come from circumstances; his joy is in the Lord.
Brothers’, providing for your family means much more than putting bread on the table. It includes the provision of all the elements of a Christ-like home: teaching and modeling God’s Word in an atmosphere of love, grace, patience, loving discipline, understanding, and encouragement. This would also include modeling biblical values, priorities, and pursuits.
A man who pursues only financial success to the disregard of his home will end up a lonely man with poverty in his soul. A man who seeks first the kingdom of God and follows God’s blueprint for the home will end up a blessed man with prosperity in his soul.
Happy shalt thou be. John Wesley said, “the man that fears God and joyously obeys God would be happy in Him. “
“The Lord Jesus is a deep sea of joy: Let your soul shall dive in and shall be swallowed up in the delights of His company.” Alistair Begg
A God fearing happy dad is most likely to have a God fearing happy wife and children.
God promises that it shall be well with you.
“It shall be well with thee while thou livest. It shall be better with thee when thou diest. It shall be best of all with thee in eternity.” Matthew Henry
A helpmeet was needed in Paradise, and most assuredly, a helpmeet is needed in today’s fallen world. Please note ladies and wives that The Word of God speaks of you as a helpmeet. You are not your husband’s mother. He that findeth a wife findeth a good thing.
Good wives (godly, Spirit filled) are gifts from God and expressions of His kindness and goodness to man.
A fruitful vine in that hot Middle Eastern climate is one that produces something refreshing and nourishing for others. A godly wife and mother will not be a lazy, self-centered, aimless woman if she is married to a godly, God-fearing husband because. As a rule of thumb, a Christ loving, Spirit filled, God-fearing husband will inspire a wife to be industrious and productive.
A man that fears The Lord is a man who is blessed if he has a wife that fears The Lord and walks in His ways. That husband is a blessed man indeed. She is a fruitful vine, and a faithful housekeeper; her chief ministry and focus is the home.
Contrary to popular notions, children are not interruptions to the good life; they are blessings and gifts from God that we are to bring up in the nurture and admonition of The Lord.
Children were designed by God to be the fruit of a godly union between a husband and his wife.
Children described as “olive plants” around the table. These olive plants are not mature trees, but little shoots that grow up around a mature olive tree. They will someday replace the parent tree, continuing to bear fruit after it is gone. Dad, one of your top priorities and primary responsibilities before God is to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of The Lord.
I heard a shocking statement by an old pastor some time ago. He said that he was deeply concerned that the vast majority of Christian parents were making it their priority to raise their children to be good kids. They are teaching their children to do good in school, do not hang around with the wrong crowd, do not do drugs or drink, do not have sex outside of marriage, do not be lazy, work hard and so on and so forth. Now all of these things are good in and of themselves, but they fall far short of God’s ideal for parenting.
There are many young people today who are educated (and education is good), athletic (and being athletic and the discipline that goes along with it is good), hard working and saving money (and it is biblical to work hard and save money). But there are many educated, athletic, hard working young people today who are not being raised by their parents n the nurture and admonition of The Lord, and as a result are being conformed to the world, are hell bound and have no fear of God…. Is that good??
Some dads are not outgoing or not very good at communicating with their children. They may ask, how do I get a conversation going and what should we talk about?
Fathers, dads, a good place to begin is by going to the book of Proverbs and read every one of the “hear my son” conversations. They are loaded with the wisdom of God on who to hang around with, the kind of girl to avoid, how to be hard working, etc.
To raise our children in the nurture and admonition of The Lord means that we should saturate every aspect of our daily life with God. He should be the source and goal of all our acts.
1 Corinthians 10: 31 Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God”
Your Children’s Children
Old age is only blessed when a man’s life has been spent in the fear and service of God. The man pictured here is a happy old man, enjoying God’s blessing as he sees his grandchildren following the Lord.
Proverbs 17:6 states, “Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.”
A dad and his son were climbing a mountain and came to a difficult part. The dad stopped to consider the best route up. Behind him, his son called out, “Choose the best path, Dad! I’m coming right behind you!”
Ps 78:5 For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: 6 That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: 7 That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments:
Fathering is declaring the wondrous works of God in such a way that our children learn to live for something greater than the things of this world, money, or fame but for the glory of God.
Fathering is telling our children by precept and example to love God, to serve The Lord, to obey God and leave all of the consequences to Him.
Men, old and young, married and single with or without children…my admonition to each and every one of you in the Name of Jesus Christ is this. Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. Devote your life, your time, your God given talents and resources to something that will out live you.
The Fatherhood of God
Ps 103:11 As heaven is high above the earth, so great is His mercy towards those who fear Him. 13 Like as a father pitieth (shows compassion to) his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.
1 Chronicles 29.10 Wherefore David blessed the Lord before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed be thou, Lord God of Israel our father, for ever and ever
Jesus told a multitude that followed Him that they were to address God as Our Father, Who art in heaven.
God created fatherhood in His own image. Men, good fathering points to God. It points children to God, it points wives to God, it points coworkers to God, it points fellow church members to God, and it points relatives to God.
The main purpose of fathering is to reveal the fatherhood of God. The main purpose of being a husband is to reveal the love and kindness of Jesus Christ.
This Father’s Day – as you think of your earthly father or the father of your children – do you know the One, the Everlasting Father? The Only Perfect Father?
Do you know the One who died on the cross for your sin? Do you know the One, Who by grace through faith in Him, can call the God of the universe Abba, Father?
The title Father assumes a relationship. A relationship that is based totally on the grace and mercy of God through faith in His Son Jesus Christ. To know all of the facts about the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ apart from receiving Him as Lord in your life means absolutely nothing. For all of the benefits and blessings of God from forgiveness of sin and a new heart are only given to those who call upon His Name.
In one of the great mysteries of the Bible, God says to the dead, rise up. He says to the blind, see. He says to the deaf hear. God makes all things new….for those who have ears to hear, eyes to see, and a heart that is desiring a new life or a new start, look to Jesus and embrace Him as Lord.