06/16/13 The LEVELer!

Posted by Pastor Steve Siegrist on Monday, June 17, 2013 Under: Sermon
1 Timothy 3:4-5 (NKJV)

"One who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?"

"Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord." Ephesians 6:4 (ESV)

Intro: My introductory statement might set the stage for the remainder of this message! The Bible tells us the husband is the head of the home. This does not mean that he is the dictator, tyrant, or bully of the home. It means that he is the leader of the wife and children. It means that the man is not bossed about or dominated by his wife; that he does not allow his children to disobey, rebel, or talk back to him or their mother; that he takes the lead in controlling his home for Christ and His kingdom.

Application: A Godly father is a Leveler.

Fathers are you practicing what you preach? A leveler will.

1. A Father is a Leveler: “one who rules his own house well!”

I am not talking about the use of the word leveler that comes from the Merriam-Webster dictionary. The leveler that I am referring to is not a part of a group of radicals arising during the English Civil War and advocating equality before the law and religious toleration.

The reference I am using for this application is that of the father’s role of balancing out the family’s needs. “one who rules his own house well!” The father will at times think he is walking a tight rope, balancing between work, family & a peace of mind.

It has been a topic for the Liberals to have a field day with, it is a topic that the ignorant will turn around and use for their justification. The child wants discipline; the child needs discipline, IT IS BIBLICAL! “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”

“For whom the LORD loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights.” Proverbs 3:12

“Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.” Good discipline begins with self-discipline, not with a loud mouth or a lot of muscle. Dad! You are ultimately responsible for the entire process of child-training. He is accountable even for what mother says and does to the children. He answers to God for everything that happens in the home. As God’s authority figure, he must know what is going on and be in control. BE A LEVELER!

Illustration: Three Hairs and Lost Influence

A strange dog came to a preacher’s house, and his three sons soon became quite fond of it. It so happened that there were three white hairs in the animal’s tail. One day an advertisement was seen in the newspaper about a lost dog which fitted that description perfectly. “In the presence of my three boys,” said the minister, “we carefully separated the three white hairs and removed them.” The real owner discovered where the straying canine had found a home and came to claim him. The dog showed every sign of recognition, so the man was ready to take him away.

Quickly the minister spoke up, “Didn’t you say the dog would be known by three white hairs in its tail?” The owner, unable to find the identifying feature, was forced to leave. The minister said later, “we kept the dog, but I lost my three boys for Christ.” His sons no longer had confidence in what their father professed. He hadn’t practiced what he preached. —Our Daily Bread

Fathers are you practicing what you preach? A leveler will.

2. A Father is a Leader:

“Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

A little girl followed her father as he carefully stepped through a new garden. She stepped exactly where he stepped and said, “Daddy, if you don’t get mud on your feet, I won’t get any mud on me!”

Dad your kids will mimic you! Are you mimicking God?

If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church, God has placed fathers in the family to take the lead. God’s authority in the home centers in dad. I know this topic always seems to ruffle some feathers, but if this is implemented with the proper Biblical interpretation, everyone in the family wins!

In many cases, dad thinks he is the head of the house, and mom may even let him believe it. But in reality she manages nearly everything. Most of the time he doesn’t even know what’s going on. Sadder still, he may not even care. He likes the arrangement that way because it takes the responsibility off his shoulders. She decides what the children can or cannot do. She checks on their schoolwork, talks to their teachers, and signs their report cards. She helps them work out their problems, teaches them what they need to know, and takes them where they need to be. Dad is little more than a disinterested bystander who yells at them once in a while to make his presence felt. And the result is devastating.

Studies have shown that there is a direct correlation between a weak father figure and a child’s problems in areas such as character, conduct, and achievement. When dad relinquishes his position of authority in the home, mom usually assumes the role she was never intended to have. The unhappy combination of a disinterested father and an overbearing mother can drive children to run away from home, enter early and unwise marriages, or suffer emotional difficulties and personality deficiencies. DADS MUST TAKE THE LEAD!

“But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.“ 1 Timothy 5:8 (NKJV)

Did you hear that? If you are not providing for your own family you denied the faith. Lazy fathers who refuse to accept this responsibility need to heed this severe indictment.

Father should take the lead in conducting times of Bible study and family worship, in encouraging family involvement in the ministry of a local church, and in establishing the family’s testimony in the community. Far too often dad just doesn’t care about spiritual things and mother takes the lead, leaving the kids with the twisted notion that the church is a woman’s world and spreading the gospel is women’s work. When dad becomes the source of spiritual strength in the home, children and youth begin to get serious about the Christian life.

This doesn’t mean that dad is a dictator, as a godly manager, he prayerfully considers the feelings of others and his decisions are for their good rather than his own. He recognizes his wife’s abilities and encourages her to develop them and use them to their fullest extent. But she makes sure that he is aware of what is going on, and that he approves. And to be assured that he is in charge, that he has final responsibility for the smooth operation of the household, and that he will faithfully discharge that responsibility, brings a great sense of security both to her and to the children. He is a leveler!

Might I just ask, is there anything wrong with teaching your children at any age, the younger the better to respond in communications with yes sir or yes mam, and when someone tells you, that you don’t have to call them sir or mam, you tell them that was the way you were raised!

Raise your children to be different! Lead them to be Christ like, He was different you could say He is of another world – be an alien! He is. An alien is someone who is: unknown, unfamiliar, strange. Too many in this world Jesus is unknown, too many in this world Jesus is strange, too many in this world Jesus is unfamiliar. So dad I dare you to be different, be a sojourner for Christ… BE A LEVELER!

Illustration: Go Back! You’re Too Young

My father was the senior elder in our church for many years. When I was a boy, eleven years of age, an evangelist held a series of meetings in our church. One night he asked every Christian to come forward and also asked those who desired to confess Christ to come with them. My father, of course, went up, and, as I felt the call of God, I followed after him. Just as he reached the front he turned around, and seeing me, said, “Johnnie, you go back; you are too young.” I obeyed him, as I had been taught to do, and at thirty-three I came again, but I did not know what I was coming for as clearly at thirty-three as I did at eleven. The church lost twenty-two years of service, while I lost twenty-two years of growth because my own father, an officer in the church, had said, “Go back.” — Wilbur E. Nelson

Fathers are you practicing what you preach? A leveler will.

3. A Father is a Lover:

Not only is a father to be a leveler and leader, he must also be a lover: He must love his wife with an unselfish, forgiving love, a love that transcends all loves but that for Christ himself. Somebody has suggested that the very best thing a father can do for his children is to express a Christ-like love toward their mother. The idea is biblical. Paul exhorted “husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church.’ Ephesians 5:25.

When God established the institution of marriage he said, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” Genesis 2:24 KJV

Dad, that means that after the Lord himself, your wife comes first in your life—before you, before your boss, before your friends, before your Christian service, even before your children. This priority will benefit all that are involved. Mom and Dad love each other, stay together, live together, and really live together… Psychologists have verified that parents who enjoy a loving relationship with each other have the best prospects for untroubled and resourceful children who establish successful marriages of their own.

So, Dad, take your wife out for dinner periodically. Bring her something that says “I love you.” Spend time talking about the things that are burdening her. Be sensitive to her needs and live to meet those needs. Help her with her chores. If she’s had a particularly hard day, cheerfully take over and encourage her. One day, hear me now! Your children will be all grown up, you will have an empty house, what are you going to do next? Is there a next for both of you…?

A father is a lover of his wife, but don’t forget the kids. Be a friend, but don’t forget your authoritative figure. God wants you to be of one heart, one mind, and one soul. Spend time with your children, money can’t do that. Sit at the dinner table and eat meals together. Dad, you need to put down the paper, turn off the TV once in a while and play with the kids… Give your children a good standard to emulate.

Isn’t all this too much for one mere mortal man to be and do? Yes, it is. The demands on his time will be relentless. The drain on his emotional resources will be unending. But the last role God requires of a Christian father will provide him with the strength to become everything else God wants him to be. He must be a man of God.

A father’s authority to manage his home comes from God. But he cannot exercise that authority properly unless he subjects himself to the authority of God. Paul explained to the Corinthians that just as man is the head of the woman, so Christ is the head of man.Some men are not fit to manage their homes because they are not in submission to the Word and will of Jesus Christ. They can never be all that God wants them to be so long as the flow of his power is restricted by sin.

Conclusion: Jesus taught us the secret of living in fellowship with him just as a branch lives in the vine. Then he said, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you”. The formula for our success as fathers is filling our minds with God’s Word, and then spending time in his presence seeking the willingness and power to obey it. As we grow in his likeness we shall fulfill our roles with wisdom. “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” John 15:11

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