Sermon:  Pressures of Fatherhood


Summary:  In spite of the fact that feminism and the media has denigrated fatherhood, fatherhood remains one of the highest ideals among men because it is a creation and reflection of God.  Fathers are to be commended and honored for this and for the pressures they face, whether it is the pressures of past failures, providing for families, or being a positive influence. 


Text:  Various


Scripture Reading: Eph 1:3-6



1.  Father's Day Card - "Dad everything I learned I learned from you . . .  except for one thing . . .  the family car really will go 110

2.  Lot of stress with fatherhood today

            a.  Jobs with 60 hrs a week, feel guilty not spend enough time with kids

            b.  Blurring of gender roles makes father's place uncertain

            c.  Stress raising godly children today, media portrayal of fathers as idiots

            d.  Sometimes the church beats fathers up for neglect and poor example

                        - ILL: Child to preacher - "Good sermon, dad slumped way down"

3.  I don't want to do that - purpose is to try and instruct, encourage, and build up

            a.  Fatherhood is one of the highest ideals we have

                        - It was created and designed by God

                        - Been bashed by feminism, media has caught on

                        - But it is designed by God and is one of highest ideals

                        - It is a reflection of God himself, our heavenly Father

            b.  Fatherhood has its own set of pressures and challenges

                        - This is nothing new

                        - God had his own challenges in fathering his people

                        - Fathers today have many similar challenges

4.   Want to look at a Father in scripture - Jacob

            a.  Jacob is no exception to facing stress and pressure

            b.  Many of his pressures as a fathers are still the same as today

            c.  Look at some of the pressures he faced


I.  Pressure of past failures

            A.  Jacob in his early life was not exemplary man

            B.  Look at what Jacob was like

                        1.  Jacob's earlier life was anything but exemplary

                                    a.  Jacob took from his brother Esau what belonged to Esau

                                                - Took his birthright (double inheritance for oldest son)

                                                            = Making delicious stew - Gen 25:27f

                                                            = Esau came was starving, wanted food

                                                            = Jacob only give him food if swore birthright

                                                            = Esau did, felt he was going to die if not eat

                                                - Took his blessing - Gen 27

                                                            = Father was blind

                                                            = Dressed up like Esau, went into his Father

                                                            = Father gave him the blessing of the firstborn

                                                            = (Gen 27:34-41) - Esau wanted to kill Jacob

                                    b.  Jacob tricked father in law out of his prosperity - Gen 30

                                                - Made a deal about speckled and spotted sheep

                                                - Jacob gets all the speckled and spotted sheep

                                                - Jacob fixed it to where all newborn sheep would be

                                                  spotted and speckled

                                    c.  Jacob's reputation was that of a schemer, a con-man

                                                - He was always trying to find the best deal

                                                - He didn't have a problem twisting the truth to get it

                                                - He is not the man you want to trust in business deal

                                                - He will con you out of everything

                        2.  Many of us have discovered that our Dads are far from perfect

                                    a.  May be thinking in your mind of some of those things

                                                - Cussed, drank too much, greedy, affair

                                                - Mean to others, prejudice, stubborn, dishonest

                                                - Maybe discovered he had pornography hidden

                                    b.  May not have seen these things as a young child

                                    c.  Somewhere along the way you discover it

                                                - It may have come as a complete shock

                                                - Your view of father shattered

                                                - Maybe become disillusioned, lose respect

                                    d.  What do you do?

                        3.  Be realistic - Everyone has their struggles, even Dads

                                    a.  1 Jn 1 - Reminds us of reality that Christians still can sin

                                    b.  Bible tells us to be gracious, forgiving, and kind

                                    c.  Extend dad some grace

                        4.  Be discerning

                                    a.  Look at the good things from Dad as example to follow

                                    b.  Also recognize shortcomings and learn from them

                                                - You don't have to repeat Dad's mistakes

                                                - Dads do not want you to repeat their mistakes

            C.  ILL:  Knew someone named Brian growing up, pretty rough kid

                        1.  Used to say he did not want to make same mistakes father did

                                    a.  Said Dad wasn't bad or evil person

                                    b.  But didn't want to repeat patterns

                        2.  Some of the things about his Dad

                                    a.  Rotten with money, many fights were over money

                                    b.  Didn't really connect with the kids

                                    c.  Never finish what he started, including his marriage

                        3.  Brian said he didn't want to be like that

                                    a.  I remember how hard he tried when he got married

                                    b.  Made a lot of mistakes, rocky road at first

                                    c.  Put his wife number one, was attentive

                                    d.  Worked hard, provided a home

                        4.  Passed away not too long ago

                                    a.  People that knew him said he was devoted father

                                    b.  His family was everything to him

            D.  Fathers face pressures of past failures

                        1.  Many fathers have done things they are not proud of

                        2.  (Prov 19:11) - A man's discretion/patience makes him slow to

                              anger/patient, and it is his glory to overlook a transgression

                        3.  Honor our fathers and love them in spite of them


II.  Pressure of providing for families

            A.  Jacob prospered in his years working for his father in law

                        1.  Gen 30:43 - Says he became "exceedingly" prosperous

                        2.  In other words, he became a wealthy man

                        3.  Finally struck out on his own

                        4.  Able to provide well for his family

            B.  Later, with his children and their families, his clan had over 60 people

                        1.  Jacob was the patriarch, the father of his clan

                        2.  Famine struck the land, and Jacob was responsible for his clan

                                    a.  People were starving and dying

                                    b.  Jacob was desperate for his family

                                    c.  (Gen 42:1-3) - Sent ten of his sons to foreign land for food

                        3.  Fathers face the same type of pressure today

                                    a.  Want to provide security and safety for their family

                                                - Downturn of the economy, layoffs, downsizing

                                                - Makes it harder to make ends meet

                                    b.  That's why Dads often touchy when talking finances

                                                - Want to be able to make ends meet

                                                - They feel responsible to make ends meet

                                                - May feel a sense of failure when there is not enough

                        4.  What can you do?

                                    a.  If at home, appreciate what you do have

                                    b.  Don't complain about not having what others have

                                    c.  Be frugal, sparing, helpful, supportive

                                    d.  If well off financially, then be thankful to father

            C.  ILL: 

                        1.  I remember growing up

                                    a.  We didn't have a lot of what other people had

                                                - Everyone else had cable TV, we didn't

                                                - Others had new fancy cars, we didn't

                                                - We had an Odessy when everyone else had Atari

                                                - Others stayed in motels traveling, we stayed in tents

                                    b.  What we did have we priceless

                                                - Dinner every night together as a family

                                                - Cooking out at our tent together

                                                - Board games and Ice Cream on Friday nights

                                                - A lot of the simple things

                                    c.  I never felt we were underprivileged

                                                - I didn't really understand why a lot of my friends said

                                                  they wished their family were like ours

                                                - A lot of them had more nice things than we did

                                                - What they enjoyed was the family time together

                                    d.  We "usually" were thankful and positive

                        2.  My boys are thankful and positive as well

                                    a.  I lost part of my salary due to financial difficulties

                                                - Was a pretty tight squeeze, almost half salary

                                    b.  Not once did my boys complain about having less

                                                - Some things they couldn't do, but. . .

                                                - We still had roof over our heads

                                                - Still had food on the table

                                                - We had money in savings to get us through

                                    c.  I had to get second job for extra income

                                                - Mostly substituting in public schools

                                                - That has been a blessing

                                    d.  Boys wanted to help - both offered to get jobs

                                                - It wasn't so they could have extra money

                                                - Wanted to help pay bills and help out the family

                                                - I told them no, They were to concentrate on school

                                                - Wanted all their energies focused on school

            D.  Fathers want to provide for their children

                        1.  Acknowledge them for this

                        2.  Don't complain, but be thankful

                        3.  (1 Thess 5:12-13) - Appreciate them


III.  Pressure of being a positive influence

            A.  Jacob wanted to be a positive influence on his children

            B.  Jacob passed on a blessing to his children - Gen 49

                        1.  He curses the things that are bad

                                    a. Reuben - lacks control & will not have preeminence

                                    b. Simeon and Levi - cursed be their anger, it is fierce

                        2.  He give them a blessing to live up to

                                    a. Judah - Brothers shall praise you, scepter not depart from

                                    b. Zebulun - Will be a haven for ships

                                    c.  Dan - Will provide justice for the people

                                    d. Joseph - Though attacked, will remain strong and blessed

                        3.  Christian fathers want to be a positive spiritual influence

                                    a.  Eph 6:4 - Fathers bring children up in discipline and

                                         instruction of the Lord

                                    b.  (Dt 11:18-21) - Fathers want to pass on godliness

                                                - They want children to be successful

                                                - They want children to be godly, righteous, kind

                        4.  Fathers pass so much of this on almost unknowingly

                                    a.  It has been said that faith is more caught than taught

                                    b.  Father's influence is not limited to what he says

                                    c.  Father's influence involves his whole self

            C.  ILL:  Often is just the little things

                        1.  I remember growing up watching Dad interact with us & others

                                    a.  Dad used to read to us kids every night in living room

                                                - Bible Stories

                                                - Would talk about them after reading them

                                    b.  Took me with him on Saturday VBS visitation

                                                - Used to battle a big dog to see Joe with lollipop

                                                - Visited with Joe and his parents with lollipop too

                                                - Started coming to church on bus too

                                                - Said church had "friendly people" - Lot of it was Dad

                                    c.  Went with him when he recruit workers for VBS

                                                - Usually got young people to lead singing for bus

                                                - Kids all liked him and so did parents
                                    d.  May seem like small thing to bring me, but it was huge

                        2.  Remember nightly ritual was tucking our boys in when younger

                                    a.  In the Telgren house, our kids got tacoed or burritoed

                                    b.  A lot of laughing, wrestling around, till calm down

                                    c.  Then talk about the day, then prayer, then sleep

                                    d.  Even when I thought they were too old, said they still

                                         liked it when I did that

                        3.  Gary Smalley & John Trent book some time ago:  The Blessing

                                    a.  Talks about elements of a blessing

                                                - Meaningful Touch

                                                            = Jacob embraced and laid hands on kids

                                                            = May seem like such a small thing

                                                            = I remember Dad praise me with hand on


                                                            = Adds a level of meaning you can't get


                                                - Verbal Affirmation

                                                            = Jacob affirmed his children in their positive


                                                            = A simple, "I am proud of you, well done, or

                                                               even I love you provides powerful blessing

                                                - Attaching Value

                                                            = To bless means to honor, and honor means

                                                                to ascribe value and worth

                                                            = Communicate they are important to us

                                                            = Also communicate they are important to God

                                                - Picture a positive future

                                                            = Jacob picture positive futures for his sons

                                                            = We can affirm their gifts and cast a vision for

                                                               a bright future

                                                            = "You are good with kids, you will make a

                                                               great teacher some day"

                                                - Active Commitment-more than words

                                                            = Blessing is not just limited to words

                                                            = Parent sacrifices for the child, help develop

                                                               their gifts, give them your time, resources...

                        4.  Good fathers take time to consider these things

            D.  Dads want to be positive influence

                        1. Children ought to rise up and call Dad blessed, not just moms

                        2.  That's why the Bible instructs us to honor our fathers & mothers




1.  This morning we honor fathers and the ideal of fatherhood

            a.  For all the pressures fathers face, they are blessed

            b.  Fathers are a reflection of God

            c.  I know Fathers want to be as clear reflection as they can

2.  As we close, remember the ultimate Father is our Heavenly Father

            a.  He is the model for all that is good, beautiful, fitting and right

            b.  He is the model for fatherhood

3.  Our Heavenly Father bent over backwards for his children

            a.  He struggled not with his failures, but with ours

                        - He brought forth children in his image

                        - We didn't live up to his image, but rebelled and fell short

                        - We were separated from him, and twisted to the core of our being

                        - But God didn't abandon us, he provided what we need

            b.  He provides everything we need, physically and spiritually

                        - It wasn't just about providing rain and sun so we can live

                        - It was about restoring us to the holiness, purity, and beauty he

                          created us with

                        - He sacrificed personally to give us what we need

            c.  He provided a positive influence to us

                        - Not just through the prophets

                        - Not just through the written word

                        - Ultimately it was through Jesus Christ

4.  God gave what was most precious, he gave the very best

            a.  Through Jesus, he provided a way to come back to him

            b.  Through Jesus, he provided a way to make things right again

            c.  Through the cross and the empty tomb, he can adopt us as his children

            d.  Are you one of his children?  (inv)