Jimmy Evans - Every Great Father
It saved me from performance and condemnation and all of that. That's what we'll be talking about. If you turn in your Bibles to Ephesians five, however you read the Bible there, this message is called "Every great father". And I want to talk about fatherhood just an encouraging word just talking about the importance of being a father and things about what the Bible says about it. Ephesians five. This is a text about marriage and very important text beginning many verse 25. "Husband love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her that he might sanctify and washing of water by the word that he might present her to himself a glorious church not having spot or wrinkle but she should be holy and without blemish. So, husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies. No one ever hated their own flesh but nourished it and cherished it".
The role of husband is to be Christlike. Love your wife as Christ loved the church. Beyond your family history, beyond personality, beyond how your friends treat their wives or televisions or movies, husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church. That requires a specific goal we have as husbands to say, "I don't mean to to be a good husband, I want to be a Christ-like husband". Husbands love the wives as Christ loved the church not Jesus loved the church. Jesus was his common name. Christ was his title. And the word Christ means anointed one. Anoint means to smear with oil. That's what it means. Jesus, it says love your wives as the anointed one loves the church. Smeared with oil. There's significance of the word anointing here, twofold significance. First thing it represents if you'll be Christ like husband or father, it represents the glory of God. We anoint them with oil according to the book of James, if we anoint someone with oil we take oil and put it on their head and pray for them. They'll take a horn or flask of oil and put it over their head.
Psalm 133 says, "Oil on the head. Even Aaron's head down on the beard and down on the edge of the garment". They weren't polite about it. They dosed you with oil and the shining represents the glory of God. Here's 1 Corinthians 11 talking about men and women. "For indeed a man ought not cover his head", talking about authority, "Since he is the image and glory of God, the woman is the glory of man". Men are the glory of God, but women are the glory of men. Let me paraphrase that. Men reflect the character of women they choose and women reflect, if a man's God is money, if a man's God is some false God or a man's God is Jesus Christ, they reflect that. Their character reflects that. Women are very sensitive to the character of their husband.
As a young man in his early 20s I was a terrible husband and I didn't like the scripture. I read the scripture one day and thought Karen is not my glory. Karen doesn't reflect my character and Karen always treated me better than I deserved but I didn't get the response from her I was looking for. I thought I was Mr. Wonderful and accidentally married the devil's ex-wife. Who knew. I'm not the problem. She's the problem. Here's what happened. When I changed, the response I never got I got when I changed and became Christ like. Karen, in fact this is what the scripture is saying, there's also a scripture in Proverbs that says children's children are the crown of all children reflect, we should reflect God's character and nature to them. God came to Adam and Eve and put his image on them and commanded them to multiply.
The first responsibility of every father is to be an image bearer to his children. We reflect the image of God to his children. If we do it improperly they reflect that also. Let me tell you what I'm not saying in that. Give you a couple of examples. I'm not saying everything our children do wrong with our fault. Foolishness and children rebel and not every bad thing a child does is the fault of his father or mother but who children ultimately become is more based on their parents than any other thing is what this is saying. Let me give you example of that. He and his wife raised their children wonderfully, great parents. Son in his 20 rebelled and went into very sinful lifestyle. When the son went into the sinful lifestyle he pressured the parents for the lifestyle. They never accepted lifestyle and never rejected their son. They accepted their son and loved their son but wouldn't agree with his lifestyle and prayed for him diligently. Seven eight years later he repented and back with the Lord many years. The family is restored.
Proverbs 22:6 says, "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he's old he'll not depart from it". We train up our children and they str bad days and that's not our fault as parents. Our responsibility is to train them up as good as we can. When they get old, doesn't mean 75. Pray the Lord. It means when they mature. Train up the child in the way they should go. When they go they'll come back to the way you trained them. Others may be 29 or 30. The promise is if you put it in them, God will bring it back to them. Let me give you a couple of examples of children being glory of their father. Paul authored a book faith of the fatherless. And he was an atheist until his 30s and he wondered if there was a psychological connection between atheism and family history. He was an atheist and he was wondering do other atheists have a connection with their past and he discovered famous atheists have one thing in common. Defective relationships with their fathers who are either dead, abusive, weak, absent or abandoned them.
Frederick who coined the phrase God is dead, his father is a pastor and died for his fifth birthday and influenced ad Hillary and Columbine Killers. Despised his Jewish father weak man and perverted and unable to provide for his family. Father died when he was four years old. His father died when he was two years old. John Paul father died when he was 15 months old. A deist hated his father so much he changed his name. What he documents in his book, many atheists will present themselves as intellectuals. I've been reasoning and in my great huge mind I've just reasoned there is no God. They're not intellectuals they're hurting children. He's saying here, the reason they have a problem with God is because they have a problem with their fathers. If you have children or you're a child who had problems with your father or father died, you're not doomed. With our children if there's problems like that, we need to help them forgive their fathers and disassociate human behavior from God's behavior. God is God regardless of who our fathers are. He's showing here in a negative way the children who became atheist for the glory of their fathers in a negative way.
Here's another example. John Edwards, there was a book Ry leased in 1900 called a study in education and heredity... He looked at two men the lives of two men. Jonathan Edwards lived in 18th century and entered Yale College at 12 and graduated with honors and pastor and sermon hands of an angry God... He also became president of Princeton college. In the book, the study of education and heredity, they researched three mayors, 13 presidents, 65 professors, 85 office holders, hundred lawyers, hundred missionaries one couple their descendants. In the same book they also examine, in 1877, 42 different last names all descending. Seven murderers, 60 thieves, 50 women of ill repute. 130 other convicts. 310 paupers who spent years living in poor houses and others ruined by indulgent living and cost the state of New York many millions of dollars. So you can see the power of fathering and mothering in this right here. The power of a parent.
The Bible says the children are our glory. What that means is ultimately who our children become is more dependent on us as parents than anybody else. You can see in the studies right here. There's another thing that anointing represents. It represents the glory of God. It also represents three Old Testament offices that were fulfilled in Jesus. Prophet. Priest and king. Those were the three offices in the Old Testament that were connected with anointing. And Jesus was the ultimate prophet, the ultimate priest, and the ultimate king. Let me talk about these for a minute. A prophet is responsible for accurately and faithfully delivering God's word. Priest intercessors between God and man to solve problems, minister comfort and reconcile relationships. A king was appointed to rule over the people as his representative.
Here's how Jesus fulfilled all three offices as prophet priest and king. As prophet Jesus was incarnate Word of God. Matthew 4, the Word of God is more important than eating and lived the word before us and told us what God had to say. As priest Jesus healed sick people and compassionately did miracles and sacrificed his own life to make things right with God. He still intercedes for us before God and, his authority was different. It was for the benefit of others and not self. So as it relates to being a father here's a summary of weight means to be a prophet, praox'e1epbsd king. A prophet is a man who diligently seeks to hear God's voice and know God's word for the benefit of his family. Includes living a life consistent with scriptural values and it doesn't mean being legalistic. I'm a man of the word. If I'm a prophet to my children and wife, it means I have to be man of the word.
Here's what Ephesians five says. Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her, listen. That he might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word that he might present her to himself a glorious church. Why does Jesus wash us in the word? So that we'll be the glorious church we're supposed to be. Why do we minister? So our children can be who God meant them to be. Sin destroys and Word of God glorifies. Hear o Israel the Lord your God is one the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and all your might and the words I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children. When you walk by the way and lie down and rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and be frontlets between your eyes and write them on the door post of your house and on your gates.
God clearly gives the responsibility of training children to the parents. Training them up in the word. Bind the Word of God on your door of your house. Here's what it means. Everything I do. Everything I think. And everything that comes in my house is based on the Word of God. Parents are the door keepers of the home. See my responsibility of a father is to be the door keeper of my home. Everything that comes into my child's life has to come through me before it comes to them. This is the way I raise my children. Julie our daughter when she was 17 years old she had a boyfriend as much as you can like your daughter's boyfriend. She was okay. Julie broke up with her boyfriend and she was going to go out with another boy we didn't like at all. That night, come here a minute. I heard you broke up with your boyfriend. Yeah, I did that. I heard you were go out with the other boy. Yeah, he asked me out. Over my dead body. You'll never go out with that boy. He's not a good boy. Five minutes later she went back with the other boy. That problem was solved.
There was a story of a boy that went to pick girlfriend up for the first date. Knocked on the door and she came to the door. Because this is our first date, you need to talk to my dad. My dad is back there in the den. Went back there to the den. The father was sitting in the chair holding a baseball bat. And the boy walked in. Hello, sir. Sit down. The boy sat down and he had the rules for dating his daughter written on the baseball bat. The boy sat down and said these are the rules for dating my daughter. You'll have her 10:30 sharp or before. You'll be kind to her and treat her with respect. You'll not take her to bad place. He kept reading the rules. Do you agree with them and keep them? Yes, sir. They went out. Had a good first date.
Next week he came back to pick her up for a second date. Before I go out can I talk to your dad for a minute. He's back there in the den. Can I say something a minute? What? I need to ask a favor from you. My sister has a date tomorrow night and my dad wants to borrow your bat. Yep. Yeah. Bat sales are going up this week I'm predicting. Our son Brent's music entertainment friends everything came through mom and dad. And Brent in his room he had posters, Michael Jordan, just different people like that. I was up in his room one time. He had a sports poster of a guy, a bad guy, very immoral, very rebellious, I said to Brent he's not your role model never. Guys like that are not role models for you. Those guys are great. I took it and threw it away. Some might seem severe for some people.
When I first became a pastor, I was at church one day and my assistant came in my office. Pastor, there's a man on the phone and he's saying there's something evil in the home and he wants you to come get it out. I thought well, that's interesting. Probably wasn't the smartest thing I ever did. I went over there by myself and went up to the door and knocked on the door and came to the door very nice man. Not a believer. I went in the home and wife and children were there. I said there's something evil in your home? There's something evil in our home and we want you to get it out of here. How long has it been here? Two weeks. We've had nightmares. Something bad is happening, something evil is in our home. Do you mind if I walk through your home? No. I walked to the master bedroom and praying in the spirit and didn't sense anything.
I came to the kids bedrooms and they had 14, 15 year old daughter and went into her room and there it was. Hair stood up and she had a poster on her wall evil poster of some, Satanic star on it. All this bad stuff on it. I said honey how long have you had that poster? My friend gave it to me two weeks ago. Would you mind taking it off your wall. We're going to tear it up and throw it away. She took it off the wall. I led the family to the Lord that day. They all came to Jesus. And we prayed. Listen. Unphraox'e1efrs. Unbelievers. We prayed over their home and with them. And they said, it's gone. See. What I said to them, y'all, you're good people. Demons can attach themselves to objects. They can attach themselves to evil pictures or books or taro cards, you know, Ouija boards. You know patriot jerseys.
I snuck up on you on that one. I couldn't wait. Okay. So as men we're prophets of our home. Second is priests. A priest is a man who sensitively and sacrificially meets his child's needs and helps him or her deal with emotional, spiritual, relational issues. Ephesians five. Husbands are to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife, no one hates his flesh but nourish and cherish it. As you take care of your body you take care of your children. The Lord is merciful and gracious. Aren't you glad our God is merciful and gracious? Slow to anger. He'll not always strive with us or keep his anger forever. Nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth so great is his mercy towards those who fear him as far as the east is from the west, so far he has removed our transgressions from us. As a father pities his children. So the Lord pities those who fear him. For he knows our frame. He remembers we are dust. As for man the days are like grass. For the wind passes over it. And it's gone and remembers it no more. But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting on those who fear him, righteousness children's children and remember his commandments and do them.
Being a father is being a pastor. And loving and pastoring our children. This is my weakest area. Natural king lousy priest when the kids were little. We have a sympathetic high priest in Jesus. And we can come boldly to the throne of grace. The word boldly means Frank speech. When the Bible says come boldly before the throne of grace, it means you can say anything to God. He knows what you're going through anyway. Nothing will be a surprise. Let me say it another way. The safest person in your life is Jesus Christ. He is merciful and gracious. He's tempted. You don't want to be around self righteous people. You say the other day I had this thought. Yuck. Let me pray for you. Same thought. You know. We go to Jesus and say, Jesus, I'm going through this. I went through that. I did it successfully but I went through that and know what it's like. We don't have a self righteous God up in heaven looking down his nose at us. We have a friend in heaven named Jesus.
One of our goals Karen and I both one of our goals we wanted to be our children's safe place. They could say anything to us and we wouldn't come down on them. We want you to come and talk to us if you're struggling or done something, we want to be your safe place and we'll minister you through it. Not just an exalted prophet or king and come down on you all the time. We want to love you and pastor you through everything you go through. A king is servant leader of his home and decision making and problem solving without dominance. Jesus is a different kind of a king. The husband is the head of the wife as Christ is head of the church. He's Savior of the body. Just as the church is subject to Christ, let the wives be to their own husbands. Men are not better than women and women aren't better than men. We're equals. They want to be the initiator of home and family. When wives are to be subject to their husbands in everything, don't act without your husband as the church wouldn't act without Jesus. You're partners.
See, Jesus is a wonderful king. No one minds Jesus as their Lord if they know Jesus. He's not a dominator or task master, he's a loving king. Children need rules. Obey your parents in the Lord for this is right. Honor your father and mother this is the first commandment with a promise it may go well with you and you live long in the land. Fathers do not provoke your children to anger but bring them up in discipline in the Lord. Father, do not provoke your children to anger. Non-relational authority. Barking at them. Relationship. Children need a prophet in the home. Someone who seeks out the Word of God. Teaches them the Word of God. They need a priests who loves them and ministers to them and affectionate with them and needs a king. Someone who brings structure in the home and someone that keeps order in the home.
Let me tell you about overcoming with these. And the first is every man has an Inn Kreu inclination, I'm a natural king. Easy for me to be the boss. It was natural. If you're a king but not a priest you can be sensitive and demanding. Most men are good at one or the other but not all three. Brent was four and Julie was seven and Brent was acting up and photographer told us what to do and Brent wouldn't do it. I said do what she says. He gave me a look like we're in public and you're not the boss right now. We had wooden spoon with flowers on it with spanked the kids with. I said do you have the spoon? Yes. Can I use that room right over there? He said yeah. Come on, Brent.
I pulled Brent in there and gave him swats on his bottom and took him on my lap and told him I forgave him and loved on him. That's the way we disciplined. Not the only form of discipline but sometimes we spank that's how we did it. Large enough to hurt his feelings. I want you to apologize to the photographer. You've been disrespectful. This photographer and said I've done this for 35 years and I want to say, thank you. Can you imagine what that man had been through? I was a prophet to Brent. I was telling him to respect authority. I was a priest to Brent. I forgave him and loved him and gave him affection. I was a king to Brent who brought structure in his life. Our children need all three.
Let me talk about how to become all three. First admit what you are not. Probably something doesn't come natural to you. Maybe personally or because of your background. I'm not good at this. The second thing to become all three is forgive our dad's. If they weren't very good and break the iniquity. The tendency towards a king. My dad was a natural king. Never part of our life in any way. I broke that iniquity. I forgave my father and he became a wonderful man once I accepted Christ. Forgave him. I broke the iniquity over my life of being a distracted man and not loving my children properly, the third is, submit to the Holy Spirit and ask him to help you.
John 16:13, the Holy Spirit will lead you into all truth. Whatever you're needing, the Holy Spirit will help you become what you're not. Ask your wife to o help you. Go to your wife and say, honey, prophet, priest, king, where do you think I'm good or bad. You know she'll tell you the truth. Karen has always been very good for me, helping me know, Jimmy the kids are hurting and this is what they need from you. Women are so sensitive and incredibly relational and help to every one. Find godly male role models to help you. I struggled. My heart wasn't turned towards my children. I hate to say that, but it wasn't. I wasn't a very good father. Tom Lane helped me more than anyone else. We were best friends 40 years. When our kids were very little.
I remember watching Tom and he was the best priest as a father I had ever seen. I never seen anyone love his children the way Tom loved his children, affection and attention and just being so sensitive to them. It put me under conviction. It also helped me. And it gave, women learn by talking to each other. Men learn by watching each other. And when you find a man who is better in an area than you, watch him. Talk to him. Those are some of the ways you can be a better father. Let me say this. Thank God for fathers and power of fathers. Our children are our glory. We need to remember that. They're reflecting back to us what we're doing and who we are and what they need is a Christ-like father in the home that's a prophet, priest and king. And when we are those kind of fathers and those kind of men, our wives and our children will flourish because we become Christlike.