This is how a man is happy - Males produce children, but what does a father produce? The husband is the giver. The woman is the receiver. The offspring, children, are the product of the husband giving and the wife receiving.
THIS IS HOW A MAN IS HAPPY - (sermon notes) (listen sermon audio mp3)
Scriptures: Psalms 128:1-6, Hosea 4:6, Psalms 128:1, Psalm 128:2, Psalm 128:3, Psalm 128:3, Psalm 45:7, Psalms 128:6, Psalm 128:4, Ephesians 5:25, Ephesians 6:4, John 3:16, Galatians 1:4, Galatians 2:20, Ephesians 4:8, Ephesians 4:11, 1 Timothy 2:6, Titus 2:14, Ephesians 5:25, Ephesians 5:25, Luke 6:38, Ephesians 6:4, Psalms 128:4, Revelation 1:5, Luke 20:27-40, 1 Peter 1:3-4
Today is Father's Day. It is the day that we set apart to honor and remember our fathers. We all had a biological father, but I pray that you actually had someone who fathered you. A father is not that easy to come by. My Father was a gentle loving man –a high Ox temperament for those of you who know what I am talking about. He loved my mother and he loved my sister and me. It is great to be blessed with a father. If your father is alive, make certain that you visit or at least give him a call today. Even if he was more of a sire than a father, your properly honoring him is as much for your wellbeing and peace as it is for him.
We knew we would be in our series that we have titled BUILDING A HOME OR A HELL on Father's Day, so we arranged the lessons so that we would be talking about the man of the house today. I have a question for you. WHAT ACTUALLY MAKES A FATHER? Jesus said you can know a tree by its fruit (Mat 7:19). MALES CAN PRODUCE CHILDREN, BUT WHAT DOES A FATHER PRODUCE?
I shared about my experience in Wal-Mart a few weeks ago. Something continually took place that I could not ignore. No less than five times in about fifteen minutes, I observed men actually gently and lovingly taking care of the children. I watched them putting the children in the shopping carts, carrying them in the baby carriers, holding their hands shopping, etc. I watched men actually becoming fathers. Over the past six years, I have gotten to sit back and watch my son-in-law becoming a wonderful father to his son. I sit in awe as I watch my son every day becoming a wonderful father to his son. It is a joy to watch. I get to watch some of you young dads in our congregation lovingly care for your children. My point is that something wonderful is happening in our society. MEN ARE BECOMING FATHERS AND BECAUSE OF THAT, HOUSES ARE BECOMING HOMES.
Psalms 128:1-6 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.
Verse 1 speaks of the people that WALK IN THE WAYS OF THE LORD. They are HAPPY. Their home is blessedand FRUITFUL. This is in contrast to the people we read about in Hosea 4:6 who are destroyed because they ignore the ways of their God.
[Hosea 4:6] my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. "Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law [ways] of your God, I also will ignore your children.
Men negatively affect their children and homes by ignoring the ways of God. Dads, do not ignore – be ig-nor-ant – of the ways of God. No good thing can happen by rejecting his knowledge.
Psalms 128:1 BLESSED is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways.
The Hebrew word translated blessed in Psalm 128:1 is 'esher (Strong's #0835) and means happiness, how happy! It is talking about extreme happiness.
Psalm 128:2 …HAPPY SHALT THOU BE, and it shall be well with thee.
How happy should a man be? Dad, how happy should you be? Do you deserve happiness or just want happiness. We earn long-term extreme happiness. It does not just happen. Dad, the Bible says that if your home is not extremely happy and a place of happiness, then something is wrong. There is some knowledge lacking or perhaps rejected. I am a happy man. I am happy 99.9% of the time. I am always laughing and always smiling. Have you ever noticed that people who live their lives according to the ways of the Lord are nearly always happy? THUS SHALL THE MAN BE BLESSED.
A MAJOR PART OF A MAN'S HAPPINESS IS DETERMINED BY HIS WIFE.
Psalm 128:3 THY WIFE shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house:
The picture is a productive abundant grape vine attached to the house. The Bible teaches us in word images. The picture is a vine producing grapes for fine wine to make the heart glad (Psa 104:15). It is not a picture of your wife stuck to the side of your house with grapes hanging from her arms and legs. It is a picture of a wife who intoxicates her husband with happiness. She is like a fine wine of which the man can drink in and experience happiness of body, soul, and spirit. She goes through life attached to the man and the children bringing them joy and happiness.
When the home is WALKING IN THE WAYS OF THE LORD, the man or the children can come home from a horrific day and his wife can somehow fix it and make them happy. As a refreshing drink on a hot summer day, she can say and do just the right things and happiness returns. THUS SHALL THE MAN BE BLESSED.
A MAN'S CHILDREN ALSO HAVE A LOT TO DO WITH HIS HAPPINESS.
Psalm 128:3 ...THY CHILDREN like olive plants round about thy table.
We are given another word image of olive trees. My research found that "The average life expectancy of an olive tree is 300-600 years." An article by Clarence H. Wagner, Jr. says, "The trees were always plentiful around the countryside and are known for their tenacity. They grow in almost any condition: on terraced hills or in valleys, in rocky or fertile soil. They can thrive in great heat with a minimum of water, and are virtually indestructible. Some grow from root systems 2,000 years old…" The imagery is happy, healthy, children that deal well with life's adversities and live long productive lives. Of course, the olive tree also produced olive oil, which people used for cooking, medicinal purposes, and for anointing.
PSA 45:7 …thy God, hath anointed thee with THE OIL OF GLADNESS above thy fellows.
The happy man, who walks in the ways of the Lord, has children who actually add to the happiness of the home. Our children (my wife and me) always have and continue to bring happiness to our home. In fact, they are our home. I cannot imagine life without them. How sad it is when this is not the case. THUS SHALL THE MAN BE BLESSED.
[Psalms 128:6] Yea, thou shalt SEE THY CHILDREN'S CHILDREN…
I realize that many of you have not gotten to this place in your life yet, but let me tell you, it is a blessing that gives extreme happiness. And all the grandparents said…! When those little lives love you, it is happiness beyond words.
Psalm 128:4 Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed…
This is the way it is with the blessed man that directs his home according to THE WAYS OF THE LORD. He has a wife that he can drink in who brings him happiness. He has children that bring happiness and are an anointing, not a shame, to him. He has grandchildren that he loves to see. He is an extremely happy man.
I WANT TO TALK NOW ABOUT WHAT I BELIEVE IS THE MAJOR CHALLENGE a man faces when it comes to the home. Over the years and through personal experience, I have learned that the man of the house actually establishes the environment of the home. I know that we men want to blame the woman for that, but, if that is the case, then we men have cowered down and are not doing our jobs in leading the home.
Let me show you what I mean. Everything can be at peace at home. The children can be playing and laughing. The wife can be watching the children and working. Then dad comes home. What happens in your house when this happens? When the man walks in the door, is it like a cool summer breeze or an arctic winter blast? Does the peaceful sunny atmosphere suddenly become icy and explosive because dad is home, or does the atmosphere get even better because dad is home? Winter weather will not grow happy wonderful children (olive trees). Winter weather will not grow a happy loving wife (fruitful vine). Winter weather will not produce a happy home. The atmosphere of the home must consistently be spring and summer. That is not to say that there will never be some winter times. However, I do know that winter does not last all year and I also know that spring follows winter.
What I want to show you in these next few minutes is that it is the husband's responsibility to set the correct atmosphere that will bring happiness.
THERE IS A PRINCIPLE WOVEN INTO CREATION. The husband is the giver. The woman is the receiver. The offspring – children – are the product of the husband giving and the wife receiving. There is no place in scripture that shows the woman being the primary giver. She is not the primary giver of the atmosphere of the home. The wife receives the atmosphere given her by the man and gives it back to him GOOD MEASURE PRESSED DOWN AND SHAKEN TOGETHER AND RUNNING OVER.
The man is the giver. This is obvious by looking at how God physically created us. God physically designed the man to give. God physically designed the woman to receive.
Creation shows that the man gave a rib and was given back a woman. Man gave the woman a seed and the woman gave the man a child. It is the man who gives. The woman will receive and always give something back. The husband will give the atmosphere to his family. The wife and children will give him back happiness that will last, or they will give him back a hell.
In many homes today it goes something like this: The man comes home tired and projecting "I have worked all day. GIVE ME my chair. GIVE ME quiet (Children go to your rooms). GIVE ME food. GIVE ME the remote control. GIVE ME… GIVE ME… GIVE ME…" This sets the atmosphere in the home. Men develop a "Give me… It's all about me" attitude. Then we wonder why our homes are a hell, our wife does not make us happy, our children are problems and in rebellion, and we do not even want to see our grandchildren. A man might say, "Well, the Bible says that the man's home is his castle, right?" Nope, that is not in the Bible. They might say, "Well, she is supposed to reverence me and submit to me. These children are supposed to obey me." Those are correct, but only after you GIVE them proper love and proper DISCIPLINE and INSTRUCTION.
[Ephesians 5:25] Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and GAVE himself up for her
[Ephesians 6:4] And now a word to you fathers. Don't make your children angry by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the DISCIPLINE AND INSTRUCTION approved by the Lord. (NLT)
The "serve me, give me, obey me" attitude is not godly.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that HE GAVE his only begotten Son…
Galatians 1:4 Who GAVE HIMSELF for our sins…
Galatians 2:20 …I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and GAVE HIMSELF for me.
Ephesians 4:8 …He led captivity captive, and GAVE gifts unto men.
Ephesians 4:11 And HE GAVE some apostles; and some prophets; and some evangelists…
1 Timothy 2:6 Who GAVE HIMSELF a ransom for all…
Titus 2:14 Who GAVE HIMSELF for us…
Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church and GAVE HIMSELF for it
The way of a father is to give. The heavenly Father gave. The Lord Jesus gave. Husbands are to love their wives and children by giving. We guys are givers. God created us and designed us to give. Like it or not, we GIVE the atmosphere of our home. When we guys kick into this receiving mode, a role reversal is taking place. We are, in a way, becoming like the woman.
WHAT DO HUSBANDS AND FATHERS GIVE?
Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and GAVE HIMSELF for it.
I know that wives enjoy flowers, chocolate, and cards. However husband, what she really wants is you. Jesus gave the church all kinds of gifts, but the way he loved her was by giving HIMSELF. Your wife needs you to GIVE HER time – some of your best time. She needs you to GIVE HER attention by her knowing that you are really listening. She needs you to GIVE HER children love. She needs you to GIVE her children proper discipline and instruction. She needs you to GIVE HER appreciation for the clean house and good suppers or for working at a job if that is the case. If you will, she will give you back a happy home – good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over with happiness.
[Luke 6:38] If you GIVE, you will RECEIVE. Your gift will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in GIVING - large or small - it will be used to measure what is given back to you." (NLT)
It is Father's Day and I want to spend our last minutes talking specifically about Fathers. I asked earlier, "Males can produce children, but what does a father produce?" By definition, the primary thing that a father will produce is wonderful, loving, successful, and godly children. As a giver, what does a father GIVE his children? Let's allow the Bible to answer that.
[Ephesians 6:4] And now a word to you fathers. Don't make your children angry by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the DISCIPLINE and INSTRUCTION APPROVED BY THE LORD. (NLT)
To be a real father, you must GIVE your children proper discipline that is APPROVED BY THE LORD. How do you discipline your children? Is it the way the Lord would do it? Or, do you get mad and explode? You have just set the atmosphere of your home. You need to find the ways of the Lord concerning discipline and then, using wisdom, apply those ways.
The other thing that Ephesians 6:4 says that a father will GIVE is INSTRUCTION to the children that is APPROVED BY THE LORD. You can only properly instruct your children by spending quality alone time with them. You can TELL THEM to do something a hundred times, but that is not instruction. That is giving orders. So, HOW MUCH QUALITY ALONE TIME DO YOU ACTUALLY SPEND WITH YOUR CHILDREN? That was what actually impressed me with my Wal-Mart experience that I mentioned at the beginning – loving fathers actually spending quality alone time with their children.
So, my friend, are you WALKING IN THE WAYS OF THE LORD with a happy and blessed wife that gives you happiness to drink? Are your children happy, obedient, and producing the oil of gladness for you? Are your grandchildren a joy that you love to see? Please do not ignore – ig-nor-ant – the ways of your God. Be the GIVER that God created you to be and GIVE the atmosphere in the home that brings happiness. Whatever you are giving is what you are receiving back good measure pressed down shaken together so that you can receive more of it, and running over.
[Psalms 128:4] BEHOLD, THAT THUS SHALL THE MAN BE BLESSED…
THIS IS HOW A MAN IS HAPPY!
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