When a father teaches TEN essential lessons to his children they will be a blessing to him, a blessing to their society, and blessed by God. That dad is A NUMBER 10 FATHER. I'm a father. I know of no greater honor or success to acclaim for a man than to say, 'I am a father.'
A Number 10 Father by Delbert Young (Sermon notes) (Listen sermon audio mp3)
Proverbs 1:7; Proverbs 9:10; Proverbs 4:23; Proverbs 4:23; Mark 7:20-21; Proverbs 4:10-11; Proverbs 13:24; Proverbs 10:13; 1 Corinthians 15:33; Proverbs 1:10-15; Proverbs 18:24; Proverbs 6:26; Proverbs 5:18-19; Proverbs 18:22; Proverbs 31:28; Proverbs 4:24; Proverbs 10:21; Proverbs 10:32; Proverbs 10:11; Proverbs 10:18; Proverbs 6:6-11; Proverbs 10:4; Proverbs 3:9-10; Proverbs 3:27-2
I haven't done well at everything in life, but I've done well at being a father and now grandfather. My children love me. My grandchildren love me and it's not because I'm soft and cuddly and easy to manipulate. It's because I was and sometimes am the opposite. I'm dad to my children. I'm Ahdaddy to my oldest two grandchildren and I'm Dodaddy to my youngest two grandchildren. (I think there are truths there.) I'm unique to them all. I'm a man to them all. I'm a leader to them all. I've influenced and continue to influence them all. I'm a father and I know of no greater honor or success to acclaim for a man than to be able to say, "I am a father."
With all this boasting of myself done and behind us, I want to share 10 vital lessons a father should teach his children. If taught, you sir will be "A 10 FATHER." If a child learns from dad these ten things, they will be a blessing to you, society, and they will be blessed by God. Since Proverbs was written by a father to teach his children wisdom, I'll use Proverbs to prove these 10 lessons. Let's get started.
1. TEACH THEM TO FEAR GOD.
Proverbs 1:7 The FEAR OF THE LORD is the BEGINNING of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
Proverbs 9:10 The FEAR OF THE LORD is the BEGINNING of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
For your children to make wise decisions they must fear the Lord. I taught my children the attributes of MY God. I taught my children MY God is powerful, MY God is holy and can't tolerate sin, MY God is omniscient everywhere all the time, MY God is just and fair, MY God is merciful loving to forgive, MY God loves you more than you love you, MY God is gracious giving you all kinds of abilities, MY God orders human history, MY God made the mountains, the seas, and the dry land. In a word, teach your child to reverence the greatness of God.
However, loving and merciful as he is, he will get you. He will discipline you and he not only is right when he does it, but he has the right. He's the ultimate Father. You can't argue. You messed up and you know it. He won't allow your folly/foolishness to "slide." He will punish sin, even yours! I've watched him get some very important people even preachers and presidents. God is way big, way powerful, way fair, and way merciful, but GOD WILL GET YOU! Your child must learn who YOUR God is and they better fear him. If so, your God will become their God.
Connected with fear of God is worship of God. Your child will never rise to who they can be until they realize there is someone much higher and much larger than they. Your child cannot be allowed to worship their own self. Worship must be in correct order. Teach your child to worship God. Teach not only by what you say about worship. Teach by what you do. Do you worship biblically? Do you worship faithfully? Above all my children saw me do, my children watched me worship. They watched me worship every week - hands up, on my knees, shouting to God, dancing before the Lord, etc. They heard me preach, but, they watched me worship. Teach your child to worship. Nothing will bless you more than to be in a church service with them. You look over and they have their hands up and tears streaming. They learned to worship and encounter God from you. How good is that?
2. TEACH THEM TO GUARD THEIR HEART AND MIND.
Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, GUARD YOUR HEART, for it is the wellspring of life.
Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of LIFE.
The heart is a person's ID. It's who you really are and you can't hide from your heart. When something gets into your heart, it becomes a part of you and identifies you. It becomes a part of your mind, purposed will, emotions, thinking, and future. Teach your children to be cautious what they allow into their heart. It determines "life" and life's issues. As a father, you are responsible to teach your children to guard what they allow themselves to believe thus allowing themselves to become. Once it's in the heart it will come out in life. Jesus said it's what comes out that determines the person.
Mark 7:20-21 He went on: "What COMES OUT of a man is what makes him 'unclean.' For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery…
The heart must be protected. The father has the task of assuring the child's mind is programmed with truth, faithfulness, honesty, integrity, loyalty, and love. These guard the heart. Train your child to guard their heart and mind.
3. TEACH THEM TO OBEY THEIR PARENTS.
Proverbs 4:10-11 Listen, my son, ACCEPT WHAT I SAY, and the years of your life will be many. I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths.
Length of life is associated with obeying parents. Too frequently children do not simply "accept what" parents say. You father, must discipline. If you love your child you discipline them.
Proverbs 13:24 Those who spare the rod hate their children, but those who love them are diligent to discipline them.
Proverbs 10:13 Wisdom is found on the lips of the discerning, but a rod is for the back of him who lacks judgment.
When your child doesn't do what you instructed be quick to use a rod. It's your duty dad. Teach your children to obey. If they will not obey you, they will never obey the Lord. If they learn to obey their parents, they will learn to obey God. A disobedient child often becomes a spiritual and social disaster, and even a criminal adult.
4. TEACH THEM TO SELECT FRIENDS CAREFULLY.
1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character."
Your children cannot rise above their acquaintances. Rarely does a child have the capability to elevate himself beyond the group in which he functions. You have to help them learn to select friends and not let them select him.
Proverbs 1:10-15 My son, IF SINNERS ENTICE YOU, do not give in to them. If they say, "Come along with us; let's lie in wait for someone's blood, let's waylay some harmless soul; let's swallow them alive, like the grave, and whole, like those who go down to the pit; we will get all sorts of valuable things and fill our houses with plunder; throw in your lot with us, and we will share a common purse" - MY SON, DO NOT GO ALONG WITH THEM, DO NOT SET FOOT ON THEIR PATHS
Here's peer pressure appealing to your child. Teach them to not get sucked into a gang. Tremendous peer pressure is put upon your children to conform to the standard of conduct of the people around them. Teach them to select friends who set upward, not downward, peer pressure. Teach them to select and not be selected.
Proverbs 18:24 A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
A man who wants a lot of friends and be everybody's buddy is going to be in trouble. It's better to have a deep friend, a loving friend who lifts you and holds you accountable. Better a few of the right kind of friendships than a lot of the wrong kind. Fathers, teach your children how to select their friends.
5. TEACH THEM SEXUAL RESPONSIBILITY.
Proverbs 6:26 For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life.
Your children are going to develop passions that can lead them into tragedy upon tragedy unless they learn how to control their body and their physical desires. Teach them to never get into comprising situations. Keep their hands to themselves. Boys, stay away from loose easy girls. Girls, run from boys like that. Teach your child if they guard their purity they will be proud of themselves and blessed by God.
6. TEACH THEM TO CAUTIOUSLY SELECT AND THEN ENJOY THEIR SPOUSE.
Proverbs 5:18-19 May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer - may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be captivated by her love.
While sexual relationships are forbidden prior to marriage, it is exalted afterwards. Pure drinking water was both rare and precious in those days. If a person had a fountain on their property, they were blessed. Correct selection of a spouse is precious and, in our day, seems rare. Father, teach your children how to select their spouse and teach how to enjoy their spouse by the way you treat your wife.
Teach your children finding the correct spouse is good and brings God's favor.
Proverbs 18:22 He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD.
Teach them a spouse, especially one who works hard and loves and cares for their family, is precious and should be praised.
Proverbs 31:28 Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and HE PRAISES HER
Teach your children the beauty and the wonder and the blessed gift a spouse is. Father, teach them to enjoy their spouse.
7. TEACH THEM TO GUARD THEIR MOUTH.
Proverbs 4:24 Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
Many of us struggle today with profanity slipping out because our fathers used it. Once perverse language gets inside, it's difficult to get out. The same goes for negative talk, speaking lies, deceit, etc.
Proverbs 10:21 The lips of the righteous nourish many, but fools die for lack of judgment.
Proverbs 10:32 The lips of the righteous know what is fitting, but the mouth of the wicked only what is perverse.
Teach your children to use their words to bring healing and deliverance.
Proverbs 10:11 THE MOUTH OF THE RIGHTEOUS IS A FOUNTAIN OF LIFE, but violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked.
Proverbs 10:18 He who conceals his hatred has lying lips, and whoever spreads slander is a fool.
What a contrast! Your child's words will be to them a fountain of life, or a fountain of violence. Don't allow them speak hate or slander. Teach your children to guard their mouth.
8. TEACH THEM TO PURSUE WORK.
Proverbs 6:6-11 Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest - and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.
Teach your children how to work without a boss around, even an ant does that. People will work if you stand there with a whip. The issue is will they if you don't? They're going to have to self-motivate to be successful in life. Teach them to work. They also need to be taught how to plan ahead. The ant even knows to prepare its food in the summer anticipating the coming winter. It gathers its provision in the harvest. Teach your children to save. How long will you lie there? When will you arise from your sleep? Get your children up. Don't allow them to become a lazy sluggard.
On the other hand, the man who pursues his work earns a good living and saves and is rewarded for his effort with wealth and respect.
Proverbs 10:4 Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth.
Teach your children to pursue work.
9. TEACH THEM TO MANAGE THEIR MONEY.
Proverbs 3:9-10 Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; THEN your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.
If you are generous with God, he will be generous with you. So honor the Lord with your money. Give from the top from the firstfruits. Teach your children how to give. If you want your children to know the fullness of the blessing of God, teach your children how to give to God generously and first.
One thing I've learned and noticed is people who give to God first are not only blessed. They have a much better grasp on their finances overall. They do well with their money. They save. They pay their bills on time. Teach your children God has given them resources. Use them wisely.
10. TEACH THEM TO HELP THE LESS FORTUNATE.
Proverbs 3:27-28 Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, "Come back later; I'll give it tomorrow" - when you now have it with you.
If you've got the money, give it to help. If you've got the goods, give them to the person in need. Generosity to the poor and meeting the needs of people around you when you have the resources is a part of virtue and integrity. Teach your child to assist the less fortunate.
You have duties as a father. If you fail, father, to teach your children to fear God, the devil will teach them to hate God. If you fail to teach your children to guard their heart and mind, the devil will gladly teach them to defile their heart and mind. If you fail to teach your children to obey their parents, the devil will teach them to rebel and break their parent's heart. If you fail to teach your children how to select their friends, the devil will gladly choose them. If you fail to teach your children to control their body sexually, the devil will teach them to give it over to lust. If you fail to teach your children to carefully select and enjoy their marriage partner, the devil will teach him to destroy their marriage. If you fail to teach your children to guard their mouth, the devil will fill their mouths with filth. If you fail to teach your children to pursue work, the devil will teach them to be lazy. If you fail to teach your children to manage money, the devil will teach them to waste it on riotous living. If you fail to teach your children to help the less fortunate, the devil will gladly teach them to love only themselves. We have a great responsibility as fathers.
I pray you will look back when your children are grown and you have children and grandchildren who adore you and you will be able to say, "I may not have done everything as well as I could, but one thing I did. I am a great father. I am a number 10!"