Sermon Extra – God’s Call On Men

June 13, 2011 at 5:15 am Leave a comment


In 1994, some Swiss researchers conducted a survey on how the worship habits of parents influence their children.  The results were striking.  These researchers found that if both a father and mother attend church regularly, 33% of their children will grow up to attend church regularly, while 41% will grow up to attend irregularly.  Sadly, a quarter of their children will grow up not practicing their Christian faith at all.  These researchers further found that if a father does not attend church while a mother regularly attends church, only 2% of their children will subsequently become regular attenders themselves, while 37% will become irregular attenders.  Over 60% of these children will grow up and not attend church at all.

Now, here comes the shocking statistic.  If a father is a regular churchgoer, but a mother does not attend church, 44% of these children will grow up to attend church regularly.  That’s eleven percentage points higher than if a father and mother attend church regularly together!  All told, between two-thirds and three-fourths of children with faithful fathers will attend church, be that regularly or irregularly.[1]

Clearly, a father’s role as a spiritual leader is vital to the spiritual health of his family.  It is important to note that this does not in any way disparage or diminish the role ladies play in their families.  I know many ladies who, in spite of their husbands’ lack of commitment to things spiritual, labor extensively and faithfully to teach their children about Jesus and His Gospel.  I praise God for such women and trust that the Holy Spirit will use these ladies’ efforts to instill strong and lasting faith in the hearts of their children.  These statistics do, however, reinforce the call and commission of Scripture that a father is called to be a strong, spiritual leader of his family (cf. Ephesians 5:22-6:4).  Sadly, far too many men are derelict in this duty.  And if these statistics are any indication, the results of such dereliction are disastrous.  This blog, then, is meant to be a reminder to men of their God-given role!

As I discussed in my message on Sunday, there are many sirens of sin which entice men away from their role as the spiritual leader of their families.  The apostle Paul discusses some of the temptations that men – and all people, for that matter – struggle against:  “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like” (Galatians 5:19-21).  How many men have fallen and failed as leaders because they have given in to temptations like sexual immorality or drunkenness or selfish ambition?  Far too many.

So how does Paul tell men to war against such sinful temptations so they can lead their families faithfully?  Does he tell them to try harder?  Or work longer?  Or fight fiercer?  No.  Instead, fully aware that no man, no matter how macho, is strong enough to resist the allures of the sinful nature, Paul continues:  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Ephesians 5:22-23).  Paul calls upon God’s Spirit to produce the fruit of righteousness in and through men.  For men cannot produce this fruit themselves.  Instead, they will fall into sin every time.  It is interesting to note that while Paul speaks of the “acts of the sinful nature” in verse 19, he speaks of the “fruit of the Spirit” in verse 22.  Sinful is how we act.  Righteousness is the fruit the Spirit produces in us and through us.

So to the gentlemen, I would say this:  Remember the call God has given you to be the spiritual leaders of your household.  But do not try to carry out God’s call on you through your own efforts and with your own strength.  You will fall and fail every time.  Instead, implore the Spirit to produce in you and through you His fruit of righteousness.  For this fruit will be a blessing to you…and to your family.  And why would you want anything less for those you love most?

Want to learn more on this passage? Go to
www.ConcordiaLutheranChurch.com
and check out audio and video from Pastor Zach’s
message or Pastor Krueger’s ABC!


[1] Robbie Low, “The Truth About Men and Church,” Touchstone Magazine (June 2003).

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