Ephesians 6_ 1-4      Authority, Obedience & Dad

Rev. David Holwick  V                                         FATHERS DAY

First Baptist Church

Ledgewood, New Jersey

June 16, 1991

Ephesians 6:1-4


  I. Attitude toward authority has changed in our society.

      A. "Desert Storm" parade in New York City, thousands cheer troops.

          1) Anti-war demonstrations, sit-ins, during my youth.

      B. Similar changes in attitudes toward fathers, reflected in TV.

             1950's and "Father Knows Best."

                Good-natured, somewhat aloof, unaware.

             1970's and "All In The Family."

                Bumbling and bigoted.

             1990's and "Married With Children."  (or "The Simpsons")

                Lazy oaf.                                           #???

          1) In many of these programs, kids have wisdom and upper hand.

          2) Fathers are laughable.

II. The duty of a child:  Honor your father by submitting to him.

      A. Reasons why we should honor our fathers:

          1) God tells us to.

              a) Submission to fathers is similar to submission to God.

          2) It makes sense.

              a) Fathers have accumulated wisdom over the years.

                  1> Mark Twain and amazement at how much his father

                        learned between Twain's 15th and 21st year.

                  2> Children can learn much from a father.

                      A> Moses and passing on of spiritual truth.

              b) A long life is promised - Ten Commandments.   Deut 5:16

      B. How should children honor their fathers?

          1) Obey out of love, not fear.

          2) Show respect for father.

              a) Even takes precedence over "religious" devotion.

          3) Taking care of father in old age.            1 Tim 5:8

III. The duty of a father:  Be worthy of honor and authority.

      A. Families need a strong leader.

          1) Problems result when a father abdicates his responsibility.

          2) David and Adonijah.       1 Kings 1:6

      B. Discipline is necessary to maintain authority.

          1) Hebrews 12:7-11

              a) Discipline shows you care.              Heb 12:8

              b) Discipline is hard, but bears lasting fruit.

          2) The positive influence of a father's authority.

          Dobson's dentist illustration.

          In the absence of parental leadership, some children become

             extremely obnoxious and defiant, especially in public places.

          Perhaps the best example was a ten-year-old boy named Robert,

             who was a patient of my good friend Dr. William Slonecker.

          The Doctor said his pediatric staff dreaded the days when

             Robert was scheduled for an office visit.

          He literally attacked the clinic, grabbing instruments and

             files and telephones.

          His passive mother could do little more than shake her head in


          During one physical examination, Dr. Slonecker observed severe

             cavities in Robert's teeth and knew the boy must be referred

                to a local dentist.

          But who would be given the honor?

          A referral like Robert could mean the end of a professional


          Dr. Slonecker eventually decided to send him to an older dentist

             who reportedly understood children.

          The confrontation that followed now stands as one of the classic

             moments in the history of human conflict.

          Robert arrived in the dental office, prepared for battle.

          "Get in the chair, young man," said the doctor.

             "No chance!" replied the boy.

          "Son, I told you to climb onto the chair, and that's what I

             intend for you to do," said the dentist.

          Robert stared at his opponent for a moment and then replied,

            "If you make me get in that chair, I will take off my clothes."

          The dentist calmly said, "Son, take'em off."

          The boy forthwith removed his shirt, undershirt, shoes, and

             socks, and then looked up in defiance.

          "All right, son," said the dentist. "Now get on the chair".

          "You didn't hear me," sputtered Robert.  "I said if you make

             me get on that chair, I will take off all my clothes."

          "Son, take'em off," replied the man.

          Robert proceeded to remove his pants and shorts, finally

             standing totally naked before the dentist and his assistant.

          "Now, son, get in the chair," said the doctor.

          Robert did as he was told, and sat cooperatively through the

             entire procedure.

          When the cavities were drilled and filled, he was instructed to

             step down from the chair.

          "Give me my clothes now," said the boy.

             "I'm sorry," replied the dentist.

          "Tell your mother that we're going to keep your clothes tonight.

             She can pick them up tomorrow.

          Can you comprehend the shock Robert's mother received when the

             door to the waiting room opened, and there stood her pink son,

                as naked as the day he was born?

          The room was filled with patients, but Robert and his mom walked

             past them and into the hall.

          They went down a public elevator and into the parking lot,

             ignoring the snickers of onlookers.

          The next day, Robert's mother returned to retrieve his clothes,

             and asked to have a word with the dentist.

          However, she did not come to protest.  These were her sentiments:

             "You don't know how much I appreciate what happened here


              You see, Robert has been blackmailing me about his clothes

                 for years.

              Whenever we are in a public place, such as a grocery store,

                 he makes unreasonable demands of me.

              If I don't immediately buy him what he wants, he threatens

                 to take off all his clothes.

          You are the first person who had called his bluff, doctor, and

             the impact on Robert has been incredible."


      C. How to discipline your children.

          1) Don't be harsh.               Eph 6:4

             A 1988 article on Seattle Supersonics basketball forward

                Tom Chambers revealed him as an unhappy man.

             It was due to the harsh attitudes of his father.

             Tom never felt he measured up, even when winning.

                Tom was always scowling.                       #856

          2) Your life sets an example for them.            1 Cor 4:15-16

          3) Encourage and comfort.                       1 Thess 2:10-12

              a) Fathers can have a tremendous impact on their kids.

                 Scientific studies have found that fathers tend to be

                    more playful and physical with their children.

                 Girls are higher achievers when their fathers encourage


                 Even babies are more aware of their fathers than

                    previously thought.

                                                  #514, Newsweek, 12/19/88

IV. Fathers are models of God to their family.

      A. Fathers want to give good things to their children.  Matt 7:9

      B. Be an example of faith to your family, like Abraham.  Rom 4

  V. The limits of authority.

      A. Jesus - earthly fathers reflect God, but aren't perfect like him.

          1) Some fathers fall far short, abuse authority.

          2) What if Dad forbids you to come to youth group?

      B. Other relationships have a bearing.

          1) Marriage in some sense separates us from parents.  Eph 5:31

          2) Yet relationship continues.

              a) Examples of biblical men who obeyed fathers.

      C. Ultimately, all authority belongs to God alone.

          1) Put trust in your Heavenly Father.

Copyright 2017 by Rev. David Holwick

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