One Perfect Father

Do You Struggle With The Challenges of Fatherhood?

Tim Lundy
Jun 16, 2019    45m
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In today's message, we will explore the various challenges that fathers face in our world. Our Lord Father is the only perfect father but we can all become better fathers. Join us on this Father's Day to learn how you can be a better father. Video recorded at Los Gatos, California.

Transcription
messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Tim Lundy (00:00):
Well, good morning, Venture. Happy Father's Day. It is good to be able to celebrate, to be a church family together today. I love Father's Day. The joy that my kids have brought into my life, the joy of being a father of seven kids, and with seven and now a grandson who's one year old and the joy of that. In a way, you know, being a grandparent's a little bit easier. You know? You just kind of hand them over for the hard stuff. So, I'm really liking that part while we're in the middle of parenting. But you know, kids will stretch you. They grow you. They bring just a gift into your life. And I can look at each of our kids and each of them have blessed my life in so many ways. They will force you to pray more really well. They'll force you to the end of yourselves in ways that you didn't know. They are very, very expensive.

Tim Lundy (00:56):
They just are. In fact, I saw a study, an economist said to raise a kid, it's somewhere for each child around $240,000 to $260,000. And I don't think those are Bay Area prices. Those are national prices. So I always look at all my kids and I think that that's my fleet of Ferrari's right there. Right there. I could have the Ferrari's, but I'd be a lot poorer for it. And so I would encourage you, especially if you're young, you're thinking about kids, there's never enough money to have them. It's always a great time to have them. Don't be scared of it. It's one of the greatest joys in life. Father's Day could also be challenging. Maybe today you're missing your dad or maybe today you grew up without a dad. I lost my dad when I was six years old. Maybe today brings out some of those wounds.

Tim Lundy (01:47):
It's great day for all of us to be thankful for the men who have invested in our life. And now publicly, I want to thank my father-in-law Kent Gieselmann for fathering me for the last 30 years. He has been a father and a great leader of our family. And I would encourage you, if you've got somebody that has invested in your life whether they're your dad or not, today's a great day to reach out to them. You know, today I've entitled the message One Perfect Father, only one perfect father. And that's God who chooses to relate to us as Father. And so as we address men today and we're looking at no perfect family and some of the challenges we face as men, I want us to keep that in mind, that God is our Father there. He's the only perfect father and even His kids rebelled.

Tim Lundy (02:36):
And so there's no formula for perfect fatherhood that guarantees, oh man, kids won't rebel. Because God, as a gracious Father, gave us a freewill and your kids have them too. But there are key challenges that all of us as men, all of us as fathers face. And I think we can learn from our Heavenly Father and we can learn together how do we step into this better? Not perfect, but better. If you look in your notes, I've just identified three major challenges, fatherhood challenges today, some of them in our country, some of them in our lives. The first one is a father's presence. A father's presence. Literally, is he present in the home? Is he there? And I say this because we're growing as a country, as a people where dads are not there. The stats keep growing. In fact, 43% of the households today with children in them in the United States are fatherless households, 43%.

Tim Lundy (03:38):
And those households where it's being led by somebody under the age of 30, that's 60%. it's actually growing more. And as you look at that, where a child does not have a father in his life, literally a fatherless child. And I'm not talking about some of you have experienced divorce and you're making the best of it, of being invested in that. But you look at the national stats of fatherless youth. Listen to some of them, 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes. 90% of all homeless and runaway children, fatherless homes. 85% of those who have behavior disorders, fatherless homes. 71% of high school dropouts, fatherless homes. On the flip side of it, children with fathers who are involved in their lives are 40% less likely to repeat a grade in school, 70% less likely to ever drop out of school. In fact, as they surveyed schools, teachers, principals, the impact of a father who's actually involved, it raises grade level and extracurricular activity among students in a school.

Tim Lundy (04:50):
So you look at those stats, but then you look at the national trend of how it's growing. And I think one of the key indicators, you know, it's always been interesting to me in Scripture, in Malachi, Malachi 4:6 is the last verse of the Old Testament. It's before God will go silent for 400 years. It's a difficult time in the nation of Israel. And one of the things that God points to is He said a prophet's coming like Elijah who's going to prepare the way for the Savior who would come. He's pointing to John the Baptist, pointing to the revival that will come to Israel, but also to the world through Christ. And one of the promises of that, it's the very last verse of Malachi 4:6, is that when this prophet comes, one of the ways you'll see it, the impact of this Savior and the change is He'll turn the hearts of fathers toward their children and children toward their fathers, lest the land experience judgment. Isn't that a powerful picture?

Tim Lundy (05:54):
One of the things that happens when God grabs a hold of a people, when God grabs a hold of a life and a culture is it turns fathers back toward their homes, back toward their kids. But one of the greatest judgements that can happen in a culture and a people in a country is when you see that break. That's why it's so important as a church I think that we speak into the lives of men, that we encourage fathers, that we come alongside where maybe there's brokenness, maybe there's been divorced, maybe it's not what you wanted it to be, but you still, according to God's Word, we go, hey, how do we turn back toward our kids? How do we invest in their lives? How do we be there? When we talk about a father's presence, it's not just physically being present in the home.

Tim Lundy (06:41):
It's also emotionally, socially, spiritually being present. It's easy to be there and not be there. And this is convicting for all of us. You know, John Trent tells a story of he was on a cruise and as he's sitting there eating breakfast, he heard the breakfast table right next to him, a mother and the 10-year-old son talking. The 10-year-old boy said, why did he even come? And the mother said, your father's a busy man. He paid for this cruise for us. And he's here. The little boy goes, he's not here. He's on his phone the whole time. He's on his computer the whole time.

Tim Lundy (07:23):
And then a little quieter, he said this question to his mom. Doesn't he want to be with me? See, that was the real question of his heart. How could we be on this boat in these little rooms here, but he don't want to be here and be with me? I just challenge all of us as dads, all of us as fathers, even if you physically go home, that doesn't mean your presence is there. And so the challenge for all of us as we walk through the door and go, okay, it's not about me. How do I invest in these gifts that God's given me? How do I invest in their lives? How do I create presence in this home? You know, it's not in your notes. This is just a free part of the sermon. Just give you, just coaching for dads. Free, no cost at all.

Tim Lundy (08:23):
If you've got little kids, if you've got little kids here, here's what I would challenge you. You need to ask yourself every day, are they getting face time and floor time? Face time and floor time. Face Time. And this is for all kids of all ages. Are they seeing my face? I mean you say, of course they are. No, I'm talking about eyeball to eyeball. When's the last time they saw your face? When's the last time you had a conversation? When's the last time you asked them to look you in the eye where you weren't correcting them? You're just talking. You tell them you love him. And then particularly if you've got little kids, preschoolers, there's nothing more powerful you can do as dad as when you get home, actually get on the floor with them. Actually get on their level. We forget how big we are compared to them.

Tim Lundy (09:10):
And literally by sitting on the floor, laying on the floor, letting them crawl over you, it does a couple of things. One, you enter their world. It's disarming. So you just you're entering their world. Secondly, it forces you out of your world. It's hard to do stuff. Check your email, your phone and everything else when you're lying on the floor. A third benefit of it, I can't tell you many times I was just absolutely exhausted and I just literally lay there. And they can crawl and you're engaging. Now as they get older floor time, I mean it turns into fun time. When's the last time you did something fun with them? And here's the hard part about it though. It's not fun as you define it. It's fun as they define it. So what they actually consider fun. Just simple ways that you have to engage and be present.

Tim Lundy (10:05):
Now this hits the second struggle for those of us as dads and actually all of us as men. This is a father's passivity. A father's passivity. And again, this is one of those core struggles that all of us as men struggle with. It's hard to define. It goes all the way back to the very beginning. But when I say that word passivity, I'm not saying that you're just this meek, mild person. You might be. But no matter your personality type, you can be a hard charger. You may be tight bay. You can be a conquer the world person and struggle, especially in this arena in the home, especially if you've given so much energy out there. And so as a man, you're hard charging at work or you're hard charging in sports or all these different things. But suddenly, you kind of come home and you go, this is kind of out of my wheelhouse and it's just easier to get quiet here.

Tim Lundy (11:02):
And she seems to have control of everything. Well, that's kind of your mother's world. And you go quiet. And as family issues come up, different decisions need to be made, it's just easy to stay quiet in that, especially when spiritual leadership is needed or relational leadership is needed. Now, we see this all the way back at the very beginning. I mean you go back to the garden of Eden, Adam, the first thing Adam did that was absolute failure was he went passive. When Satan came into the garden in the form of the serpent and is engaging Eve in a conversation where he's questioning God, when there was need for a clear relational voice, when there was need for a clear leadership voice, when there was a need for clear spiritual voice to say, that's not what God said. Look it at Adam.

Tim Lundy (12:01):
Genesis 3:6. So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, it was a delight to the eye that the tree was desired to make one wise. The serpent had tempted her. Eat the one thing that God told you not to eat. She took of its fruit and ate. And she gave some to her husband. And here's the line of passivity right here, who was with her. He's there all along. Quiet. Silent. You haven't heard a peep out of him up to this point in the story. He's just along for the ride. And she gives it and he ate. I can't tell you how many times I read this verse and I want to grab him. I'm like, dude, step up! Yet it's easy for me to condemn him in this story. And then I look at my story and I look at my home and how easy it is at times just to go silent. Just to be still. And issues can come up in any household, relational issues, issues with your wife that you need to step forward with energy, issues with kids that you need to parent together, be united together and speak into it, issues with in-laws, issues with finance, issues with. It can be anything.

Tim Lundy (13:31):
And as a guy, it's just easy, just like Adam, kind of just go silent and hope it takes care of itself because I'm so busy doing this stuff out there and I've got so much responsibility out there. Isn't it enough I provide? Things we tell ourselves. And hope that it goes better. I remember when I played little league baseball, I remember the first year I faced the live pitching. I don't know if you remember that. It's the scariest thing in the world. You go into that batter's box. You got a kid on the mound who really can't throw it anywhere except at your body most of the time. Here's what I realized. I was terrible at batting, but I realized pretty quickly, most kids on the mound cannot throw three strikes if you don't swing.

Tim Lundy (14:20):
And if you'll just stay there and keep the bat still, you can walk every time. You really can. So I became the king of the walk. I mean it was my go-to move. Be solid, don't get hit and take a base. And I would walk and then you can go around. You can score. And you're like, hey. I mean SABRmetric guys would love me, but it's not a great way to learn baseball. I didn't have a dad at this time. My dad had died. And so I would have to go to the games with some neighbors that lived a couple of streets over. I'd walk over to the house. They'd drive me. And I remember I was driving home with them, the Barams and my friend Boots Baram who's on the team, one day, he finally looked at me. He goes, don't you hate walking so much? I said, what do you mean? He goes, in the game. All you do is walk. He goes, I hate walks. And I'm looking at him horrified like you hate walks. That's my go-to move. He goes, don't you want to hit the ball?

Tim Lundy (15:29):
And Mr. Baram from the front seat, he was driving. He never turned around. He had this kind of weird high pitched voice. But he goes, Timmy, there comes a time in life and baseball where you have to swing the bat. Hmm. You can walk and be still. But if you're going to play the game, you got to swing the bat. And guys, the same is true in being a man, in being a husband, in being a father. We hit those situations where we feel a little awkward. We don't know quite what to do. And so it is so easy just to sit there and like hold the bat and maybe this'll take care of itself. And if we get really lucky, we might even get on base and just keep moving.

Tim Lundy (16:28):
But that's not how life was designed. And that's not what God's called us to. He's called us to step forward. You got to swing the bat. And sometimes you'll strike out. Sometimes you won't know what to do. But I'm telling you, the energy of engaging, the energy of stepping forward, the whole household feels. Because when dad goes passive, a family can get stuck and a wife gets really frustrated. If I've heard anything over the years, when there's frustration in marriage counseling, sometimes she's describing it in a way, he's a good man and it's not that it's bad. And then the more they describe it, I'll even say, well, it sounds like he's a little passive. And they go, yes, that is it. And maybe you're sitting here today as the wife and you're like, man, yes, he better be taking notes. Now hear me though, I've heard this before. The wife that sits forward and goes, I don't know why he's passive. I tell him what to do. I tell him exactly what to do. I'll tell him when to do it and how to do it. I don't know why he doesn't do it. Now you laugh. I'm just telling it's self-fulfilling. Hear me, there's a place for honest confrontation when needed with that. But day in, day out, you know, the greatest fuel for passivity? Discouragement.

Tim Lundy (17:59):
When a guy gets discouraged, passivity goes hand in hand. It just does. And so it's counterintuitive. You keep telling yourself, I need to tell him those things he should be doing. And what you're doing is actually creating the very thing you don't want. You need to step back and go, what is he doing? Oh, have I thanked him for that? If Have I encouraged him? Have I come alongside in this partnership in that? You'd be amazed how encouragement can actually be the fuel for the very thing you desire. Passivity is the second thing. And man, it's a struggle. All these things I'm talking about, about all of us has guys, we wrestle with. Third part of it is a father's power. A father's power.

Tim Lundy (18:48):
And when I say that, I'm talking about a father's power in a couple of arenas. His power to shape a household. We're powerful beings. God's given us that. It's a powerful role that we have. And in that power, it's this balance between the love that we bring and the discipline that God's called us to establish in the household. There's a matrix that you can see in your notes there. And this is a challenge for every parent. This is dads and moms together. The household you're trying to create, you want a balance of high love and high discipline. And so you see the line here. Over here is high discipline. Up above the line here is high love. And there's really kind of four types of households in general. All of us fall somewhere along this matrix. And I would find all of us usually lean toward one or the other. Very few people are naturally gifted in both of these. And so it's a challenge in this upper right-hand corner. What we're striving for, this is the authoritative type of parent. Authoritative.

Tim Lundy (19:54):
And so this combination of high love and high discipline. And it's real clear. Call to what we know what the rules are, know what the boundaries are. But also it's done in an environment of love. Then you come over here where it's low discipline and high love. It's a permissive household. So lots of love. Man, love them to death. Little lenient on the rules. Kids sometimes get away with a lot just because I love them so much in that permissive. Down here, when you have low love and low discipline, it's neglectful. Neglectful. Then they're not experiencing either one. Kids on their own having to figure out life. And then this one is a tricky one because it's high discipline. Man, great rules and order. But they are not experiencing love and it's authoritarian. Not authoritative now, but authoritarian. Man, you know who's in control. And as dads, this is an easy one to drift into.

Tim Lundy (20:58):
Especially if you grew up like in a neglectful household, you grew up in a household where there wasn't much rules, grew up in a household where it was way too permissive, sometimes it's like, oh, my kids are not going to grow up like that. Or if you're a very fear-based person, it's a big, bad world out there and all this going on. And we just, if we have more rules, we can fix this. You have to be careful out of that. Now obviously, as parents and as dads, this is what we're striving for. This is what we're going for. And it's interesting studies, kids that come out of a household like this, one, they're more likely to adopt the family values, the very things you're trying to build into their life. When they've experienced both of this, they're more likely to adopt that. Not always.

Tim Lundy (21:41):
There's no perfect scenario. Other thing that you'll see, that they can relate to authority better. They struggle less with bosses, teachers in that because they've experienced that in their life. So as you see that, this is what we always want to go for. This is what we want to pray for and invest our life in with it. The key though is do they actually feel both of these? Everybody personally feels it inside. There's probably not a person here that says, oh, I don't love my kids. The challenge is do they feel loved, each kid? Because they're different by the way. Sometimes you'll hear from people that go, I don't know why this one turned out that way. I don't know why that one's that way. I raised them all exactly the same way? Like, oh, they're not exactly the same kid. And so the challenge for each of us as a dad is how do I speak that discipline in their life in a way that they can hear it?

Tim Lundy (22:41):
How do they feel that love? Now again, we said no perfect family. So when you look at this, you probably were raised in different households out of this. This is obviously the best one. What do you think is the second best one? Because I've just tested kids that have turned out. If you're going to go, we didn't have that. The second best household to show up in? It's the permissive. Again it's not great. You'd want more discipline there. But these kids at least know they're loved. They felt it and it builds into their life in a way. What do you think the third best household to grow up in? It would be actually neglectful. Oh, that was a little challenging. Now it's close when they do the studies between these. This isn't a great house, but these kids at least know kind of the ground rules. I got to look out for myself. This can be a very troubling household. And the problem is this kind of household can show up in a lot of evangelical churches because we want to do things right. We want to make sure we train them right. And if I just apply the rules well enough, I can end up with the perfect kid. And especially for fear-based, a lot of times parenting goes with fear in that.

Tim Lundy (24:04):
And the challenge around that is, you know, there's a lot of adults walking around who they hate church and some of them hate God. Sometimes when I get their life story, it's traced back to a household like this where a lot was pushed on them. They never felt loved in it. I had a guy once, I was preaching on having a deep relationship with Christ and what Christ can do in your life and the passion around that. And he came up afterwards. He goes, man, I'm intrigued about this relationship with Christ like you described. But I just can't do that to my wife and kids. I said what? He said, I refuse to be that kind of dad. I was like, whoa, there's some disconnect here. When we got together and said, tell me a little about your story. He grew up in the church. He's actually a preacher's kid. Real strict church, real strict dad. And as we're talking, I said, you know, Ben, describe your dad. If you were going to three bullet points, describe your dad. And he kind of just threw them out. He said, well, I mean I guess he loved me. I mean because, you know, all dads love their kids I guess. But man, he was strict and he was always looking for you to screw up.

Tim Lundy (25:14):
Always watching you. We kept talking a little bit and a little bit later, I turned the conversation toward God and a relationship with God. Said, Ben, if you were just going to describe God, how would you describe God, kind of three bullet points? And he just said, well, you know, God loves us. He loves everybody. But man, he is strict. And he's always watching for when you screw up. And as soon as he said that third phrase, the light went off. I said, Ben, you're not describing God. You're describing your dad. Man, I'd love to introduce you through Christ to what God's really like. I'm sorry that your image is clouded in that way. Guys, this is what speaks to, it's so important as dads that we step back and maybe I have a natural propensity toward discipline. But do they really feel and know my love? Or maybe I'm the most loving guy in the world but they really have not heard, man, here's God's truth. Here's boundaries. Here's why with that.

Tim Lundy (26:31):
I love that we serve a God who balances this perfectly. Remember he's a perfect father. So He's ever present. He's never passive. He's always active. And He's a God in our life, I love, I was reading in Hebrews 12 one day. And Hebrews 12 talks about the fact your earthly fathers discipline you the best they knew. I love that at mission, that we're all trying to do the best we can in that. But then he points this out about God. Look how he describes God. For the Lord disciplines. God disciplines us. He's dad. The ones He loves. That He loves. He's got that perfect combination of man, if you are His child and your life's off track, you are His child and you're not following His Word, you are His child and you're ignoring the boundaries He set up, He will discipline you. Why? Because He wants to get you and judge you? No, He's not judging you. He's disciplining you because He loves you so much. He says, that's going to kill you. You don't want to live like that. He's this perfect father who knows how to live this out in a way.

Tim Lundy (27:45):
And I'll tell you as a dad, I find myself going to Him over and over again because all of us naturally lean one way or another. All of us struggle with this in ways. All of us pull back when we need to step in. All of us can find ourselves not present to the way we want to. And the role and the gift it is to be dad, to use the power He's given us to step into a home, to love well, to discipline well, it brings a strength and a protection because of that power, because of the weight of your role and what God's given in that. You know, a great picture of this in our solar system is the planet Jupiter. I don't know if you realize it or not, but Jupiter protects the rest of the solar system. It protects all the other planets. It's 318 times larger than Earth. And because it's so large, it has such a huge gravitational field. It's like a cosmic vacuum cleaner. As asteroids and space junk comes into our system, Jupiter with that with a huge gravitational field can either deflect it and send it back out or it will draw it into itself. Several years ago, an asteroid hit Jupiter that if it had hit Earth, it was more than all of the atomic explosions we've ever amassed on this planet.

Tim Lundy (29:14):
But it could take it because it's big. It's powerful. It's interesting. The Romans named the planet Jupiter. You know what it means in the old Latin? It means sky father. Kind of the dad. And that's part of this role that we get to have where God says, you're big and you're powerful and you can use that in a powerful way to protect your home, to love your home, to lead in that. But it won't come naturally to you. That's why you desperately need Him. I desperately need Him in each of these places. So how do we step up as dad? As we close out, let me give you a few things A few ways that we can step up as a father.

Tim Lundy (30:10):
First one I would just say is deny the lie that it is too late to be a good dad. Deny the lie no matter where you are as a father, no matter how old your kids are. I'm telling you, if there's one lie the enemy loves is you blew it. It's too late. It's over. They're too old. Should've learned this years ago. Should've done this years ago. Now hear me, you can't go back and suddenly magically make wounds that maybe you created disappear. You can't pretend like the past didn't happen. Those things are real in that. But the grace of Christianity is it can start new today. And so today, you can be the dad God's called you to be. Today, you can step forward with grace. Today, you can step back and go, okay. I want to step into their lives. And you know, in teaching men over the years, I've seen guys with kids of all different ages, especially grown children. Some of you are sitting here and you go, my kids are grown. I wish. If you stepped into their lives now, you still have the power to shape it, to move it. You're going to have to receive the grace that you need in your life and then start extending it and start stepping forward.

Tim Lundy (31:36):
See, you know why it's Satan loves the lie it's too late? He can make you passive in it. It's the greatest tool to sit there and go, well, it's too late. I guess I won't do anything. I'll just keep the bat on my shoulder. As opposed to going, you know what? I serve the God of new mercies every day. I serve the God of grace today. I serve the God who redeems today and shapes tomorrow. I'm not trapped by yesterday. Deny the lie. Now to do that, the second thing you got to do as well is confess and ask for, or actually recognize and admit your areas of weakness. This is a good tool for all of us as guys. Just go down the line on that thing. Am I present? Am my present in each of my kids' lives? And if you're dad like me, you got a lot of kids, you have to step back every so often and say, is somebody falling through the gaps? Man, when's the last time they had some face time or we did something together with that? Ask yourself where am being passive ? Where do I need to step in? Where am I kind of just letting it sit there? And then the third part, where am I using my power for good? Man, does my household feel loved in a powerful way? Do we need to kind of reestablish man, here's the boundaries, here's where we are?

Tim Lundy (33:00):
As you do that, the third thing then is if you need to especially confess and ask for forgiveness personally from your children, especially if you've deeply wounded them. If you've done things maybe in the past, maybe things that they're carrying those wounds. It is powerful for a dad to just sit down and look them in the eye and just say, I'm sorry. And hear me, it's a no excuses I'm sorry. It's not a I'm sorry but you need to understand. Your mother, she and then you continue on. I'm sorry, but you need to know what I was going through in that. Uh-uh. It's just I'm sorry. I'm sorry for what this did in your life. Sorry for when I wasn't there. Please forgive me.

Tim Lundy (33:52):
And don't force the forgiveness in the moment because depending on what you did, you need to give them the gift of having the time. Now, maybe you haven't done anything that drastic and you go, okay, I haven't wounded in that way. But you know, it's healthy for every dad just kind of sit down and go, hey, God's convicted me. I want to engage more. I want to do this more. I want to step in more. And bring them into the conversation. Now I want to give you a warning though. Don't have this conversation if you don't plan on following through. You'll only do more damage. If you just step forward, man, because kids believe you. They trust you. And so where you're setting those expectations, man, the proof comes in the follow through with that. And so as you do that, make sure you're committed to not just saying it in the moment, but okay, how do I do this every day? And learn those new habits around it. To do that as well, I'd say for all of us as guys, share your challenges with other men. We're all in this together.

Tim Lundy (35:08):
There is not a man in this room who doesn't struggle with the issues we're talking about here. You know, another lie of the enemy is he wants to convince you guy that you're the only one, you do it more than anybody else. And we kind of get ashamed and we don't talk to anybody. We all struggle with this. We're all in this together, guys. And that's why it's so important for men to have other men in your life. It's one of the reasons I'm passionate as I am about teaching men's ministry, why we do man to man. Or we're launching this fall in September, I'll be teaching Better Man and involved with a group in Dallas who's trying to launch a men's movement all across this country. And it's really not about curriculum and it's not about the study as much. Here's what we're all committed to. Here's what I've seen. Here's why every Thursday morning at 6:00 AM, I'm teaching up there and we fill a room. There's something powerful about seeing hundreds of guys, not just listening to a lesson. That's not the really powerful part. You know what the powerful part is? When we stop and guys start sharing around a table and guys start getting real about what's really going on in their life and guys start connecting. They look around the room and go, oh, you struggle with that too? Man, I struggle with that. I thought I was the only one screwed up with that. Wait, God has answers for this? Wait, we could do this together?

Tim Lundy (36:28):
There's a power when men get real. And I'm telling you on the flip side of it, there's a loneliness when men don't have that. Every man needs another man speaking in their lives. And even more than that, every man needs another man cheering for them, encouraging them. I would encourage you if you're here and you don't have that, join us. You need it. You need it more than you realize. That is a special kind of lonely when a man finds himself in that place. And so that's one of the reasons I'm as committed as I am for men and men's ministry within a church because I don't want to see any guy go through it alone. I know how much it's changed my life and I want you to experience it as well.

Tim Lundy (37:24):
Final thing I'd just say, and this one has been so critical for me, is look to God to help you as dad and to be the dad you need. If you're like me, you grew up with some major wounding around fatherhood. My dad died when I was six. Mom remarried when I was 11. But I had a stepfather who was the picture perfect definition of passive. Didn't mean to be. Good man. Christian man. He just didn't know how to engage on this level. So you end up with a father who's in the home, but not really in your life. And you grew up with that. And part of my baggage is how do I relate to God as dad? I know God as ruler. I know Him as creator. I know Him as God. Working in a church, I sometimes can relate to Him as boss, that I have to go, no, he's not my boss. It's interesting to me though, out of all the relationships God could have chosen to have with us, He chose to be dad.

Tim Lundy (38:36):
Man, you think about it. God could've saved us, invited us into His Kingdom, let us go to Heaven and experience glory and be His servants for all eternity. And He still would've been good. It still would've been more than we deserved. But in His plan, He invites us in and adopts us. Isn't that powerful? It's one of the reasons that if you've never received Christ as your Savior, if you've never had your sins forgiven, if you've never by faith received that gift, it's one of reasons I passionately want you to have that. We've reduced it to this well, do that so you can have a ticket to Heaven. God's much bigger than that. He says, I want you to experience that so you can be my child, so I can adopt you. In fact, Jesus said as much. Remember what Jesus said? He said, I am the way, I am the truth, I am the life. No man goes to the Father. He doesn't say no one gets a ticket to Heaven. But through me. Just no one gets to experience Father, dad, except through Him.

Tim Lundy (39:59):
And that's why maybe if you haven't known God, maybe you have baggage about it, I would encourage you to trust Jesus. Receive in this Father. It really changes everything. And if you have, don't forget, look what Galatians says in it. Because you are sons. God has sent you the spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying Abba, Father. You know what Abba means? He's not just Father. He's dad. He's dad. And guys, He's a perfect Father. He's always present whether you believe it or know it or not. He's always active. He always balances that love and discipline perfectly. You can trust that today.

Tim Lundy (40:51):
You know, William Fears tells a story. He was an episcopal Bishop. In his later years, he would help students who were going through graduate school. And one of his students was a guy named John who was blind. And William would read to him out of his textbooks so that John could stay up. And on day he asked John, this bright student who's getting his graduate degree, he said, John, how did you become blind? He said, you know, when I was 13 years old, there was a chemical explosion. Just lost my sight instantly. He said, how'd you handle it? He said, I thought my life was over. I was so bitter. I was so angry at God. I literally stayed in my room for six months. I wouldn't even eat meals with the family. Said, what changed? Said, well, one morning, my dad walked in my room and he said, John, winter's coming. And it's always been your job to put up the storm windows. So I want the storm windows put up on the house. He said, I looked at him, incredulous. Are you kidding me? And his dad said, I want it done before I get home from work today. And walked out. He said, I sat there and then I got mad.

Tim Lundy (42:17):
Said, fine. I'll show you. Tell me. I'm blind. Put up storm windows. And he found his way into the garage. He found his way to the windows. He found the tools. He found the ladder. He drug it all out around the house. He found the windows. He put each of the windows up. And the whole time, he thought, I'm going to fall off this ladder. I hope I fall. And then they're going to have a blind and a paralyzed son. That'll show him. Said, you know, I discovered something that day. My life wasn't over. And I also found out something later. My dad never went to work. The whole day, he was never more than four or five feet away from me, making sure I wouldn't fall. That's a good father. Guys, our Heavenly Father, He's a good Father. And He's never far from you. And He's never given up on you.

Tim Lundy (43:34):
And even if you're going through something that you go, I don't know where God is right now, He's there and He loves you. He's there for all of us as dads, trying to be better fathers. He's there for all of us individually because He's extended to us this wonderful gift. Don't just come into my Kingdom, come into my family. Let me be your dad. All through Jesus Christ. Let's pray. Father, I thank you. Thank you for being a Father to me. Teach me more what that means. Help me embrace that, not just mentally but emotionally. Lord, I pray for each of the fathers here. The things we're talking about are so convicted and each of us struggle. I pray that we would experience the grace of your newness, the grace that you extend to us and help us extend that to our homes. Lord, I pray for anybody here who maybe they haven't known you as Father. Maybe they've been far from you. I pray even today, they would trust and believe that through Christ, we get to be in your family. Through Christ, He shared with us what He's had for all eternity, the love of His Father. And we pray these things in His name. Amen.

Recorded in Los Gatos, California.
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Venture Christian Church
16845 Hicks Road
Los Gatos, California 95032
408.997.4600