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How To Lead A Family Altar
GROWING DADS God’s WAY is a six-tape journey to the heart of parenting. Dads, it is us that God chose to lead. Are you following the plan? The Word of God lays down a Biblical pattern for dads. In these pointed sessions we are faced with the truth and how to apply the truth by God’s grace.
- “How lead our homes to God through the Family Altar” a session of how to’s in devotions for families. A special Q&A will follow.
- “How to raise Pure Children in a Sea of Filth” a session of practical insights on purity from Proverbs.
- “How to love your wife by meeting her deepest needs” a time of investigating our greatest challenge of marriage – discipling our wives.
Growing dad’s God’s Way: HOW TO lead our homes to God through the family altar
Probably the most powerful tool in parenting is also the most challenging. Dads, you know what I mean. As a fellow dad almost everything stands in the way of our family devotions: work, sports, time, meals, attitudes—everything!
But, when we were bought with a price, we are no longer our own; and he Owner of your life and my life has written out just what He expects from each of us. That manual is God’s Word and that is what we MUST obey!
He also has included instructions that keep us running in tip-top condition – FOREVER.
Have you looked at your Bible that way this week?
- It is the exact and perfect and errorless guide to maintenance (how to stay victorious),
- fuel needs (how to grow by eating spiritually),
- warranty questions (assurance of salvation) and so on.
There is nothing more vital nor practical than to consult the Owner’s Manual God’s Word!
This is part one of a look at what the Owner of we who are saved, has to say about His expectations for the Family, specifically dads.
This is the standard, it is the way God designed life to be.
You may be single, single parenting, childless, grandparents, and so on.
What we look at tonight is vital for all of us because it is God’s Word, and God’s Way!
Dads, it’s not easy
To declare God’s requirements for a family to grow in Him is an awesome task — even humorous! One professor early on told of a fellow:
- He started in ministry fresh our of Seminary and as a newlywed, he preached “The Ten Commandments of Child Rearing”.
- Two years and one child later he changed his sermon to: “Five Biblical Principles for Parenting”.
- A few years and another child later he retitled his sermon: “Three Suggestions for Parents”.
- And as you can assume after ten years and three children, he was selling used cars….
Parenting is difficult at times! At one bookstore I counted 54 titles on marriage and family with 18 on how to raise kids… many didn’t even agree!
One great authority on life Mark Twain had an interesting insight on parenting. Consider this advice in those exasperating moments all of us as parents share. Twain’s philosophy was: when a kid turns 13, stick him in a barrel, nail the lid on top and feed him through the knothole. When he turns 16, plug up the hole! Enough of human options.
Look with me at Ps. 127-28, Stages of God’s work at growing Dads.
Psalm 127:1-2 Lay a Godly foundation; v. 3-5 Trust God for blessed fruitfulness
Psalm 128:1-4 Enjoy a happy family life; v. 5-6 Reap the joys of a satisfying family in old age
I think it is fascinating to dig out and study what God recorded in a three thousand year old Hebrew manuscript from the Jewish Wisdom Literature called the Kethubim, known to us today as the Proverbs of King Solomon.
Neglected parenting means A DISOBEDIENT CHILD
If we have a disobedient child, Proverbs says he will be:
- EFFECT #1 = A grief to his mother: Proverbs 10:1 A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son [is] the heaviness of his mother. Proverbs 17:25 A foolish son [is] a bitterness to her that bare him. (KJV)
- EFFECT #2 = A rebel to his father: Proverbs 15:5 A fool despiseth his father’s instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent. (KJV)
- EFFECT #3 = A sorrow to his father: Proverbs 17:21-25 He that begetteth a fool [doeth it] to his sorrow: and the father of a fool hath no joy. 25 A foolish son [is] a grief to his father. (KJV)
- EFFECT #4 = A disaster to his father: Proverbs 19:13 A foolish son [is] the calamity of his father (KJV)
- EFFECT #5 = A disgrace to his parents: Proverbs 19:26 He that wasteth [his] father, [and] chaseth away [his] mother, [is] a son that causeth shame, and bringeth reproach. (KJV)
- EFFECT #6 = A user of his parents: Proverbs 28:24 Whoso robbeth his father or his mother, and saith, [It is] no transgression; the same [is] the companion of a destroyer. (KJV)
Do we want to have shame on your hands? Do we want to have a disaster on our hands? Just don’t do anything, and that’s what we’ll have.
HOW TO keep from raising disobedient children
In a study conducted several years ago, sociologists Sheldon and Eleanor Glueck of Harvard University tried to identify the crucial factors in delinquency (Unraveling Juvenile Delinquency (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1950), pp. 257-271). They developed a test by which they could predict the future delinquency of children five or six-years-old. Their follow-up tests, four years later, provided to be ninety percent accurate. They determined that the four necessary factors to prevent delinquency are:
- THE FATHER’S DISCIPLINE: Discipline must be firm, fair, and consistent.
- THE MOTHER’S SUPERVISION: A mother must know where her children are and what they’re doing at all times, and be with them as much as possible.
- THE FATHER AND MOTHER’S AFFECTION: Children need to see love demonstrated between the father and mother, and have it physically demonstrated to them.
- THE FAMILY’S COHESIVENESS: The family must spend time together.
Quite a promise — what an opportunity to have such a rare and precious home.
American families are crumbling
Dr. Albert Siegel said recently in the Stanford Observer:
When it comes to rearing children, every society is only 20 years away from barbarism. Twenty years is all we have to accomplish the task of civilizing the infants who are born into our midst each year. These savages know nothing of our language, our culture, our religion, our values, our customs of interpersonal relations. The infant is totally ignorant about communism, fascism, democracy, civil liberties, the rights of the minority as contrasted with the prerogatives of the majority, respect, decency, honesty, customs, conventions, and manners. The barbarian must be tamed if civilization is to survive.”
We must be God’s dads today
The Minnesota Crime Commission released a report a number of years ago which sounds a lot like Dr. Siegel’s warning:
Every baby starts life as a little savage. He is completely selfish and self-centered. He wants what he wants when he wants it; his bottle, his mother’s attention, his playmate’s toy, his uncle’s watch. Deny these and he seethes with rage and aggressiveness which would be murderous were he not so helpless. This means that all children, not just certain children, are born delinquent. If permitted to continue in the self-centered world of infancy, given free reign to his impulsive actions, every child would grow up a criminal, a thief, a killer, a rapist.
If we read those words and think our youngsters are excluded, we make a grave error. Every child has the potential of becoming a study in hostility…a heartache…a model of wickedness.
There’s no denying it–parents must deal with the evil that rests in their children’s lives. Those who fail to do so consistently and wisely will face a future of misery.
What is the key for a godly dad?
Emphasize Biblical Communication
Parents: How can we RESTART our Homes in Godliness?
Deuteronomy 6:7-9 “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.8 “You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.9 “You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
First, notice that the practice is an imperative. YOU SHALL TEACH THEM. Second, notice that the process is simple. TALK. Not preach, scold, cajole, pound it into them, dump on them…no, make it be so natural a part of your daily life you just talk about it! Let it be natural and unforced, let it flow into every part of life. The key is, if you can see God in every part of life, so will they. If God stays at church or when you prepare a lecture, they will compartmentalize Him right out of their social life, private life, sports life, dressing life, recreation life and every other part of their lives. As one great old saint said, ‘There’s no difference between the sacred in the secular’. That’s what Moses says. Let God flow into all of life. How? Moses gives us
Five Powerful Pointers to godly dads:
LET GOD OUT WHEN YOU SIT IN YOUR HOUSE. (v. 7a) And that suggests we are at home and so are they. Just open your life at mealtimes. Share how you have seen His hand in your life, His face in your devotions, His voice in your heart as you worship. Tell them how your Heavenly Father is so patient with your weaknesses, so loving with your failures, so gentle with your correction. Then live that out for them.
LET GOD OUT WHEN YOU WALK IN THE WAY (v. 7b) Do you walk with them? Take a talk walk and listen until you hear them through their words, and then talk to that person you see in the words. Turn off the radio in the car and let them talk. Seize those moments.
LET GOD OUT WHEN YOU LIE DOWN (v. 7c) One of the most crucial times of ministry for us as dads is at bedtime. Do you treasure those closong moments of the day? So many little thoughts, little fears, little hurts, can all be worked on. A wise dad takes life and parenting one day at a time! We train them, lead and guide them, and let God move their hearts by prayer.
LET GOD OUT WHEN YOU RISE UP ( v. 7d) ! Every morning we have the opportunity to start the course of not only our day but our family. Do we take this precious opportunity? Do we re-orient them toward the loving presence of Jesus by our kindness, gentleness or goodness? Or is it lateness, shortness and gruffness that they see? Rise up oh men of God…
LET GOD OUT WHEN THEY ARE AWAY FROM HOME (v.8) ! Make it Portable! Deuteronomy 6:8 Tie them as symbols on your hands [this speaks of what we do for a living] and bind them on your foreheads [this stands for our minds, thoughts and values. god must be a part of all we do and think]. (NIV) Deuteronomy 6:9 Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates. (NIV) Chuck Swindoll says, “Here again the meaning of Moses’ words goes beyond the literal. the door posts and gates signify all our domestic and community activities. Every action of our lives, those lived inside the home as well as out, is to have His Word etched on it.”
Some practical ways we dads can start to disciple our children
A Simple plan:
- Read the Bible to them
- Begin Monthly breakfast dates with our children asking them these questions [what do you like about the way God made you, our family and God; what do you want to be when you grow up?]
- Start a Spiritual Life Journal on them [saved, prayed, wanted to be a missionary, reading achieved in the Word, and so on.]
- Pray every night with them [sing and sit together].
- Tell them stories from when you were a child and use them to teach moral, spiritual and practical lessons on your failures and successes.
- Tell them Bible stories and APPLY them to their lives.
- Learn the verses they are learning.
- Start them a read through the Bible chart and help them.
- Take them on your ministry trips to rest home, hospital, visitation, evangelism and so on.
Genesis 19:1-38 Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them, and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground.2 And he said, “Here now, my lords, please turn in to your servant’s house and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way.” And they said, “No, but we will spend the night in the open square.”3 But he insisted strongly; so they turned in to him and entered his house. Then he made them a feast, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.
4 Now before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both old and young, all the people from every quarter, surrounded the house.5 And they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally.”6 So Lot went out to them through the doorway, shut the door behind him,7 and said, “Please, my brethren, do not do so wickedly!8 “See now, I have two daughters who have not known a man; please, let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them as you wish; only do nothing to these men, since this is the reason they have come under the shadow of my roof.”
9 And they said, “Stand back!” Then they said, “This one came in to stay here, and he keeps acting as a judge; now we will deal worse with you than with them.” So they pressed hard against the man Lot, and came near to break down the door.10 But the men reached out their hands and pulled Lot into the house with them, and shut the door.11 And they struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they became weary trying to find the door.
12 Then the men said to Lot, “Have you anyone else here? Son-in-law, your sons, your daughters, and whomever you have in the city—take them out of this place!13 “For we will destroy this place, because the outcry against them has grown great before the face of the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it.”14 So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who had married his daughters, and said, “Get up, get out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city!” But to his sons-in-law he seemed to be joking.
15 When the morning dawned, the angels urged Lot to hurry, saying, “Arise, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be consumed in the punishment of the city.”16 And while he lingered, the men took hold of his hand, his wife’s hand, and the hands of his two daughters, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city.17 So it came to pass, when they had brought them outside, that he said, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed.”18 Then Lot said to them, “Please, no, my lords!19 “Indeed now, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have increased your mercy which you have shown me by saving my life; but I cannot escape to the mountains, lest some evil overtake me and I die.20 “See now, this city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one; please let me escape there (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live.”21 And he said to him, “See, I have favored you concerning this thing also, in that I will not overthrow this city for which you have spoken.22 “Hurry, escape there. For I cannot do anything until you arrive there.” Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.
23 The sun had risen upon the earth when Lot entered Zoar.24 Then the Lord rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the Lord out of the heavens.25 So He overthrew those cities, all the plain, all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground.
26 But his wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.
27 And Abraham went early in the morning to the place where he had stood before the Lord.28 Then he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain; and he saw, and behold, the smoke of the land which went up like the smoke of a furnace.
29 And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when He overthrew the cities in which Lot had dwelt.
30 Then Lot went up out of Zoar and dwelt in the mountains, and his two daughters were with him; for he was afraid to dwell in Zoar. And he and his two daughters dwelt in a cave.31 Now the firstborn said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man on the earth to come in to us as is the custom of all the earth.32 “Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve the lineage of our father.”
33 So they made their father drink wine that night. And the firstborn went in and lay with her father, and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose.34 It happened on the next day that the firstborn said to the younger, “Indeed I lay with my father last night; let us make him drink wine tonight also, and you go in and lie with him, that we may preserve the lineage of our father.”35 Then they made their father drink wine that night also. And the younger arose and lay with him, and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose.
36 Thus both the daughters of Lot were with child by their father.
37 The firstborn bore a son and called his name Moab; he is the father of the Moabites to this day.38 And the younger, she also bore a son and called his name Ben-Ammi; he is the father of the people of Ammon to this day.
v. 9 Compromise ruins our testimony
v. 23-29 Lot lost his wife, his fortune and his married daughters to Sodom! Loving the world is costly.
v. 30 Sin begets more sin.
v. 36 Compromise defiles our kids.
v. 38 His descendants became God’s enemies!
Lot And Abraham
|Took The Best (13:11)||Trusted God|
|Lost His Wife (19:26)||Kept His Wife who became a Mother of God’s People|
|Lost His Kids (19:14)||Blessed His Children|
|Cursed His Descendants (19:38)||Blessed His Descendants|
|Lust Of Eyes (13:10)||Contented|
|Settled Gay Community (13:12-13)||
Settled God’s Country
|Defiled Daughters (19:36)||Blessed Sons|
|Descendants God’s Enemies (19:37)||Descendants God’s People|
|Lot’s Line Ended||Abraham’s Line Never Ends|
|Competitor/ Opportunist||Peacemaker (13:8)|
|Took/ Grabbed||Trusted God’s Choice (13:9)|
FATHERS Would you do it any differently?
One father summed it up this way. He said, “My family’s all grown, and the kids are all gone. But, if I had to do it all over again, this is what I’d do:
- I would love my wife more in front of my children.
- I would laugh with my children more–at our mistakes and our joys.
- I would listen more, even to the littlest child.
- I would be more honest about my own weaknesses, never pretending perfection.
- I would pray differently for my family–instead of focusing on them, I’d focus on me.
- I would do more things together with my children.
- I would encourage them more and bestow more praise.
- I would pay more attention to little things, like deeds and words of thoughtfulness.
- And then, finally, if I had to do it all over again, I would share God more intimately with my family; every ordinary thing that happened in every ordinary day I would use to direct them to God.”
I like the way Charlie Shedd described it in one of his original promises to his tiny son, Peter:
I hope that I will be able to make religion natural to you. It is natural. In fact, I think this relationship with God is the only thing that is one hundred percent natural. We will pray together until it is easy for you to put your arms on the window sill of heaven and look into the face of God. Before I put you back in your crib, I want to tell you something Philip said.
We had been out in the country for a ride. It was evening and we ran out of gas. We were walking along after we had been to the farm house, and I was carrying a can of gas. Philip was only four. He was playing along, throwing rocks at the telephone poles, picking flowers, and then, all of a sudden it got dark. Sometimes night comes all at once in the country. Philip came over, put his little hand in mine and said, “Take my hand, Daddy. I might get lost.”
Peter, there is a hand reaching to you from the heart of the universe. If you will lay your hand in the hand of God and walk with Him, you will never ever get lost.
 You and Your Child, IFL Study Guide, p. 59.
 Letters to Phillip,
Check Out All The Sermons In The Series
You can find all the sermons and short clips from this series, Delights of a Word-Filled Marriage here.
Looking To Study The Bible Like Dr. Barnett?
Dr. Barnett has curated an Amazon page with a large collection of resources he uses in his study of God’s Word. You can check it out here.