A special song honoring fathers was sung by a couple of the Youth Choir members with Darlene Sorensen. Pastor Bob Sorensen brought a message from Luke 15 on the father of the prodigal son. We do not know this man’s name, but we know that he was a father of creditability with attributes that could be used as a model for fathers today.
This man was a godly father. When the prodigal son came to himself he acknowledged that he had sinned against heaven and in the sight of his father. He knew that he had sinned. During his childhood his father had taught him right from wrong. He associated his father with heaven. His father had walked with God. If more fathers today walked close to God, there would be fewer problems in the home.
He was a giving father. He divided his living with his sons. But looking beyond wealth, we see a father giving himself. Fathers need to do more than just provide financial support for their children (and God calls him worse than an infidel if he is able bodied and refuses to support his family). He is at fault if he leaves his children out of his life. He needs to spend time with his family and to be sensitive to the needs of each person. A good father needs to give his children an example of how to live by standards of honesty, decency, and soberness. A good father gives his children a “good name.” Christ dying on the cross is the ultimate example of a father giving himself for his children.
He was a loving father. When the prodigal son came to himself, he remembered his father as a loving man. A child out of the will of God will come back if you show them love while you teach them right. When they get sick of sin, they will come home. The father’s house that he once scorned looked good from the hog pen. When the prodigal son thought about home, he remembered that his father had treated his servants well. He was willing to go back even to be a servant in his father’s house.
He was a forgiving father. When he saw his son coming yet a great way off, he ran to meet him. He did not begin to tell his son how that he deserved to live in a hog pen. The father saw him they way he was, with the smell of the hog pen still on him, and he loved him any way. The father rejoiced that his son that was lost was now found.
Each one of us has made a trip to the hog pen. When we come to ourselves, and go back to our Father in heaven with the honest attitude that we are not worthy, we will find that Jesus like the father of the prodigal does not require that we earn our way back. To the prodigal we would say, when you get sick of the hog pen and start back to your heavenly Father, you will find that he has been watching for you and he will meet you with open arms.