17 Jun 2012
Well to all you dads out there, granddads, longtime dads, new dads, blessed Father's Day. Now that sermon that I preach 20, 25 years ago on Satan, the destroyer of homes. On reflection, was not such a bad idea because the truth is, Satan destroys homes. But really, more homes I believe are destroyed by bad dads than by Satan. That's the truth. There are so many bad dads around who have destroyed their families, they've done such a great job doing it. That is scary. So today I hope this message will be a blessing, so we leave this place, all you dads as better dads, granddads as better granddads. And all you wives as a message for you, don't keep looking at your husband and the message being preached, alright, I'm preaching to you to all right, and you'll be good wives and better wives to help your husband. God gave you to be a help to your husband. And all you kids out here one day, you'll be dads, hopefully, you'll be good dads. And also, I hope today, you will appreciate your dads, you know what they're going through, and you know where they're headed. So, you can also help them so the message today is for each one of you. It's not just a Father's Day message. It's a message from God to all of you.
Difficulty of being a dad
Now, it's not easy being a dad. Satan wants to destroy homes; he's doing a good job. He's got a lot of gang, actually a lot of bad dads actually are wonderful allies of his. There’s a terrible peer pressure on dads to neglect homes, to concentrate on other things other than their families. And so today, it's not easy being a dad and never has been easy. Now let's look at where typical dads are, all right? Especially where debts are right here. Now most of us here, the majority are Chinese, Singapore Chinese. So, I will say and describe the typical Singapore Chinese dad. Now a Chinese is first and foremost deep in his core, a Confucianist (a believer in the teachings of Confucius), whether he knows it, or doesn't know it. By core values, he is a Confucianist and we know the Confucianist’s philosophy is focused on order, keep the social order and dads have been lifted up in the family social order to be the big guy. So typical Chinese dads, many, many here, I can see a lot of typical Chinese dads, Christian veneer, but deep inside Confucianist and as a typical dad, you are the head of your house. You are so high; you are hardly approachable. I talk to young people; I say what do you tell your dad? I never talked to my dad. So how do you tell your dad anything? I tell my mom, unless it's a fire, then you say Dad, fire then we go. Alright. Other than that, Mom, tell dad there's a fire alright? Because you don't talk to daddy, don't bother him, unless things are critical, urgent, you don't have a choice, then you tell your dad. So typically, most of us, more or less, are like that. And what happens is actually we don't realize it, we are mirroring the pagan god. Now pagan gods. You see all people believe there's a God, there's nobody who doesn't believe there's a God. Things cannot make itself, common sense, right? No atom can make itself, but pagans believe there is a God somewhere there far, far, very far. And you don't bother that God too much. Maybe when you have a family crisis, you're bankrupt, you lost your job, you got cancer, something like that. Then you go to the temple, and you tell someone to tell God sorry, I disturb you today. But we do have a problem here. Can you help me? Alright, so that's a typical image. Actually, a Confucian father is a very beautiful picture of our concept, a pagan concept of their god. High, unapproachable, in a great crisis, he might sort of condescend to help you a little bit.
How a real God, the true, the living God, what’s he like? He's high, he's higher than any pagan can imagine, higher than any Christian can imagine. He's so high, yet he’s so humble. It's very hard for us to figure that one out. He is so different from us and yet he lives in us. He's one with us. Now, you know, for people, pagans, they can’t understand that. But that is our God. So different. Bible tells us, God wants us to be extremely close to him. “In everything by prayer and supplication.” (Philippians 4:6) You can’t find your slippers this morning. What do you do? God, where’s my slipper? You mean the big high God of the heavens, who made the whole universe with His word, bothers you with the slipper? Yes, yes. Yes. Wah, my slippers smelly this morning, God. Can you help me? Anything, God wants to be involved in your life. This is an amazing God. There’s a billion people calling him right now. And he loves it. He wants you to be close to him. So high, yet he wants to be so close. I hope you're getting the picture guys.
Now some of you will then say but you know, I'm not God, you know, I'm just an ordinary dad. If my kids bother me about everything, I got no time to work, you know. I got to focus on my work. You know, I think there's some truth to this. I think in times of famine, your dad needs to sort of focus, go out there, dig the roots of the ground, so his kids got something to eat. Times of crisis. That's true. And maybe our ancestors, some of our ancestors, our forefathers actually had no time for their kids. I mean, they had to work morning, noon and night just to survive. And that's true. But if I look at this room, I don't think that's true for any of you. None of you can say I am so busy surviving, that I have no time for my kids. I no time to bother with their lost slippers. For us, it's not a pursuit of survival, it’s the pursuit of success. And let me tell you, what's the real measure of success, dad. It’s your kids, it's not your job. How well you do in a job is how well you do your kids. If you don't do your job well, somebody else will take over your place and do it better than you maybe. But if you don't take care of the kids well, nobody else can do the job. It's your responsibility. So, while typical Chinese fathers, this is their style, all right? I focus on making money. I focus on my career. Let my wife focus on the kids. So, you ask them, how the kids? I don't know, I guess my wife knows, taking care of them. Sounds logical, you know, division of labor. Sounds logical. Delegation is good management. God's not against that. But really, what does God say? What does God say? “Ye fathers bring up your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4) You can't just write them out. You can't just hand them over. You can't just say I don't know. It's not really my business. I've focused on earning a living, giving my kids enough, making them have sufficient, need all their needs met, their wants met, and I leave the rest of my wife. Sorry. You can't delegate like that. God doesn't allow it. God wants you involved. Yeah, you can delegate someone but you're still in charge. You can hand over, but you're still involved. So here we see. The typical Confucian father is busy, don't disturb him. Let him focus on his job. Let mom take care of the kids, when it's a crisis, we will involve him. Otherwise, we will free him up from the mundane things of life in the family. That's why families are such a mess because we break God's rules.
God made us in His image
Now let's see what God wants us to be, dads, what does God want us to be? There's so many things God wants us to be and it's impossible to cover them all today. But let's look at our primary responsibility. Right? Today, let's just focus on our primary responsibility. Why are we here? Why are we dads? Why are we alive? First, let's go back ask, why did God make us? How God made us, in the Bible, it says, very simply, “in his image” (Genesis 1:26,27), so we can reflect God. When I have a kid, I expect my kid to look somewhat like me. I mean, I'll be totally surprised if you look totally different from me. Behave totally different from me. I see is that my kid? Where did he come from? Was it messed up in the hospital? And the same way when God made us as His creation, He made us in His own image. He wants us to bear His image. No surprise, right? All fathers want their kids to bear their image. But you know when Adam sin, that image of God in Adam was shattered, totally shattered. Didn't bear the image of God anymore. And that's why we have monster dads, dads who just reflect nothing of God in them. Almost more like Satan, destroying their homes, attacking their wives, beating their kids, raping their daughters. That's extreme, but there's plenty in between. The whole image was shattered.
But you and I, and I believe most of us here, believers, most of you and I have received Jesus Christ as our Savior. When Christ comes into our life, what happens? He wants us to be new, again. restored into the image of, the Bible says, “you're in Christ, you are a new creation.” (2 Corinthians 5:17) So today, I'm addressing dads who are new creations. Holy Spirit in you, helping you to restore that image of God, that you may reflect God in your lives, right? So, we see here, that is what we hope today, we will leave and bear more and more of that image of Jesus Christ, by the help of the Holy Spirit. Obviously, there's so many things about God, we cannot try to reflect everything. And we cannot try to talk about all those either. Let's talk about three things that I hope today when you leave, you will reflect that image of God as a dad, right.
The first thing is love. God is love. And therefore, we should reflect that image of God. Bible doesn’t say, God loves, it’s not one of the things he does, but everything about God, whether he chastises, whether he punishes, whatever he does, it is from love. He doesn't love sometimes, hate sometimes, get angry sometimes and love again another time. He loves because He is love. And so, the first and most important image, dad, you must reflect to your kids. When I asked a kid and I say, tell me one thing about your father, what's the most important thing? I hope the answer is not he's successful, he's smart. But he loves me. If someone asks you tell me about your God, what's your answer? God loves, right? So, I hope that that would be number one.
Number two. Let's look at another thing we hope to cover today. Graciousness, all right. So, three things I hope that you will reflect as a dad. Number one, my kids will say, wow, my dad loves. He loves me. He loves my mom. And I hope the second thing he will say about dad, is gracious because the Lord is gracious. High, lofty, perfect, but gracious, we'll describe that later.
And the third thing is I hope when you are described by your kid, you say my dad is my best guide. He's my mentor. I look up to him. He's my hero. I want to follow him. He guides me. So, I hope today when you leave, these three adjectives will be more clearly attached to your life right as dads.
Let's go to the first one. And that is love. Alright, here's a chapter on love. First Corinthians 13, chapter on love. Let me adapt that to dads, right. If I am a super spiritual dad, verse one, super spiritual, I can speak with tongues, I can preach on the pulpit. I can quote the Bible. I know every verse, but I have no love. I am zero, nothing, not even amoeba, you are nothing. Wow, that's pretty hard. You know, there are a lot of preachers whose kids cannot describe their dad. Oh, he knows the Bible. He preaches, spends time in the church, spends time in seminary. That’s all. Look at the second verse. I have the gift of prophecy. I have all mysteries and all knowledge, etc, etc. Maybe your dad is really smart. You say, Well, my dad super smart. I tell you. He knows everything. He's like Google. You ask him anything, one second, search engine comes up. He knows everything about everything. And if he has no love, he is nothing, zero. Scary, right? And the third one is probably where most of us would describe our dads. My dad sacrifices, he works from morning to night. I see him on Saturday. We say hi to each other. He asked me, did I bathe? I said yes. Did I finish my homework? I said yes. And that was end of conversation. But he's a great dad. I have a nice condo. I have the latest iPad, may get a BMW next year. But you know, if he gave you all that and there was no love, he is zero. Bottom line, bottom line, out of all these three things is Love.
Okay, so you say alright, Pastor teach me how to love my kids and so I can be a good dad. Because Father's Day right, father must have kids, right? So, teach me how to love my kids. Let's see how God tells us. You want to be a good dad. Don't focus on loving your kids. Don't I repeat, when you want to be a good dad, don't focus on loving your kids. You will be a bad dad. And a lot of bad dads around they love their kids dearly, they will die for their kids. They are rotten dads. And what's a good dad? What's a good dad? Husbands love your wives. Make some babies and then love your kids. Is that what it is?
Love your wives
This comes from the great chapter on marriage. Ephesians five. Interestingly enough, in this great chapter on marriage, fathers have one duty. Love your wives. Love your wives. Father's Day. give your kid a nice Father's Day present. What’s that? Love their mom. That's the best present you can give to the kids. The best present any father can give his kids is to love the one she loves or he loves that little kid loves that's his mom. There's an affinity between a child and a mother. It’s very hard to describe a mother's love, a child's love for the mother is so amazing. What can you give to that kid? Come between the kid and the mum? No, love his mom. You know when we love our wives and all you fathers here if you want to be a good father, love your wife. When you love your wife, several things fall into place immediately. One, you create a home that is a home. What's the difference between a home and a shelter? A home and a house? A home has love, that's what differentiates it. The main ambience of the home, ambience is everything, is love. After bruising day at work, a bruising day out there, you go home, refuge. Place not to be judged, not to be valued against somebody else, but just to be loved. When you love your wife, you create the basis of that ambience. Kid comes home and senses this is amazing this home. It's not the sofa, it's not sow, the flat screen TV, you know. Just as amazing you know, wherever you go, somebody's going to have a bigger flat screen TV than you. Wherever you go the malls can outdo your house. Wherever you go, some showhouse can outdo your house, but no house can outdo your house when there's love. You just go home, and this is it, even if there’s no sofa.
What else do you create? You create a knowledge of God. It says, as Christ loved the church, husband love your wives as Christ loved the church. You know many pastors, their kids reject God, sad, I know many. The kids reached the age of maturity, and they say thanks dad, I have nothing to do with your God, of they go. The kids heard preaching about God's love about Christ loving the church and giving for the church but the kid never saw it in the house. See, a kid sees it best when you love your wives. And when you tell your kid about Christ loving the church, he can get it. It's so meaningful to him, is so real. But if a pastor sensei preaches and preaches and goes home and ignores his wife, prepares his message, cares about how good he looks on the pulpit every Sunday. Their kids are going to grow up and see what love, what is love. It's just words, man. I'm done. The best way to preach is with your life. And the best way to preach to your kids is not I told you, I told you, I told you, but I love your mom. Alright, so I hope this helps. And I believe the best legacy you can give your kids, the best legacy.
I have three sons. I have one key performance index. My wife and I agree on this. Do I want my kids to be successful? That's a bonus if they are. Want them to be rich? That's great. I can say that can give me a bit more money. I need some money. That's great. But what is my key performance index for my three sons. They love their wives. That's it. I know if they love their wives, their wives would lovingly submit. And God will bless them, and the rest will fall in place. Ephesians five, that's it. A chapter on marriage gives us one rule. It's not complicated. Love my wife, as Christ loved the church. That's a legacy. That is a gift you give to your kids, and nobody can steal. You give precious things. It can lose value; it can get lost. You give the most precious thing, a legacy like this. It goes on and on from one generation to the next. That's the key performance index. That's the key criteria. Are you a successful dad? Did you pass on this one simple truth that God has given us?
What is love – Intimacy and Warmth
All right now let's move on to what is love. Talk about love. Love is vague. Love is some warm, fuzzy feeling for many people. I love hamburgers. You know every time you see hamburgers, saliva comes out. What is love? Is it some warm fuzzy feeling? Is it some growling in your tummy? Love in the Bible is all about action. Love is an active word, for God so loved the world he gave. God didn’t just up there and write poems in the sky about his love for us. He acted on it. Right? So, let's just see what real love is. Number one. God's love is intimate and warm. God didn't stay up in heaven and say I love you. The Bible tells us when we receive Jesus as our Savior, God lives in us. That's as intimate as you can get. Intimate is to be near somebody, but God surpasses that. He doesn't come near us; He comes into us. Wow. You mean, the great God of the Heaven, the heavens cannot contain him? Listen to me. He wants to be intimate with me, a sinner? Wow. Now when I say, husbands love your wives, this is what I mean, intimacy and warmth, intimacy and warmth. I hope this is what your home would be like. It's not a Confucian home where that's dad, don't disturb him. Mom's here, her place is in the kitchen with the kids. Dad has his place; we have our place. That's not intimate, that’s segregated, that's separate. As a pagan god, he's there, we're here. My God loves me and he's here, right here (in the heart). That's a nice, warm, fuzzy feeling, that God is so close to me. So, husbands, number one, intimacy and warmth. I hope that's something we will grasp.
Next one, “But God commendeth His love towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) What's the word commendeth? Sounds big, like commendation from the government. You know, you save a kid from drowning, you get a commendation. Sorry, that word actually means demonstrates. God demonstrates His love to us. You know, God is a very demonstrative God. The greatest act of demonstration of love is he sent his Son on the cross, public, public, a million people saw that. God's act of love was publicly seen. Jesus said to them, those who curse him, who mocked him, who spat on him and said to Him if you are the Son of God come down and Jesus said, “Father, forgive them.” That's demonstration, folks. Public daylight demonstration. The biggest day in the Jewish calendar, the biggest gathering of Jews in that time, all there, and God demonstrated His love. Wow. Every cloud you see that floats in the sky. That's a demonstration of God's love. The clear blue skies demonstrate. God is very demonstrative. Every flower he makes is telling you. I love he's giving you a flower garden, beautiful flower. Every butterfly that flies by, every bird, everything that God makes, every smell, every sound is God saying I love you. You are special to me. God is very demonstrative, and the greatest act of demonstration is Christ on the cross.
Today your husband to hold his wife's hands, we married so long already. It's like the wives got some kind of you know, fungus whatever is like, No la, pastor please. See the confucianist, we have to not demonstrate any emotions ask the Singaporean, “Hey, you are the Top Boy in Singapore, how do you feel?” “Okay.” I cannot demonstrate, cannot be excited, cannot say wow I am top boy, I deserve it! “Okay” “You won a million dollars today! What can you say?” “Lucky la” See we mustn't get excited; we are nice Chinese gentlemen. We shouldn't get excited, so childish. I tell you I hold my wife's hand; my wife is right there. I will feel really weird if I didn't have a hand to hold, that’s why my hands are in my pocket all the time. What do you do with a loose hand? Tell me? Like a spastic, walking around, loose hand. I preach to you with this and this hand is hanging there. What is this hand for? You know before you went on a date, you're dating a girl, you think of every trick or the corner of the girl, so you can hold her hand and get across a long kang (drain in malay) right? And now after you're married, same girl right? Same girl. You scared to hold her hand? What's up? She knows I love her. That's what we say. You asked a kid this. Do you know your dad loves your mom? I think so? How do expect him to know? He can’t read your heart. You haven't said anything to your wife? You haven't demonstrated anything? How is he supposed to know? Is he a genius? Is he God? Can he peep into your heart? I believe we as husbands we love our wives, but we are so afraid to demonstrate it because of our culture. And God is demonstrative, so when you leave this place today, got the message guys? It is allowed in GLCC and if you don't, your pastor will call you up. All right.
You know, dating was the best time of our life. Courtship you know you give flowers, you find something to demonstrate your love, you go to this expensive restaurant in my time was $3.90. All right, it had dim lights, go there and makan (eat in malay) right? $3,90 was big deal right? Why was I doing all that? For the food was lousy all right. But it was demonstrating, Hey, I love you. You know courtship was the best time of our lives right? Because love is the most exciting thing in life. Love between us and God, love between me and my wife, love between me and my kids. Why do we put it aside? Why do we say the day we get married, we have to stop courting our wives? Why? When I introduced my wife, I said this my girlfriend. You say oh pastor, your ex-girlfriend. How is he? What are we talking about? Always my girlfriend, now just happens also to be my wife and also the mother of my kids. When will she stopped being my girlfriend? I hope never. We took a vow to have and to hold right? In riches or in poverty, in sickness or in health, after getting married, don't hold till death do us part. You know when you're old, sometimes I joke with my wife said, one day I don't know your name, you don't know my name, I think we can still hold hands. We don't need to know each other's name. I mean, I think you look familiar to me. I know. It's fun anyway. I don't need to talk. I hope that your kids can see you dads and say that my dad loves my mom. And that is amazing. You have reflected God in a beautiful way. You reflected Christ’s love in a beautiful way. Right? I hope your courtship goes on because God courts us forever.
What else? Touch, I didn't put the verses because if I were to put the verses, it would need hundreds of verses. You know, Jesus touched everybody. Jesus, when He heal the blind man went up and touch. Jesus did not have to touch. Jesus could have seen a blind man from a far and say, don't bother to come right. Eyes open. He's at the other, you know, 10 miles away, his eyes will pop open and say thank you God. But Jesus walked up to him, got a blind man to walk to him, for what? So, he could touch hum. Whether it was a lame man, lame man can’t walk, and he would go and touch him. Was a leper who was afraid to come, he would go and touch. It was his disciples, he would touch them, children he would touch. Why? Was his hand for picking? This hand is for touch. Touch is a wonderful communication tool to say, I care. I love. Some of us are not very verbal. Right. But I hope all of us had hands now. You don't need to make speeches. You go and pat one on the back, when your wife is tired, grip a hug. And that's all. They can say a lot of messages. I appreciate you; I love you, I thank God for you, etc, etc. Use the hand. You know when a premature baby is born, they have to put this baby in an incubator, because it doesn't have the antibodies. It doesn't have the temperature control systems working. So, they put this in a sterile environment, control temperature, feed the baby very carefully, very scientifically. And you know what, babies don't grow in incubators. Everything is there, the right nutrition, the right temperature, the right environment, etc. But when they take the baby out, for a little while and just let the mum hug that baby and the baby grows, amazing. Even a baby can benefit. What about your wife? A baby grows beautifully when it's hot. So, you have hands, use it. On the pulpit, my hand is always here. But if my wife was here, my hand will be there. This was meant to tell those around you, you love them. For many of us, this is, you know what the Bible tells us, when we ever have to correct a child, don't use your hand because this hand is to signal love. The Bible says use a rotan (cane in Malay). I didn't hit you with my hand. It's the rotan. Alright? Because this must always symbolize care and love. God holds us in his hand. Right?
And then, communicative. Ask the guy when's the last time you said you love your wife? I told her long ago already. She should know. You know when God tells us, He loves us. It's repeated in the Bible over and over again. We just key the word, love, and you see the number of times God says he loves us. I mean it could be Genesis chapter one. God is love. God loves you. I no need to tell you anymore. You should know right? We may know what we want to hear again. Right? It just refreshes us. It encourages us and it cost us nothing to tell our wives that. Nothing. No charge. Is it so hard to tell your wife I love you? But when you complain, you can complain nonstop. Very long. Cannot stop. I say enough, enough still continue. Right? But three words, “I love you” cannot come out. What's wrong with us? Because we think they don't need it. Every kid needs to hear his dad tell his mom, I love you. Not just tell the kid, tell his mum. Over and over and over again. I lose count how many times I tell my wife I love her. You can ask her about it, she's tired of it. Right? Communicative and God's love is unconditional. Don't say I love your kid when he comes with nine As on his report card. That's the time you keep quiet. Because you don't want your kid ever to think you love them because they can produce something. The difference between home and outside is this, outside you are judged by what you can produce for me. You are nothing more than a living biological factory for me. If you do well, commendation if you don't do well, fire. Home is not like that. That's the beauty of home, that God loves us unconditionally. The time to tell your kid you love him is not when he does well. It’s when he does badly, and you say, “Son, you know your dad loves you.” And that is unconditional. Now what you did stinks and that is not acceptable. And your kid is smart enough to know. That's the way he wants his dad. I want a dad who loves me in spite of who I am and a dad who will correct me. A time to tell your kids you love them is when they fail, especially at that time. And the same with your wife. When they didn't live up to expectations, you say “Honey, I still love you and always will. But that was disappointing.”
You know, God wants us to love unconditionally. That gives us the security that makes home special. That makes God special. I can love you because God loves me unconditionally. I can love unconditionally because he loved me unconditionally. I have a reservoir of love because it came from God. Unconditional Love. You know, salvation is unconditional. It’s not you're good, you go to heaven. God is good, that's why he wants you to go to heaven. And he loves us. “For God so loved the world he gave his only begotten Son.” (John 3:16) Alright, so having said that about love, I hope you guys, you dads go home today and be better at loving your wife. And you wives don't make fun. And Nancy, eee, so long you didn't touch me, now you say, you know, all right. You cooperate all right? You know guys have a huge ego, all right? Guys have a huge ego. You buy your wife a present, you want to show some love. Aiya, why you buy purple. Like purple, last year is purple this year. You know? That's it, folks. That's it, folks. All right. You cooperate, right? Every move he makes, you be grateful. Right? And then together, you'll find your marriage becomes beautiful. It's so sad to hear after someone gets married, kind of the courtship dies shortly after paying the wedding bills and then lo and behold the baby comes. Wow. And now your wife's name is called mommy. You know when I hear men call his wife, mommy. I almost wonder. Honestly, right? One mommy, how come you got two now? Call your wife, mommy? What's up? She's your darling, not your mommy. You want to put a bottle in your mouth? You want a bib. And then wife's calling her husband, daddy. He's always your husband, your lover. Right? Don't ever let anyone take that from you.
Courtship is a beautiful time. Love is a beautiful feeling, beautiful experience that God wants us to have. Pure love between husband and wife is the closest thing and Christ and his Church, between Christ. That's the closest thing because men like that and women like that, the devil comes and tempts with extra marital activity. When your wife, your girlfriend becomes your mother, you need a girlfriend again. And you find that somewhere out there. How sad. How sad. So, God help us. All right. I married my wife whether she produced me babies or no babies. She's my wife and when I enjoy my wife, she gives me babies. That's a bonus. But I won't let that be a distraction because if I love her, she will be so secure. She'll be a great mom. I'll be a great dad and my kids have a great home. The rest will follow.
Right, so let's move on to number two graciousness. “The Lord is gracious” (Psalm 145:8) What is graciousness? Well, maybe easier described, what is not graciousness? Someone is sharp. Someone is sarcastic. Someone who is harsh, judgmental, that's not gracious. A gracious person is one whose words encourage, not discourage, whose words help us to grow, not hurt us. You know, I hope all you husbands, many of you work in the office and some of you have developed horrible habits in the office. I want things like that chop, chop. You know, you go home, and you think your wife is your office sorry. When you go home, even in the office, you shouldn't behave like that. Christians should have gracious words. We don't need to use pressure with God. People who move we can pray, and God will move them. That's the best way. Sarcastic words are not the best way to move people. It's not the best way to grow people. Whether it's office staff, or your kids or your wife. We don't need those words. Grace, say encouraging things, say in a gracious way. Learn to do that. We live in a world so full of harshness and hardness that it's so hard to do that and I hope that we will be able in spite of this world of harshness to have words of grace.
Husbands tell their wives, oh you so emotional. What's wrong with you? They come to me, Pastor, my wife is super emotional. And my answer is you married a woman, right? They look at me like I'm some stupid pastor of course I married a woman. I say, you know something, woman different from men, you know? Look the same right? Two eyes everything right? But inside the wiring, different. Most of their wires are here, not here. This is their CPU. You know, you ask your wife, why are you so emotional because God made me that way. So, I can emote to my kids. You know kids? You don't logic to the kids, you emote to them? Right? God wired you that way so you, aiya, my wife is so illogical? Thank God my wife is very illogical. Why would she give up a career to take care of my kids? Why should we give up all her potential and all the university degree everything so she can teach children ABC? That's illogical you know. I can pay a tutor to do that you know? Thank God she's illogical. She’s not calculating like me. Thank God she's wired differently. Thank God she's willing to give up all those things to play with a little fellow. Those are hard words.
Parents see their kid, why you so childish? Kid says, I am a child. I mean, if a kid was adulty, she's a freak right? Imagine a kid, when he is baby, he wraps his own diapers, put it aside, he said, “Mom, 11 o'clock, my next feed.” You'll say where this alien come from? Why is he so childish? Because he's a child. Is that rocket science? Why do you have to say these things? You got a kid growing up is as tall as human, why you are so immature just because I'm tall I’m not mature yet, you know. It's got nothing to with height, dad. I'm 11,12 years old, you want me to be mature? Wow. You know it takes years, even wine, anything takes years to mature right? Give them time, don’t be so hard, don't be so critical. Give words that encourage, not chop people down. Worse is when his parents say to your kid why you so short. Look at the parents say, “You and mommy short what? You give me the genes then you scold me some more. What’s wrong with you? Like I chose it ah?”
You know, why do we do these things to our kids? Habit, just comes out like venom, to hurt. Words of grace, nothing, and you know there's very little I think, I thank God, physical abuse in this room. Very few of you dads hurt your kids physically. Thank God for that. But I tell you be careful; you might hurt your kids verbally. Slash yourself, in a few minutes, the blood will clot. A few days, the scab will fall off. But when you hurt somebody with words, 20, 30 years later, they say, “Pastor I cannot forgive my dad because he said this.” Can’t cure, can’t heal. Only God can heal it. Only God could help them. Do you know how hard it is, how hurtful it is? Dads, start today, be gracious, say sweet things to your wife. Make it a habit, that your home will be a home where people don't attack each other with words and chop each other with words and hurt each other with words. Your home is a place where you can come back and recover because it's a patch of heaven on earth. And it begins with you, dads.
Alright, lastly, very quickly. Last one is guidance. Thank you. All right. We have to guide our kids, what's the best way to guide our kids and mentor them? Teach the Bible, every father will say, “Bible, Pastor. That's the way I teach them. I know how to use the Bible, why your hair so long? Deuteronomy 24:4 says, men must have shorthair. Why you eat so much? Bible say don't be glutton. Why you so untidy? God say God is a God of order you know; I make everything tidy in your room.” We use the Bible as our extra hammer. Alright, if you don't listen to me, God say, you know, God say, you know. No wonder our kids don't want to read the Bible. It's just a penal code. If you want to teach the Bible, don't misuse and abuse the Bible. Pastors do that all the time.
I tell you how to teach the Bible. Let me teach you a trick. Do what the Father does, Heavenly Father. The Heavenly Father wrote us a book called the Bible. 70% of the Bible is made up of stories, stories, stories. God is a storyteller do you know that? God never gave a sermon in the Bible. He gives stories, 70% stories and a good part of it, letters, nice love letters to Romans, Ephesians, Thessalonians. Lectures actually are invented by men. Most sermons are invented by seminary graduates and silly people like me. Alright. A wise person wants to teach the Bible learns to tell stories. Stories are the best way to teach. If I teach you today, three things, love, graciousness, guidance. Next week I ask you what are the three things I taught? Did you preach last week, Pastor? Yes. All right. Best way to forget is 1, 2, 3. Sure forget. But stories, even stupid stories, you remember. Because God wired us that way, that's why he wrote the Bible with stories. How can you forget the stories? Cannot. That’s why primary Sunday school kids they very bored because they heard the same story too many times. They know. Teacher, I know about Jonah already, you tell me again. Learn to tell stories in interesting ways. Not many can be preachers. It takes some skill and some training.
But everybody is a storyteller from the day he could talk. You know that? You're all storytellers. When you're a little child, you drop in the drain what you go home and do? You keep quiet? Go home and tell story. Ma, I drop in the drain, very deep you know? Actually, so deep. Wah so much blood, actually small little scratch. You are actually a very dramatic and good storyteller you know that? Everybody's a storyteller. So, every one of you dads. All right. If you're old dads, a bit late. Can’t tell your son 34 years old, come I tell you a story. You sit on my lap, I tell you a story. But if you're young fathers, let me tell you, tell stories. The best way to teach your kids, everybody. Jesus never taught without a parable. Confucius told stories. Chinese history teaches stories, not principles, stories. Stories are always remembered. Greek philosophers, stories. Everything is stories. Be a good storyteller, dad. Learn to tell stories, right? When you sit around, watch Euro Cup last night, tomorrow tell a story about the goal. I say how goal? Ya, two goals. Finish. Tell story how he fall, how he kicked, how he whatever and whatever, his hair fly. All right and one day when you tell a story to kids, wow so interesting. Otherwise, you tell about Jonah, Jonah naughty, he went here then the whale ate him then it vomit him out. Can we sleep papa? Ya go and sleep. You must describe the stomach, the vomit, then you say didn't come out here, came out here. You know, you tell the whole story and the kids will remember forever and say you see you mess up, you don't want to follow God, one day it will be messy. Right? Your life messy right? Stinko, right. You remember Jonah, okay. Years later, when he messes his life, he remembers that little story. Cannot forget.
So, dads, teach truth. Don't hammer people on the head with verses taken out of context. Don't use the Bible as something to make your life convenient. Teach truth. And God's truth is best taught in storytelling. It is a lost art, but it's easily regained because we are all created to love stories and to love to tell stories. We are all created in the image of God. God wrote the Bible, God said we are made in His image. God wrote the Bible full of stories. God made us in the image, we can tell stories. Right now, example truth. When you tell the story, try to apply it. Tell him about Jonah, messed up, didn’t want to obey God. That's the principle. Principle is your life will be messy. But more important than applying truth is example truth by your life. You tell them the gospel they can see because you love my mom. You love mom unconditionally. I understand unconditional love because I see my father. I understand the power of prayer because I've watched my father pray. I understand you can go to God in anything by prayer and supplication because Daddy prays for everything. Understand the Bible is a wonderful book because Daddy enjoys reading and telling stories from the Bible. And by your life, you are the best teacher. Sermons, lectures are rejected and quickly forgotten, rotten way to teach. Storytelling, God’s way, will go on beautifully.
So let me end by saying, love your wives. Want to be a good dad, don’t look at your kids today, don't bother with them, look at your girlfriend. You want to be a good dad. Don't worry about your kids. Worry about their mom, love your wife. Number two, be gracious. Wherever you speak, ask yourself, was it cutting, hurting or healing and building? And number three, just tell yourself, I will be a good storyteller. If my kids are old already, maybe I can use storytelling in evangelism. I can tell them many stories about my life and how God helped me. That's called Testimony Time. And people love to hear stories. All of you in your little bedside stories. Now Korean stories I don't know what stories you guys watch. Right? But you're addicted to stories, all of you. Science fiction stories, funny stories in your computer. You all love stories, right? So may God bless all of you, use you in a wonderful way.
More Episodes from Pastor Paul Choo:
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Episodes from other sermons:
03 Dec 2023
26 Nov 2023
23 Jul 2023
18 Jun 2023
28 May 2023
07 Apr 2023
12 Mar 2023
25 Dec 2022