Duties of Daddies

Bible Book: 1 Timothy  6 : 11-16
Subject: Father's Day; Dads; Fathers; Family

Kenneth Chafin in his book, Help! I'm a Layman, wrote of a time several years ago when he came home from the office just in time for the evening meal. They had hardly begun to eat when his five- year-old daughter asked if he would be home that night. He was embarrassed to answer because he was to speak that night to a group on the topic, "What a Good Father Ought to Be." To soften the disappointment of his daughter at his leaving, he decided that he would ask her to give him a little help with the talk. He placed a piece of paper and a pencil on the table. Throughout the meal she would come to his chair and whisper in his ear what she thought it meant to be a good daddy. He wrote each of them down. This was the list: (1) Catch a fish. (2) Build a fire. (3) Fly a kite. (4) Catch a butterfly. (5) Plant a flower. (6) Get a kitty cat out of the mud.

Chafin took the list with him to the meeting. As he waited to be introduced, he was looking over the list. Suddenly it hit him. Nothing that his daughter wanted in an ideal father required his buying anything. But everything she mentioned required him. From that, he wondered if many of us do not spend most of our lives working to purchase things for our children instead of giving them what they need more than anything else - ourselves.

Many years ago, I asked my daughters the same question, "What does it mean to be a good Daddy or what should a good father do?" Here are their replies:


1. Punish his children when they do bad so that they will know not do it again.

2. Spend time with each child every once in a while.

3. Buy something for each child every once in a while, but should not get them too much because they will get spoiled.

4. Show the kids how much you love them.

5. Be a good example to them.


1. Discipline them when they are bad.

2. Show them lots of love.

3. Help them with schoolwork.

4. Take special time with them.

5. Cheer them up when they are sad.


1. To help their boo-boo's get well

2. To help their children

3. To help birds

The message I share with you this morning is one that is desperately needed for fathers, mothers, as well as all family members.

Turn to 1 Timothy 6:11-16. This section is a "summing up" of the things that Paul had written to the young minister. While these suggestions are not primarily intended for fathers, they can surely be applied that way. These are some special duties of any parent.

I. There is the Need for a Personal, Genuine Confession of Faith in Christ

In verse 12, Paul called on Timothy to lay hold of the eternal life to which he had been called and to profess it strongly before others.

This confession is necessary for Christian homes. We cannot have Christian homes without Christians in the home. The father sets the pace for the family. If he is head of the household, the leader of the family, he should certainly lead in this area also. It is his responsibility.

This confession is comparable to Christ's confession. In verses 14-16, Paul compared the confession that Timothy would make before people to the confession that Christ made before Pilate. It is the kind of confession that is consistent with the commitment that has been made to Christ.

When Jesus stood before Pilate, Pilate said: "'Are you the king of the Jews?' 'Yes, it is as you say,' Jesus replied" (Luke 23:3). Jesus had witnessed that He was a King and Timothy always had witnessed to the lordship of Christ. When the Christian confesses his faith, he does what his Master has already done. When the Christian suffers for his faith, he undergoes what his Master has already undergone. When we are engaged on some great enterprise, we can say, "We are treading where the saints have trod." But when we confess our faith before men, we can say even more, "I stand with Christ."

How we need fathers with such a personal genuine confession of faith.

Can you boldly say you stand with Christ? If we all did, our homes, churches, and schools would be transformed.

On a wall near the main entrance to the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, is a portrait with the following inscription, "James Butler Bonham - no picture of him exists. This portrait is of his nephew, Major James Bonham, deceased, who greatly resembled his uncle. It is placed here by the family that people may know the appearance of the man who died for freedom."

No literal portrait of Jesus exists either. But the likeness of the Son who makes us free should be seen in the lives of His true followers.

II. There is the Need for a Christlike Character

Character is important. We must have men of character who will stand for God in their homes and in the nation.

Verse 11 gives some of the characteristics that are indications of character. This kind of character will pay dividends for the family. Notice them.

The virtues and the noble qualities which are set before Timothy are not just heaped haphazardly together. There is an order in them. First there comes righteousness. Righteousness is defined as "giving both to men and to God their due."

Righteousness is the most comprehensive and inclusive of the virtues. The righteous man is the man who does his duty to God and to his fellowmen. Second, there is a group of three virtues, which look toward God. Godliness is the reverence of the man who throughout all his life never ceases to be aware that all life is lived in the presence of God. Faith here means fidelity, and is the virtue of the man who, through all the chances and the changes of life, down even to the gates of death, is loyal to God. Love (agape) is the virtue of the man who, even if he tried, cannot forget what God has done for him, and cannot forget the love of the heart of God to men. Third, there comes the virtue, which looks to the conduct of life. It is endurance, which the King James Version translates patience. But endurance never means the spirit, which sits with folded hands and simply bears things, letting the experiences of life flow like a tide over it. Endurance is victorious endurance, masculine constancy under trial. It is unswerving constancy to faith in spite of adversity and suffering. It is the virtue, which does not so much accept the experiences of life as it conquers these experiences. Endurance is the virtue, which in spite of all things overcomes the world. Fourth, there comes the virtue, which concerns relationships. The word is gentleness. It is one of these untranslatable words in Greek. It describes the spirit which never blazes into anger for its own wrongs, but which can be purely and devastatingly angry for the wrongs of others. It describes the spirit, which knows how to forgive and yet knows how to wage the battle of righteousness. It describes the spirit which walks at once in humility and yet in pride of its high calling from God. It describes the virtue by which a man at one and the same time remembers the shame of being a sinner and the glory of being a son of God. It is an irenic power. It describes the virtue by which at all times a man is enabled rightly to treat his fellowmen, and rightly to regard himself.

How we need fathers like that! Is your character Christlike? Is there righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and gentleness? Do these rank above athletics and academics in your training program? If you say, I show all this to them by the way I live, I ask, "How can this be when they rarely see you?"

III. There is the Need to Continue the Faith

Timothy had a good heritage of faith (2 Timothy 1:5). He had come from a family where Christian faith was strongly held and vigorously practiced. This was obviously important to Timothy's early spiritual maturity.

One duty of a daddy is to continue that heritage of faith. Timothy is urged here to "fight the good fight of faith" (v. 12). The heritage of faith is not just for the women and children. It is carried on by people who see its worth and catch a vision of its greatness.

General Douglas A. MacArthur wrote this prayer.

"Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak, and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid; one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory."

"Build me a son whose wishes will not take the place of deeds; a son who will know Thee and that to know himself is the foundation stone of knowledge."

"Build me a son whose heart will be clear, whose goal will be high, a son who will master himself before he seeks to master other men; one who will reach into the future, yet never forget the past."

"And after all these things are his, add, I pray, enough of a sense of humor, so that he may always be serious, yet never take himself too seriously. Give him humility, so that he may always remember the simplicity of true greatness, the open mind of true wisdom and the meekness of true strength."

"Then I, his father, will dare to whisper, 'I have not lived in vain.'"

How much stronger our churches would be and how much deeper Christian faith would penetrate the world if this could be the natural, unembarrassed, unashamed approach of fathers. Their faith would be something that they wore with naturalness and expressed without embarrassment. When the heritage of faith is continued by fathers, it is done without embarrassment. There is strength in this. Let us grasp the importance of transferable faith.

The very failure of most generations to pass on the passionate faith of their heart to those who come before has left Christianity in deep trouble in North America. We are the only continent in which Christianity is not growing. In South Carolina, the percentage of population in this state that are members of South Carolina Baptist churches is dropping every year. In fact, since 1970 it has dropped from 4% to just slightly over 18%. Men, listen to me. Your sons and daughters are desperately looking to you for an example of someone who loves the Lord Jesus Christ with all his heart. It is not enough for them to see you come to church once in awhile. Do they see passion for Christ lived out in your life?

Fathers, can others (children, wife, or friends) see Jesus in you? Do you boldly stand with Christ in word and character?