Today's lesson was about how fathers are disrespected in popular culture and what men are supposed to be like to be great men of God.
Does anyone ever recall a Mother's Day sermon that sternly advised women what they should be like? Of course not. Granted, there has always been a lot of unconscious assumption of what women should be like - likely more than unconscious assumption of what men should act like - but the specific Four-Point directive? On Mother's Day? Never.
I'm off-topic already. Hmm.
The descriptions of What Men Are Like were exactly like what popular Christian culture declared thirty years ago, when I was a new husband and father. That bit about generals always fighting the last war? Yeah, I think we've got Christian culture doing the same thing. Men who don't like to talk about their feelings. Men who resist being romantic. This was always an oversimplification, even decades ago, and I'm sure that one can still find examples of such men now. But does anyone think these are still the general problems of Christian men today? Really?
Has anyone bothered to go out and, like, collect any data on these assertions? Or is it just more fun to write books based on listening to old tapes of Focus on the Family from 1985-89? Well, somebody buys these books, so I guess it has value in that limited sense.
My wife asked me what I would preach on if I were giving the Father's Day sermon. (Hey, it could happen. I may not be talented, but I am highly experienced.) I don't know, though I am certain I would stick to one narrow topic. I am increasingly convinced sermons should do this. She suggested preaching on Being Present. Showing Up. Being There. That may he the place to start. You may not have to be that good, but you should show up.