There's a Father's Day card that reads, "Dad, everything I ever learned I learned from you, except one thing. The family car really will do 110."
It is stressful to be a father today. Some of us have jobs that require 5560 hours a week and we feel guilty that we don't spend enough time with our children. The redefining of gender roles has left many dads uncertain about what is expected of them. The breakdown of morality also creates stress. How can we get our children to adhere to Christian morals when they're attacked every day? The media portrayal of fathers as inept and irrelevant hasn't eased the tension either.
Sometimes at church we add to the pressure by beating up on dads for their neglect or poor examples. One little boy said to his preacher, "Boy, that was a good sermon. My dad slumped way down today." It's not the intent of this message to beat fathers up but to build them up.
Let's look at a father in the Book of Genesis who faced some similar pressures. His name is Jacob. The Bible says there's nothing new under the sun, and Jacob experienced many of the pressures that young fathers face today.
Fathers face pressure from the failures of their past
First, there was the pressure of Jacob's imperfection. Jacob did not have a good reputation as a young man. One day in his youth he was out barbecuing some beef stew when his older twin brother, Esau, came in from an unsuccessful hunt famished. The aroma from that stew cooking smelled great to a ravenous hunter, and Esau begged for a portion. Jacob said, "I'll give you some, but it will cost you your birthright." Esau said, "What good is a birthright if a man dies of starvation?" Jacob had his deal, but it was a raw deal.
Some time later Jacob cheated Esau again, this time ...
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