OceanSide church of Christ

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Victor M. Eskew




A.             Would they have done anything differently?

1.                Adam after Cain slew Abel?

2.                Eli after his sons made themselves vile?

3.                David after his experiences with Absalom?


B.              These men all had children who committed grievous sins against God, their families, and their fellowman.  Surely, they wished they had done some things differently.


C.              When you reach my age and all your children are grown and out of the house, you still experience some of those same feelings, even if your children have grown up to be faithful to God and are successful in life.


D.             With Father’s Day in mind, I decided to present a lesson entitled:  “Things I Would Do Differently.”




A.             Hosea 4:6a.


My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…


B.              Knowledge is essential in every aspect of life.  The more I know, the better I am if I use that knowledge properly.


C.              Areas wherein I wish I would have had more knowledge.

1.                Child development, especially in the early years.

a.         Both personality and character are developed at a very early age.

b.         Trust, autonomy, industry, identity, and intimacy are traits learned while children are at home.

                        2.         How to communicate more effectively.

                                    a.         Sending clear messages.

                                    b.         Active listening.

                        3.         How to set and enforce rules.

                                    a.         What constitutes a rule?  The guideline and the discipline.

                                    b.         Types of consequences:  natural, logical, and arbitrary.

                        c.         Follow through.

                        d.         Consistency.




A.             Fathers are responsible for spiritual training in the home.


1.                Ephesians 6:4.


And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath:  but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.


2.                Colossians 3:21.


Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.


B.              Three areas of spiritual training I would have done better.

1.                Purposeful study (II Tim. 3:15).


And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.


a.         Devotionals are often a hit or miss presentation.  Sing a song, read a verse, make a comment or two, and have a prayer.

b.         Make the home studies pertinent to the child’s state of life and current issues he/she is facing.

                        2.         Practical daily application of Scripture to the child’s life (Deut. 6:6-7).


And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:  and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.


a.         We should point out where a scripture applies to life.

b.         This Bible example applies to what you are going through.

c.         The child comes to understand that the Bible is our guide in all things and that it is a relevant Book in every area of life.

                        3.         Positive example to follow (I Tim. 4:12).


Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.


a.         There would never be a time when I would say:  “Do as I say, not as I do.”

                                    b.         They would see me doing what the Bible expects them to do also.




A.             Traditions are “inherited patterns of thoughts and actions.”

1.                They create memories in the minds of children.  They often continue with them when they leave the home.

2.                We had a few traditions:

a.         Cooking out on Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day.

b.         A fun summer vacation.

c.         Thanksgiving at my mother’s house.

d.         Going with the family to a movie on Christmas night.


B.              Memories can also be created in other ways:  birthdays, trips, school events, gifts, and special talks.


C.              Memories cannot be taken away.  Too, they always remind our children of home.




A.             In the home, children are being taught about the husband/wife relationship.

1.                What children see is assumed to be how two individuals act in marriage.

2.                They will often carry these things into their marriages.


B.              Paul instructed husbands to love their wives.

1.                Ephesians 5:25.


Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.


2.                Ephesians 5:28.


So ought men to live their wives as their own bodies.  He that loveth his wife loveth himself.


C.              I did not come from an emotional, hugging, touching, feeling kind of family.  Love was understood and it was demonstrated in our actions. 


D.             There are many things that I could have done better in loving Kathleen.

1.                Less criticism and more gratitude.

2.                Pay attention to her words and ideas.

3.                Assume more household responsibilities.

4.                Make her desires and needs superior to my activities.

5.                Understand her feelings and empathize with her.

6.                Do not act as if I am superior to her.

7.               Prefer her over other people.

8.               Add romance to the relationship:  touching, holding, “I love you.”


Taken from For Better or for Best, Gary Smalley, “Eight Ways Husbands Hurt Their Wives,” pp. 17-25).




A.             Isn’t peace and tranquility one of the inviting aspects of home?


B.              Psalm 133:1.


Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.


C.              Many things put stress and bring trouble to a home.

1.                Moves and finances.

2.                Rebellion and sin.

3.                Decisions and personalities.

4.                Work and church problems.

5.                Friends and date mates.

6.                School and recreation.


D.             The problem is enough by itself.  Handling the problem in an inappropriate manner only adds to the difficulties.

1.                Aggressively:  wrong.

2.                Passively:  wrong.

3.                Assertively:  right.

4.                Many passages of the Bible reveal how we should conduct ourselves in the midst of struggles and problems.

a.         Proverbs 15:1.


A soft answer turneth away wrath:  but grievous words stir up anger.


                                    b.         Colossians 3:6.


Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.


                                    c.         Colossians 3:12-14.


Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any:  even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.  And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.


E.              Looking back on some troubles, I know I could have been calmer, more gentle, longsuffering, compassionate, and kinder.  I added to the problems instead of helping to be the solution.




A.             We usually become parent with little or no training.


B.              As Christians, we try to do right.  Sometimes, however, we regard how we handled our children.


C.              Fortunately, God grants forgiveness when we come to Him with a penitent heart.


D.             Sadly, the effects of our inappropriateness can be long lasting.


E.              We exhort the present fathers to learn from my mistakes.  When your children are grown and out of the house, that is a phase of life that can never be recovered.  Do you job now and do your job well as a father.