Zis-N-Zat From Pastor Asher

God is my conscience, Jesus lives in my heart… this blog is about what I see, what I think, what I do and how I serve God

Approximate Notes For Father’s Day Message; June 21, 2015; Galatians 4:1-6

Scriptures for this Sunday are: Galatians 4:1-6

You can read these Scriptures here: {Click ME}

Hymns for Sunday:

UMH 111 – How Can We Name a Love

UMH 384 – Love Divine, All Loves Excelling

image

It is impossible to watch TV without observing the portrayal of the modern-day husband and father acting as lazy, incompetent and irresponsible.

{Illustration}

We know that this is not an all-representative portrayal of fatherhood because all we have to do is look around this sanctuary to see examples of husbands and fathers that are industrious, competent, devoted to their wives and children, and dependable.

The uncomplimentary portrayal of dads is not new in our culture. Fathers and husbands are portrayed on TV as deranged (“Malcolm in the Middle,” “Simpsons”), troubled (“The Sopranos”), incompetent (“Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Roseanne”), dimwitted (“Family Guy,” “Married With Children”), absent (“Grace Under Fire”), and irresponsible (“Yes, Dear”). There are few instances where the father has a job, works hard to provide for his family, is devoted to his wife and spends time with his children (“Tool Time,” Phil Dunphy in “Modern Family”), and these fathers are portrayed as constantly creating messes that mom has to rescue them from.

image

Dads were not always portrayed like that. There was a time when dads were portrayed as having flaws, but they were close to what was then thought to be a normative representation of a family (“The Donna Reed Show,” “The Cosby Show,” “Family Ties,” “Growing Pains,” “Full House,” “7th Heaven”).

image

I think that something happened in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The TV Dad became the butt of jokes. What is even more dangerous, the TV Dad became irrelevant. The message became “the mother does the parenting and dad is dispensable.”

By now you probably thinking, “Geez, (1) this is depressing, and (2) this dude is watching way too much TV.” Well maybe you are right, but I also think that art is a lie that tells us something about the truth (Pablo Picasso). In the late 1980s and early 1990s there was a shift in our society where fathers in the media became portrayed as doltish and irrelevant. The message became that males are not needed to rear children, and that dad is a superfluous doofus.

image

We learn by seeing and observing; we practice what we know to be right, true and beautiful (Brandeis University). Negative portrayals of men (fathers and husbands) on TV create an environment where boys do not know how to be responsible fathers and husbands and how to assume those roles in society. These portrayals also set certain expectations for girls who watch this programming. We are programming the future of our country. Future generation of boys will have difficulties respecting and understanding women; we are also raising a future generation of women who are bound to say, “We don’t really need men as a part of family.” In a way we already see that in our society. {Explain}.

So what can be done?

image

Speaking at the National Geographic Society on February 1, 2015 First Lady Michelle Obama addressed writers, content creators and other industry leaders on the power and influence of the media and she said, “Every day, through the movies and TV shows and ads you all create, you have the power to shape our understanding of the world around us. You challenge our most strongly held beliefs. You influence our opinions on current events. …So the fact is, in many ways, you all are in a unique position to help us address some of the most challenging issues that we face as a nation” (Cronk).

Disintegration of the structure of our society is a serious issue. We did not get to this point overnight (it took us almost 20 years to get here), and we will not fix these problems overnight either. It will take time.

image

Recently we started seeing shifts in portrayals of fathers and families on TV. Although Al Bundy (“Married with Children”) and Jay Pritchett (“Modern Family”) are portrayed by the same actor, there is a huge difference in how these two dads participate in the lives of their families. The movie “Bella” (2006”) and “Jersey Girl” (“2004”) depict men who took responsibility and are present with their children.

image   image

And there is something that we can do. The church is called to serve God by serving the world in which we live; our mission is to make disciples for Jesus for the transformation of the world. We all know many fathers who are loving, caring, participating, wise and central to the lives of their families. As a church we have an image of fatherhood that is responsible, creative, involved and caring. It is up to us to project this image; it is up to us to make our understanding of fatherhood a part of a dialogue, to model this behavior to those around us. To quote the First Lady, Michelle Obama, as a church we are in a unique position, and we have an opportunity to be the catalyst of change ….

image

Paul taught the men of Galatia, “Because you are [God’s] sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son [Jesus] into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father” (Gal 4:6) That Spirit is there to counteract our fallenness.

{Illustration}

Fallenness: Anger / Envy / Sorrow / Regret / Arrogance / Self Pity /Guilt / Resentment / Inferiority / Lies / False Pride / Superiority / Ego

Spirit of God: LOVE = Joy + Peace + Hope + Serenity + Humility + Kindness + Benevolence + Empathy + Generosity + Truth + Compassion + Faith

{//Illustration}

There is an old Cherokee legend about a grandfather telling his grandson about two wolves constantly fighting inside each of us. The story ends with the kid asking, “Which wolf will win?” and grandfather replying, “The one you feed.”

{Illustration}

We all know many fathers who are loving, caring, involved in the lives of their children, devoted to their wives, essential to the wellbeing of their families.

Our challenge as a church is to go out and demonstrate a different way of being a family. Our challenge is to demonstrate the presence of the Holy Spirit in our community and how God is working among us to bring healing and restoration to the world around us.

Works Cited

Brandeis University. Monkey See, Monkey Do? Novel Study Sheds Light On Imitation Learning. 20 March 2007. Web Page. 14 June 2015. <http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070320095836.htm&gt;.

Cronk, Terri Moon. “First Lady Depicts Veterans’ Lives to TV, Movie Industry Members.” 30 01 2015. DoD News. Web Page; http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=128084. 15 06 2015.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: