Intro: What is a straight shooter? Dictionaries define a straight shooter as:
- one who is honest and forthright
- one who is sincere and ethical
- one who is direct and without deception
- one who is undeterred
Those are great qualities for any man; to be honest; to be forthright or “up front” and without deception; to be sincere- ethical- and undeterred or focused and persistent.
Every dad should be a straight shooter- Both in the definition given by dictionaries, and in the analogy of the Psalm I read to you today. The Psalm writer said that the earthly father has been blessed by the heavenly father when he has children; they are his heritage and his reward. Then the Psalmist says that our children are like Arrows in the hand of a mighty man; our children are arrows and we need to be Straight Shooters.
I. The Archer Must be Strong.
You’ll notice the Psalm said that children are arrows in the hand of a Mighty man.
All of you hunters know the strength it takes to pull the bow. It takes might, and force and determination. We dads must be Strong!
Strong: Spiritually- our children need dads who are not spiritual wimps. Dad you need to be genuinely Saved. Dad you need to be sincerely dedicated to the Lord and living for him in obedience to the Holy Word of God. You need to be strong in the Faith; strong in the Word; strong in your faithfulness to church; strong in prayer. Too many men take the easy way spiritually and many let their wives lead the way spiritually in the family. Come on dad- Be a straight shooter when it comes to spiritual things. Take your stand and Live for God.
Morally- our children need dads who are strong morally. NO Dad should be looking at pornography- God Forbid! No dad should be looking lustfully at women he comes in contact with.
No dad should be unfaithful to his wife. No dad should be flirting with other women; no dad should be in compromising situations with other women.
Our families and our children need dads who are strong morally.
Family- our children need dads who are strong in the family. Some dads take no responsibility for their children’s education; or their recreation; or their correction.
You need to be sure your children are learning and getting a proper education; not taking a short cut to make it easier on you. You need to be sure your children have leisure time and fun with You in it.
You need to be sure you are personally involved with the correction and discipline of your children. That area is the not the sole responsibility of the wife and mother; matter of fact it is not to be Mostly her area of responsibility.
The Archer must be Strong.
II. The Arrows Must be Straight.
I assume all of you dads and moms do realize that though our children are born Cute; they are born Cuddly; they are born Adorable; they are born Precious; They are NOT born intelligent, honest, industrious, or Holy.
These arrows are Not straight by birth or by nature. Sadly, Adam’s fallen human nature still plagues us all today. We are all born with a sinful tendency built inside of us. Children left to themselves will not be Straight Arrows. While our arrows are not straight by birth or by nature, they can be made straight by training.
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go...
Paul wrote that we dads are to “bring up” our children in the “nurture” and in the “admonition” of the Lord.
[Bring them up]- takes conscious effort and consistent effort; does not happen by itself.
[Nurture]- instruction; feeding them the truth about God and about life; nurturing them in the ways of righteousness
[Admonition]- discipline and correction; when the arrow takes a bend, we take hold of it and gently but firmly pull against the bend and make it straight again.
I feel sorry for children who have no nurturing and no correcting. They are being deprived and cheated in life. We owe it to our children to do all that we can to make their lives right and proper; straight arrows.
III. The Aim Must be Sure.
Any archer knows that even if his hands and arms are strong enough to pull the bow; and even if the arrows are straight; his aim must be sure. He must have steady hands and a sharp eye.
Let me mention briefly two things I think are important in this matter of a Sure Aim.
1) We must Know the Target.
You’ve heard it said that if you aim at nothing you’ll hit it every time.
We dads need to have a Target for our children’s lives. I do want them to be smart. I do want them to be liked and have friends. I do want them to be well behaved. I do want them to find their place in life as far as a career or job or vocation. I do want them to have a happy marriage. And so on...
BUT more than anything I think we dads need to Know the Target when it comes to the Ultimate Goal of Life. It is expressed simply and forcefully by the Apostle John in 3 Jn:4- “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” THAT’s The Target! We want our children to walk in the Truth; to live in the truth; to be saved and love the Lord and obey the Bible and live a holy life and make it to heaven when this life is over.
2) We must Keep our Focus.
It’s one thing to Know the target, its another thing to Keep your Focus on the target.
Every hunter has been distracted at some time or another and missed their mark.
As Dads we must keep our focus on the target of Walking in the Truth. We are the leaders whether we like it or not and we must walk in the truth and then lead our families in the truth as well.
Pro. 20:7 says that The just man walks in his integrity: and his children are blessed after him.
I know that when our children become adults they will make their own decisions; they will choose their own way of life; they will choose their activities and set their own priorities; that’s the way God made us. We grow up as children under the supervision of parents and then we launch out into our own individual lives. BUT while those children are arrows in MY Quiver, it is my responsibility to Be Strong; it is my Duty to train my arrows to be Straight; it is my Obligation to Aim them in the right direction and then Trust God to do the work in their hearts and minds so that they will follow Him in their own life and with their own family.
Hey Dads, Let’s be Straight Shooters!
Bro. Dwain Galiher
Pastor of JHPC