Institutional First Baptist Church Weekly Sermon
Delivered By
Dr. E. G. Sherman, Jr
Delivered On
June 15, 2014 at 10:45 AM
Father Knows Best
Dr. E. G. Sherman, Jr. Sunday June 15, 2014
Father Knows Best
“ And he said, a certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said his father, Father give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living” ( Luke 15:11-12 )
There was a sit com on radio and television that 
ran from 1954 - 1960 entitled, Father Knows Best. It was 
comedy series which portrayed a middle class family life in 
the Midwest. The father, played by Robert Montgomery, was 
a gentle, yet positive, figure who knew and respected his 
position as head of the household. He was held by both his 
wife and children in high esteem. While allowing for self 
expressions, the father always rendered decisions that 
showed that Father knows best. 
Although it has been fifty four years since that comedy 
ended, its title still has relevance for contemporary times. 
Even before the advent of that series there existed a fore 
runner of that reality as reflected in the biblical account of 
the prodigal son. That account, as recorded by the Gospel 
writer, Luke, will anchor our Father’s Day 2014 sermon 
entitled, Father Knows Best. It will encompass the following 
three considerations, namely: the 21st Century Father, the 
risk in prematurely leaving home, and the Heavenly Father’s 
oversight and provisions. 
It is an unfortunate fact that the title, father, has under 
gone innumerable changes in both form and function since 
the time of Adam, the federate head of the human family. 
These contemporary forms vary among nations as well as 
within nations. Of particular interest for this sermon is 
fatherhood in the United States of America. Accordingly, 
the focus will now be directed to the first concern which is - 
the 21st Century Father. 
A casual glace and mere lay knowledge of America will 
immediately reveal an array of father types in this country. 
The most obvious demographic factor is that of race. In 
early Colonial times, there was one group of white colonists. 
Those individuals were united in the common struggle for 
survival in the new land. While each family was responsible 
for its chores along with some time for group planned 
community endeavors, it was the father who provided 
leadership in the family setting. He was the patriarch, 
protectors, planner, and defender of the family plot. 
The father was also disciplinarian, a task he discharged 
with vigor and “ the rod ”. 
That father focused family continued after the advent 
of slavery, but it was non existence, except in rare 
instances, in the slave population. In fact, the general 
slave modality was to discourage marriage within the slave 
population. In those rare exceptions, the slave owner 
performed the marriage by having the couple to jump over 
a broom stick and he pronounced them as being married. 
The general pattern, however, was non marriage in the 
slave population. It was within that inhumane setting that 
there arose a quasi family known as The Black Matriarch, 
a terms coined by the late E. Franklin Frazier. That family 
structure prevailed throughout slavery, but it commenced 
to decline after Emancipation. There emerged respect for 
and an increase in marriages among the emancipated 
people. The father, like his white counterpart, functioned 
as head of the household; he was decision maker, economic 
provider, and religious leader for his family. 
Unfortunately, that traditional family has undergone 
stress, strain, and radical change since the late 70's and 
becoming more visible in this 21st Century. Factors 
contributing to this disturbing reality include: widespread 
drug participation, unemployment, incarceration, and the 
deliberate choice of black females to become mothers 
without a marital relationship with the child’s father. 
Beloved, this reality is on the rise, children are being reared 
without a father and, many, by the child’s grandparent rather 
than the mother. The resulting question becomes how can 
father know best when he is unknown, in prison, in the 
drug culture, and unemployed? While this sad commentary 
is factual, it must not be forgotten that the larger society 
is the culprit in this matrix. It utilizes the black men in 
the underground economy, it renders difficult for even 
qualified black men to find employment, it issues lengthy 
prison terms for this group, and it seldom purges records of 
the offender. Hence, fatherhood in this black population 
is a precarious undertaking and those men who take it 
seriously must heed the Scriptural assertion, “ looking unto 
Jesus who is the author and finisher of ( their ) faith”. 
The second concern of this sermon is that of 
prematurely leaving home. Numerous are the statistics on 
young people making a decision to leave home before they 
explore both the pros and cons of the decision. While many 
of them may have no father present, there is an inordinate 
number where the father is present. But like the prodigal 
son, they desire to leave home. As noted with the prodigal 
son, the resources were soon depleted and his associates 
left him. To the young people of today, a somber warning 
is herein submitted - “Hopefully - there is no place like 
home and, if a father is present, remember father knows 
best. So exercise, patience, thought, prayer, and - what 
if things don’t work out - before leaving home. This 
admonition leads to the second consideration in the 
sermon - the risks in leaving home too soon. As noted in 
the textual anchor, that was a youngster who thought he 
knew - rather than his father - what was best for him. 
He is known as the prodigal son. Instead of expressing 
admiration for his father’s love and economic provisions, 
he approached and said unto his father, “...give me the 
portion of goods that fall to me.” The father asked no 
questions nor offered any warnings; instead, he complied 
with the son’s request. 
The inexperienced son became engrossed in riotous 
living and, soon, his resources were depleted; his 
associates departed; his food needs were intensified; he 
sought employment in exchange for food; he was offered 
work feeding the pigs; he noted the pigs’ consumption of 
husk; he was tempted to eat of the husk but came to 
himself; he thought: how many hired servants of his father’s 
have bread enough to spare, and I perish with hunger; and 
he came to himself. He made three resolutions: I will arise, 
I will go, and I will say. That he did and much to his surprise, 
his father saw him from afar off. The prodigal was embraced 
and restored by his father. Beloved, that glorious ending 
leads to the final dimension of this sermon which is - 
The Heavenly Father’s oversight and concern for his 
followers. There is a song that asserts “We are the 
heavenly father’s children and he loves us one and all...” 
This glorious affirmation does not prevent humankind from 
grievous actions nor adversities. Numerous are ungodly 
behaviors displayed by segments of humanity. Among these 
actions are: assault, robbery, murder, drugs, prostitution, 
and home invasion. While these and many other problems 
are widespread, there is another category of problems that 
fell into the lives of believing Christian people. These 
problems include: prolonged illness, loss of job, loss of 
home, disobedient children, dishonest spouse, loss of 
spouse, and age related problems. Beloved, the believer 
in a righteous God can so easily wonder where is the 
Father who knows best? To such troubled persons, the 
good news is that the Father knows just how much you 
can bear. Further, there are two biblical teachings that 
must be read and believed; one is Job of the Old Testament 
and the other, Peter, of the New Testament. The episode of 
Job is cited because he was righteous, prosperous, a family 
man and believed in God. Yet, adversities befell him and he 
suffered immensely. Believing that the Father knows best, 
Job uttered, “...of all my appointed days, I will wait until 
my change comes” and, in another context, “...when he 
try me I shall come forth as pure gold”. Peter, in 
commenting on suffering wrote, “ But the God of all 
grace who has called us into his eternal glory by Christ 
Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you 
perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.” 1st Peter 5:10. 
So in closing this 2014 Father’s Day sermon, let us pray 
to live one day at a time and, despite our disappointments, 
remember that God the Father knows Best. Amen! 
Happy Father’s Day
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