Families are a very special thing in the eyes of God and they are under attack. Are you, as a father, protecting your family?
Good afternoon everyone on God's beautiful Sabbath Day. We are privilege to meet once again and on this particular day I would like to address a topic that certainly has a great application in the plan and purpose of God. I want to touch on a topic that today is, I guess, maligned as never before. I have entitled the sermon: The vital role of fathers.
Tomorrow is supposed to be Fathers Day and fathers play a very important part in the plan and purpose of God and I think it is important for us to stop and consider from the word of God, just exactly where do fathers fit in? How do they operate in conjunction with mothers and with children and what does that have to do with the Father of us all, God the Father? It is very important that we look at this because there is a spiritual as well as a physical application of this very, very important topic. It is staggering to find out that today that one out of three American children lives in fatherless homes. One out of three. That is a shame. It is a national shame that children are being denied access to fathers.
Families are a very special thing in the eyes of God and the family unit is the basic building block of any society and I personally believe that what we are witnessing is Satan, the god of this world, attacking the basic foundation of the western cultural societies of this world. And he is attacking all aspects of it but the vital aspect is, it would apply to us certainly, would be in this western speaking world because this is where we see the major attack coming from. It seems like it's infiltrated into the western world as never before. Satan does not have any love for God the Father. He does not. And if you know and understand that in light of the word of God then you will have to understand that every one of us who walk the earth as a male, represent what God is supposed to be: A male. He is revealed in scripture as a male and in conjunction with that revelation we find that God added a beautiful addition to this wonderful creation that He Himself ordains. He brought womankind into existence to be a life companion to the man.
The man is supposed to solve certain problems in his role and responsibility and the woman was to handle responsibilities likewise that the man really could not handle himself. It takes two to make the operation successful. But something is happening today that is shattering families and many are suffering as a result. Fathers are leaving their homes; mothers even leave their homes and their children; we hear of terrible things transpiring in this day and age that we wonder: what in the world is happening to people? It is almost like a mental madness that is taking over.
I would like you to join me first by going to the book of Malachi, the last book that is found in the Old Testament. In Malachi chapter 4, we read about an individual that is going to come on the scene just prior to the great and dreadful day of the Lord. The great and dreadful day of the Lord is not going to be a fun time. This is going to be the time when individuals will be screaming and yelling: "Mountains fall upon us, for who can stand in the day of His wrath?"
Now why would God be coming back and being so wrathful? Well it is because He has a controversy with the way the nations have been living and violating fundamental principals of human conduct as outlined by His law, given to His people Israel. Please remember that what we are discovering and what we learn here from the word of God comes from the book that was given to His people, the house of Israel. It is the book of Israel. It is understood in the context of spiritual Israel, the Church of God. They were given the charge to give understanding and insight to it and that is where the Church plays such a vital part in these end times: That they would, without us, not be complete, but there are many promises going on at this time.
Our new book on the subject of the Covenants reveals this very thing. There are many physical promises and covenant relationships that God is bringing to pass, and will bring to pass, and there are many spiritual ramifications that apply as well because God has called His Church into existence, through His Son, who is the head of the Church. But just prior to this great and dreadful day, God is going to send an individual whose name, it says here:
Malachi 4:5 Malachi 4:5Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
American King James Version×"I will send you Elijah". Now that is not Elijah the prophet, but one who like John the Baptist, who came in the spirit of Elijah, will come and demonstrate some phenomenal things that will fulfill prophecy in these end times just prior to Christ's return. And it says he is going to have a mission and his mission will be:
V.6 - "... he will turn the heart," notice, of the what? "...the fathers". He didn't say mothers. He said fathers and he said fathers for a very specific reason because the fathers are going to play a very important part in the involvement of future generations and they are going to be told, just as we know ourselves by the grace of God, that the father must play an active and viable part in the family if the family is to succeed.
The fathers are going to do what? "... turn the hearts of the fathers to the children". To show them their relationship and what it is all about as God who is our Father looks to us and His heart is turned to us and it says: "the hearts of the children to their fathers."
Today there is a great disconnect in this area and today that great disconnect has got to be brought back and show the importance and the sanctity of the home and the family. And it goes on to say, if this is not accomplished, notice: "I will come and I will smite the earth with a curse." But your translation, modern translation, might have the proper rendering: "utter destruction". Utter destruction.
Now what would turn God into such a raging individual that He would come back and destroy the entirety of this beautiful creation that He has made? Because He would see that human beings have gone totally awry. Totally mad like it was in the days of Noah. He bore with them for 120 years, giving them every opportunity to change and they wouldn't change and so He wiped the earth clean. Just literally washed them away and started over again. But He knew human nature as it would come to bare, that again it would again rise in the end and God knew that it would have to be dealt with and He is going to punish mankind for his sins, and prior to this great punishment is going to come a servant of God who is going to do the job, and he will be empowered by God's Holy Spirit to be so striking and so moving that people will get the message as never before. And we are not talking about a lot of individuals getting together and slapping on the back and saying: "Oh, we are going to do better". These will be individuals who will finally get the message and realize that being a father is a great honor and a privilege from God and that we as men have to live up to that calling and we have not done so as human beings.
We as men have failed in many areas and God knows we have failed and God wants us to see where those failures are, to acknowledge them because He is using a group of individuals called now for the future training of future generations and if we don't understand how God feels about this subject then why would God use us to teach others about this most sacred subject in His eyes? And it is a sacred subject and something we need to look at because it has such powerful consequences as a result.
We know in Exodus 20 and verse 12, in the Ten Commandments, that God said: We are to honor our fathers and our mothers and we know there is much that can be said on this, that, and what have you, but remember please, I am giving the outline from God's perspective. How it should have been and none of us have lived the ideal. Many of us have experienced all kinds of upheavals in the ups and downs of life. We didn't learn; we didn't listen; we now have been called to conversion; we are now trying to listen and to apply the things of God as best we can.
Back there in that beautiful Ten Commandments, the great things of God's Law, we find in there that fifth commandment that says: Honor your father and mother that it may be well with you; that you may live long on the earth. It is a commandment with promise and we find that reference in Ephesians 6, notice if you'll turn there, the New Testament amplifying again from the Old, the basic principles of law and family.
Ephesians 6: 1 Children, obey your parents. We live in a day and age today where that is in great disarray. Children do not obey their parents. Why? Because there's been a tremendous breakdown in the family units and notice children are to respond to their parents and God gives qualification: ...in the Lord. In other words, a child does not have to obey a parent if the parent is advocating something contrary to God's very laws and His way of life. If they are saying: "Child, here, take a whiff or take a smoke of marijuana." What parent would want to do that?
Well the bottom line is the fact that there are parents that have given their children marijuana, believe it or not. It is sad and they think it is a good thing. Why? Because they were children of the sixties; they grew up into the nineties and carried some of those ideas with them, and their philosophies, and they taught their children so they don't see anything wrong with it. We are to obey as children "in the Lord." As spiritual children we are to obey our God in the Lord, in the Lord Jesus Christ, to follow the footsteps, the examples He gave.
V.1 - ...for this is right.
V.2 –"Honor your father and mother", which is the first commandment with promise: A wonderful promise that God would give extension and life.
In John 4:23 John 4:23But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship him.
American King James Version×of the Gospel: Jesus was talking to the Samaritan woman.
John 4:23 John 4:23But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship him.
American King James Version×But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers...
Notice: there are a lot of worshipers today. They are not all true worshipers. There are so many types of worship running rampant today and a person has got to really stop and think: What is it that I am supposed to do in this subject? Well, we believe that the word of God is to supply our every need. We don't have to try and to run around into mystical type of things like out in Hollywood. They are all running around like Madonna, trying to study Kabala and some of the Jewish mysticism. We don't have to worry about that kind of stuff. God has given us the answers and helps us to be true worshippers and we are to do what?
V.23- ...to worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father, our heavenly Father, who loves every one of us and He was the great Master Designer and Christ was the craftsman by whom God the Father used to develop the entirety of creation, visible and invisible, all things in heaven and earth, and to make us male and female in the image of God.
And we are told: .. for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. To acknowledge Him; to thank Him for the wonderful privilege and He has given us what? Something in human relationships that are quite different from any other creature on the face of the earth. We have the gift of family where a man and a woman and children and love can grow. And that is what God is all about. He is revealed in the scripture as: if you know God, you know that He is love. He has outgoing concern for all that He has created.
V.24- God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." As God outlines it; as He defines it; not as you or myself of any one else would define it but in harmony with what God has said.
Why were we called in our time now just like David was called in his generation and others were called in their particular time? You and I are called now to witness in our generation the truth of God as outlined in the scripture: To stand tall as men and women of God, not afraid in this world of corruption where people today lash out at the Bible. They attack the Bible and as a result we know what that means, as Jesus said: "If you do this to one of my little ones you do it to Me."
Jesus watches and takes care of His sons and daughters in terms of being looked upon His little children. It is actually the Father who is the one who guides and watches but it is Christ who, as the head of the Church, watches over every one of us. You and I have a serious responsibility in this matter and here, this critical component is missing today in our day and age. Families are falling apart. We are watching the disintegration of the greatest nation on the face of the earth that God has so graciously blessed. It is not over yet but it is rapidly decaying and we hear stories to this very thing each and every day.
Now just how important are dads in a family as God has ordained? Let me give you some very important information here as a pre-cursor; we will go into the scriptures; try and move as quickly as possible on this subject.
When our country, the United States of America, began its welfare system there was a rule that was to be followed and it was like this: That fathers residing with mothers, if they resided with mothers and had children and they were on welfare, their benefits would be cut in half. So what happened? Guess what? Fathers moved out. Mothers stayed with children in order to get the welfare benefits. How do we know? Because the impact was predictable: the number of children living in fatherless homes rose from 5.1 million in 1960 and jumped to 16.5 million by 1995. In other words, somebody got clued in and said: "Hey, we can milk the system. This is too good to be true! We can really make the most of this." So articles began to come out attacking the notion of fatherhood. And this has been a relentless thing that has developed: myths along the following line. Let me share three of these myths that have been perpetrated, dealing with again, the assault upon fathers.
Men battered their wives, we are told. True. The truth is that half of the so-called cases of abusers are men, and believe it or not the other half is women. And if you don't think women can abuse, you better think again. They can be just as bad as men. There's an old saying: Hell have no fury like a woman scorned. There must be a reason for that kind of a proverb to exist but the sad part of it is, the reason you hear mainly about men, is because women are more likely to be injured being the more delicate vessel as the Bible says. Men have more strength. They can overpower a woman and yet I wonder, in modern day wrestling, if you've ever see some of these ladies ...... I would not want to meet them in an ally. I am afraid they would do me in. They are tough! If I may use the coin phrase: They are tough babes! They really are and you don't want to mess with them.
The second that we find, and these were articles published in the 1990's, that men break up marriages. Well actually, two thirds of divorces, believe it or not, are initiated by women. Not men but the women, and the most common reason cited were that they were growing apart or she didn't feel loved any more. And this is what happens in a day and age of "no fault" divorce and so in stead of solving problems and tackling the problems as men and women, its: How fast can I abandon ship? How can I put the blame on someone else and move along?
The third myth was that fathers abuse children. There are father abusers out there but the majority of maltreated children were abused, believe it or not, by their mothers. Hard to say if you think of that, but 58% versus 42% for fathers in a 2003 government study.
How many remember the older television series back in the 1950's entitled: Father knows best. Yes, a very popular TV series. Father knows best. Have you seen any of that kind of thing on television lately? No, you will probably see father as a bubbling, bumbling idiot. He knows nothing and if it weren't for the fact that a woman was there to save him there would be terrible consequences. Look at all the commercials. In it the man has to always get the advice from the woman because she knows exactly what it is. The man doesn't have a clue. Well, guess what. It hasn't always been this way.
In 1965 a former senator, Patrick Moynihan, made this conclusion. He said: "From the wild Irish slums of the 19 th century eastern seaboard to the riot torn suburbs of Los Angeles, there is one unmistakable lesson of American history that has come forward: A community that allows a large number of young men to grow up in broken families, dominated by women, never acquiring any stable relationship to male authority, never acquiring any rationale expectations about the future. That community asks for and gets chaos." And my friends, my dear brethren, chaos is the rule of today. There are places in the streets of America that have chaos and you and I don't want to go down those streets because it is not safe. All of this is a sign of the times.
Studies show that fathers play an important role in cognitive abilities of their children when fathers are involved. Grades in school go up to A's; they enjoy the school; they participate in extra curricular activities. Why? Because if they don't Mom says: "Wait till your Father gets home," and they realize, "I've got to talk to Dad about this?" Well see, that only happens if a dad is involved and if a dad is there. But a boy responds when there is a male counterpart. He doesn't take the same correction from a female counterpart as well. That is why it is so hard for a woman to be mom and dad. That's why God ordain there needs to be two. Now our hats are off to those who find themselves as single parents in this day and age because it is a tough job trying to rear children in this day and age today. And it is not just being a single parent from the stand point of a mother. Fathers are in terrible straits. Fathers have an even more difficult time trying to rear their children without a mother. That's why so much is said in the Bible about male and female relationships.
A study of 17,000 children published in Adolescence Magazine found that children living apart from their biological father were more likely to repeat a grade in school and 70% more likely to be expelled. Now it is a sad indictment but do you ever see when a child is out there playing a game on the streets or doing something around the ball park or something, what is the first thing they always ask as they go? "Mommy, Daddy, watch me! Watch me!" They want you to be there. They want you to look at them. If you have grandchildren and you play with your grandchildren, what do they want you to do? They want undivided attention: "Grandpa, Grandma, will you play with me? Watch me, I can do this. I can do that." That is the joy of family. They want your attention and that is exactly what is missing today.
Fathers play an important role also in moral behavior. Without fathers involvement young people get involved in everything from alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs and illicit sex and we hear about that each and every day. I could give you a lot more reports, but I won't, I will move along quickly. Fathers strongly influence children's sexual identities. Do you notice any problems today in our society? Why is it that boys want to grow up and change their sex and become girls? Why do girls want to change their sex and become boys? Now God made us male and female for a reason and thank God for what He did. He knew what He was doing. There is nothing like a manly man and a womanly woman that reflects masculinity and femininity. They were designed to counterpart each other and not to be a battle of the sexes. That was not God's intent but what do we see this world promote? The battle of the sexes. Men can do it better than women. Women can do it better than men. Back and forth it goes.
Boys tend to respond more readily to systems of rewards and punishments that fathers use rather than mothers. I know this and I have seen it documented in the lives of many young people. Influences of dads also affect the general health and well-being of children. Without fathers they know that children tend to have higher rates of asthma, headaches, anxiety, depression and behavioral problems.
The beauty of family is something that has to be jealously guarded. You don't let anything attack it and there is plenty attacking it today. Boys who engage with their fathers tend to be good fathers as well. They have a good father who shows love to mother and the brothers and sisters and the whole family sets a good example. The same thing works. It is interesting that these studies all come with the same conclusion that the scriptures have advocated: That fathers are to bring up their children. Let's go back to Ephesians 6:4 Ephesians 6:4And, you fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
American King James Version×.
Ephesians 6:4 Ephesians 6:4And, you fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
American King James Version×Fathers are encouraged to do something: they are encouraged to: "..do not provoke your children to wrath."
Fathers have to be careful because they are strong and the dominant force. They can be a little overbearing and we've known that humankind have had overbearing parents. That is not God's way. He doesn't want them to be overbearing simply because of what it does: It matches the carnality in the children and those buttons, once matched, cause the children to do what? It says that they get upset. They get angry and then words are said and things are done that shouldn't be done.
Father has to provoke not the children to wrath, but here is his job: To "bring them up in the nurture," that means the normal nurture and God consciousness that is very important, has to be transmitted, "bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."
So father's job is to represent God and to teach them that there is a God. Not to convert them but to make them God-conscious so that the child knows that Daddy prays and Mom prays and Mom and Dad aren't afraid to say: "Son, daughter, I will get back with you in a little bit; I will play with you in a little bit but Daddy's got to go pray for a while. Have to go talk to God." Oh, the child listens: "You talk to God. Can anybody talk to God? Mommy? Daddy?" "Yes, I'll teach you to talk to God", and then you teach him how to pray just like Jesus taught His disciples who weren't ashamed to say: "Master, teach us to pray". He gave them a beautiful outline and told them how to keep their mind focused on the things and who their heavenly Father was and all the other things that go about dealing with the ups and downs of life. It is a beautiful picture given in the scripture.
So bring up means: to raise to maturity; to nurture it; loving nurturing. Now some of us as human beings may not have pleasant memories of our nurturing, obviously. We don't live in the ideal world. But we can start from now and do like the apostle Paul said: Forget those things that are past and quit doing like the psychologists try to do: Oh, your problems are because back there in your childhood, and all these things, and they get people all mixed up in their heads. They use hypno therapy and all these other things to get their, you know: the problem was, you had this; the problem was, you had that. They don't know the answer to the problems. How do I know? Simply because again, they don't bring the right results. You listen to the people where these things come from and the solutions that they offer come from atheists and people who don't believe in God. And they charge for their services. And they are not cheap either and God has all this wisdom, knowledge and understanding and He gives it to you free of charge. All He asks is that you humble yourself and that's what we all have to do if we want to learn and understand.
A father has that responsibility to see that his family is fed on the most basic level. Not only physically but spiritually and emotionally. His presence is comforting. It brings happiness to the whole family. In 1Timothy 5:8 you will notice what God has told us here:
1 Timothy 5:8 1 Timothy 5:8But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
American King James Version×But if anyone does not provide for his own, not only for his family but also for a widow, if there is a widow involved in the family situation,... and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
He is like the gentiles out there that don't understand God's plan. God says this is very important: to provide. You see there is more than just physically providing food, clothing and shelter. There is a mental and emotional support that has to be. The mind has to be fed. Children have to have more than just physical things. Look at the physical things that people have and they are not happy. They are still looking for love in all the wrong places, like the one song by Tanya Tucker I believe it was, some years ago. It is amazing. We sing it in our songs. We show that we're not living life right in this world and the fruit is there. Fathers give what the children need. Let's notice Luke 11.
Luke11:11 If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish?
V.12- Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
Would you give him something that would hurt him? Obviously you wouldn't, as a loving parent.
V.13– If you then, being evil, because of sin that has invaded all of our lives, and we are not clean before God except by God's gracious forgiveness through Jesus Christ's great sacrifice, ...know how, you have the discernment to ..know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!"
If you ask God the Father for more of His Holy Spirit to strengthen you in your battle against this, that, or what have you, whatever you struggle with, you think God won't do that? God is just going to look at you and say: "Tough it out, kid". He is not going to be that way. You wouldn't do that to your own physical children and neither will God do it to us because we are His children. That's why, when you have a physical Fathers Day reminding again the importance of the role of the physical father, how much more on tomorrow should we recognize the need for our heavenly Father and honor Him and give thanks that He is the One that has given us life? Fathers provide stable environments for their family and when fathers are there we find that the results many times are physically and mentally healthy families, far stronger than those that are without.
Fathers are pictured in the Bible as the primary teacher and mothers are the secondary teachers in the family. It is very important to understand that. God said a man was created first to do the role. It wasn't the woman first but the woman is going to be brought to a great honor because it was through the woman that the seed of Christ came. Only woman can bring forth children and she married and brought forth the Christ-child and that brought us the hope of our salvation through Jesus Christ. That is a wonderful revelation of scripture. In Deuteronomy 6 we will notice God's admonition to Israel and certainly a New Testament application applies in our day and age today.
Deuteronomy 6:5 Deuteronomy 6:5And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.
American King James Version×You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.
In other words, you have to be wrapped up and have a love affair with God. You just love the daylights out of God. You know we have all these songs that deal with human love and I hear these songs on human love-level and it is beautiful. It is a man praising, you know, thanking the love between him and his wife or his intended to be. But the beautiful part of it is, some of these songs, if you bump them up on a higher level and sing that song, you know, "You are the wind beneath my wings" and you look to higher levels of God and thank Him for being there to support you as a man, as a woman, you begin to get so much more of the meaning of the word "love" because human beings have turned the word "love" into sex. That's what they mean when they hear the word "love". "You want to have sex", and they just got raw and crude and love was meant to be clean and beautiful and holy and held to the highest element as a glorification of God. It has been trampled in the mud by Satan the Devil. But people have listened to the wrong advice and they are suffering the consequences of it.
By loving God, notice what it says:
V.6 - "And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.
You should just have it all wrapped up in your thoughts, in your mind, constantly as much as possible.
V.7 – You shall teach them diligently to your children, and you shall talk of them" "Yes, Daddy has to go and pray." "Why do you pray, Daddy?" "It is very important son, very important daughter. You need to pray too. Would you like Daddy or Mommy to show you how to pray?" They need to know it is a vital part of life
. "...and shall talk of them when you sit in your house", "Which of you want to say a part in the prayer tonight" or you know, on Thanksgiving, and you sit around and you say grace? You ought to talk and teach them these various things.
"...when you walk by the way". "Look at that beautiful tree. Did you know, son, only God can make a tree? Man can't bring it out of nothing. God makes these beautiful things. You see the mountains and the sea and all the beauty that God has created?"
"...when you lie down," Yes, you say your prayers when you lie down and you don't say the little child's prayer:
Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep
If I should die before I wake
I pray the Lord my soul to take.
Where are you going to take it? Well, to heaven is where people mainly thought that went and maybe we have all said that prayer. I know I've said that as I was a little boy growing up because that was the kind of thing to do but it means a whole lot more when you get down at the side of your bed and you say:
"Heavenly Father, thank you for this day. Thank you in Jesus name for the gift of life in this physical form. Thank you for my wife, our children, the friends, the brethren, the wonderful privilege to be called at this time. You have given us a chance of a lifetime: to be a part of the first resurrection unto the glory of You, the living God. I go to sleep now. My life is in your hands. I pray that I may wake up and have another day, by Your grace. Thank you for loving me and thank you for showing me how to love You in return."
Those are the kind of prayers, if you are sitting up there as God listening down there; you want to hear something like that. You don't want to hear just rote-generic prayer. And notice he says:
V.8 – You shall bind them as a sign on your hands, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.
In other words: You can honor God by resting on His Sabbath. The hand is a symbol of the work. And in your mind: You are going to keep God in the forethoughts of your mind.
V.9 – You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
That's so sad today because today they want to take the Ten Commandments down. I hope all of us, somewhere in our homes, have the Ten Commandments on the wall. Somewhere, to remind us that house is governed by the hand of God. It is the best reminder of all of our own physical weaknesses and how much we need our God to guide us and help us.
You know this truth was to be passed on down through the generations.
Genesis 18:19 Genesis 18:19For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring on Abraham that which he has spoken of him.
American King James Version×For I have known him, Abraham, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the Lord,
You know, as men and women, you know we are in a race. The Bible shows we are in a race. It is kind of like a marathon. But you know in the actual relay races there is something you have to do in a relay race. You have to pass the baton and if you don't pass that baton just right at the right time, you know that is what causes a person to loose the race? Because you can drop the baton if you don't hand if off properly. One of the things a coach will teach you is you've got to learn how to hand the baton and receive the baton and take it so the next guy can run and never miss a trick and keep that and win the race. And that is the same way for us.
We can't afford to drop the baton when it comes to our children. This is what we see ancient Israel did and there are rows: the book of Joshua or Judges says: "a generation that knew not God". I look at our fellow Americans: God help them all. They are dropping the ball left and right. They are letting their kids just run wild and their kids don't even see the great danger that is on the horizon. If you take us back to 60 some years ago, of the adults in this room right here, we were just little kids ourselves running around playing in the streets in the United States of America. Little did we realize that men, ten thousand men, died on the beaches of Normandy so that you and I could run on this wonderful land, by the grace of God. Ten thousand men died going up those beaches to stop that terrible evil in that day and age.
I don't like to see any man die but we've only lost a hand-full of men in Iraq, compared to that. And look at all the bleeding hearts and the people who say: "Quick! Quick! Surrender! Surrender before it is too late!" God looks down and says: "What a bunch of weaklings I have produced. Instead of being the God-fearing men and women I wanted you to be, you've sold your birthright to the Gentiles and rather than fear Me and keep My commandments you'd rather 'hewn out cisterns that hold no water' and you have forsaken Me. You have forsaken My law and now I have forsaken your children. You're no more a priest to Me." We have lost an awful lot and we don't realize why we've lost a lot because we thought it was our great hand that did all these things.
Exposure to God's word is transforming. Second Corinthians 3:18 tells us it's a powerful thing. It has a powerful impact for helping and changing us and bringing us to the right results. Fathers are to be loving disciplinarians and it is very important that we keep that concept in mind. Loving disciplinarians, because we live in a day and age today that are telling us now you can't even spank your kids. You can't even spank them. That's kind of sad. It is really sad to think that children today are walking into a landmine that is going to blow them to pieces simply because parents have bought into these false ideas that somehow, if you spank a child that is going to do something: it is going to so totally destroy them that they will never be able to be sound again. How did mankind survive all these years because corporal punishment has been part of man's way? Oh yea, human beings have abused it. Human beings have always abused things but God tells us that if we don't correct out of love and do what is necessary then we are going to suffer the consequences and I believe that is what is happening.
Proverbs tells us in Proverbs 13: 24 that it requires prompt punishment, not because of anger, but because of love for the child. If you don't do that and react properly, let's notice:
Proverbs 13:24 Proverbs 13:24He that spares his rod hates his son: but he that loves him chastens him betimes.
American King James Version×He who spares his rod, or the correction stick, hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly.
And that means just what it says: that sometimes the only thing that gets the attention of the child when they are acting up is a warming up of the posterior region. And that is why God created it: nice, and you know .... You don't need to do a whole lot. You just need to warm it up once in a while and it gets the attention of the child and they realize and they begin to say: "Mommy, I'll never do it again. Daddy, I'll never do it again", and you know they are going to do it again and you are going to warm them up again. Just to remind them from time to time, out of love and concern for them.
Well, there is a lot more that could be said on this. I'd like to finish by reading an article that shows another side of this that I thought was quite revealing. This was a minister who writes and exposes the side of this issue of fathers and family that most do not realize exists. He is the one that brought to my attention the fact that one in three American children live in a fatherless home. One out of three, and he says this is a national disaster, according to the CDC.
He says: "Those sobering numbers represent what fathers..." and he quotes a bunch of numbers which I won't take time to do right here, but he says: "Why do fathers leave their children?" And this is quite interesting. He says: "Why is society afraid to address the actual reason why men leave?" I thought this is worth exploring. He says: "According to popular myth men leave because they are irresponsible and don't care about their families. Yes, there is a very small segment of the male population who is guilty of this but for the most American men, this is not the case. Most fathers do not want to leave their children. They love their kids and they want to be engaged in every aspect of their children's lives. Men hurt and feel pain when they cannot be with their kids. To suggest otherwise is not only insulting to men, it is a bold face lie."
"Society routinely degrades fathers. Men are typically depicted by Hollywood as inadequate and useless beings who are nothing more than comic props or sometimes referred to as sperm-donors only." That's our society today. "According a 1994 study of 500 women in Red Book Magazine," notice this, "only 11% of mothers value their husbands." They only value their husbands – 11% of them and that has to do with their input, in other words: the husbands offer a suggestion only 11% value, out of those 500 women, "and that especially comes when handling problems with children. The mother has one way of doing it and the father has another way of doing it and they don't work together in tandem with one another. To avoid the inner conflict and outer conflict...," well, let me back up here because I don't want to miss this part. This man happens to be a minister and this is why it caught my attention.
He says: "In my work as a minister and councilor over the past 17 years I have talked with countless couples and have noticed that women are angry and men do not know how to deal with this anger. Every one can see that Mom has issues. The Father knows it and the kids know it. The mistake they make is reacting to this anger with their own anger and fear. The resolving inner pain causes more men to over react, literally shift gears into a fight or flight response. So what do they do? They either get verbal with the wife and they really have words with each other or they say: 'I am out of here. I can't handle this.' And they walk. They don't know how to handle them. To avoid the inner and outer conflict, the man will leave his wife or girlfriend and his children."
"Many women I counsel and have interviewed on my radio and TV shows are quick to point out everything this man is doing wrong, but it is rare to find one who will honestly admit that she has screwed up the kids and that she is driving her mate crazy." That is a side that you never hear of. He says: "It is time that we look at the role women play in driving men out of the homes and separating them from their children." Now that tells me that Satan is working on mother Eve in our day and age today just like he did in the Garden of Eden. He is working to influence the women to destroy their own homes by alienating their relationship with their own husbands. Oh, this is frightening.
He says: "That is not to say that men don't bear the brunt of the responsibility for their weaknesses. Men need to learn how to deal with women with strength and patience and this is love. The role that women play in fathers leaving the homes is never discussed on Oprah." No! It is all women's issues but this is an issue women have that they don't talk about. He points this out. By the way, this is a black minister writing this information. So he sees it from a very important point, and he has written he says, "In very few notable publications. This is because women are viewed as being innocent and harmless creatures and on the other hand feminists have long perpetuated the myth that the straight traditional American male is nothing more than a Neanderthal". He is nothing than an old cave man.
"Most women themselves don't understand why they provoke and agitate their spouse to lash out and run away. They don't understand the subtle control that they have over weak men." Ladies, we are all very weak in your presence and you are weak in our presence and there is a give and take in this whole relationship. Corinthians talks about it: You are not your own. The man belongs to the woman and the woman belongs to the man. A very delicate relationship. "Men typically marry for love and to raise children. The mistake they make is that they are looking for love in the wrong source". Or like Tanya Tucker said: Looking for love in all the wrong places. "Men should not look for love from women. Rather they should find God's love and pass that love down to the wife and the children." Beautifully stated.
And then he goes on to say: "There is a order to life: God in Christ, Christ in man, man over woman, woman over children, and this is the order that is broken and violated and when it is done so, you will have hell on earth." And I submit to you we are having hell on earth in the lives of so many people and poor children are caught in the cross-fire.
Just a little closing area here: "Now in the relationship the man often has the unnatural need for his wife and/or girlfriend. He is addicted to her approval and to her sex, as a woman. The woman senses this wrong need the man has. She begins to tests him. Oftentimes men find themselves giving in more and more in order to receive her favors. Sometimes the demands of the woman become unbearable to the point that the man frankly, lashes out". I am not saying this is right. I am merely saying this is reality. There has been a deliberate plan to wipe out masculinity in society. When you wipe out the man you wipe out God."
Who is the author that wants to wipe God off of the conscious of human kind? Satan, the Devil. He is the one that is destroying this basic building block and because man represents God on earth there is no life, no truth and no hope for the family once this takes place. God is the source of love, not the woman. When the man comes to understand this, he develops the love and courage necessary to properly handle, if I may use his term, "the heat in the kitchen". Because there will be times when husbands and wives have to air their differences. They have to work it out. Work out their own salvation with fear and trembling and the woman must be willing to admit their role is driving fathers out of the home. It says: "They must learn to love what is good in their man and to resist hating his weaknesses. Only then will we have peace in our homes."
The role of fathers is a very vital one. It is one that we must understand and we must salvage to the best of our ability as men and women in the Church of God. Our relationship to one another is very important but notice, it all stems and takes us back to our Father in heaven. We are going to honor Him as our Father in heaven by honoring Jesus Christ whom He sent. Why did He send him? Out of love for you, for me and for every other human being who is willing to submit to the mighty hand of God. If we are willing to do that then God is willing to wash away all our sins with the blood of Christ to give us newness of life, Yes, our sins are ever before us like David said, we can't get it out, it is in there, but God says: "Let me cover and forget those things in the past and move forward to My glory and to My honor as men and women of God, My wonderful sons and daughters to be." That is our hope. That is our purpose for walking the earth.
May God grant us fulfillment as fathers and also don't forget, you wonderful ladies. This is not a put-down on any lady whatsoever but it shows that woman do have weaknesses just as men do. And Satan has been sly as a fox, taking advantage of these weaknesses to destroy the families. Just make sure it is not yours.