God's Divine Order For Fathers
There can be doubt that the power of Promise Keepers is being felt around the world. This organization is heralding, with a prophetic voice, the need of men around the world to turn their hearts toward home. This study is designed to examine this concept as it relates to the Fatherís heart being turned to his family.
Malachi 4:5-6 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: (6) And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse. (KJV)
We read that before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord, that God shall send a prophetic ministry that will true the hearts of the fathers to their families, and also turn the children to their fathers.
Promise Keepers is one facet of this prophetic mission being fulfilled. Does the family unit need the heart of the father to return home? Where are the dads if they are not at home? Why is Promise Keepers necessary if the dads are serving the home front?
Notice that God will send the Elijah prophetic ministry to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their dads. God will send this ministry in order not to be forced to smite the earth with a curse.
Curse - cherem (khay'-rem/2764); or (Zecheriah 14:11) cherem (kheh'-rem); from 2763; physical (as shutting in) a net (either literally or figuratively); usually a doomed object; abstr. extermination: KJV-- (ac-) curse (-d, -d thing), dedicated thing, things which should have been utterly destroyed, (appointed to) utter destruction, devoted (thing), net.
cherem or (Zech. 14:11) cherem- (Brown-Driver-Biggs Lexicon)
1) a thing devoted, a thing dedicated, a ban, a devotion
2) a net, a thing perforated
3) have been utterly destroyed, (appointed to) utter destruction
This Hebrew word has the application of a doomed object or an object utterly destroyed. Should God be forced to curse the earth because of the continual failure of fathers with their children, then the earth and the human race will be utterly destroyed.
How important is it for the father to turn his heart toward home? Our future destiny as a human race depends on this restoration of the home.
The godly father is the missing X factor in the family unit today. Dads must accept their individual responsibility for the failure of the family unit. The failure rate of Christian marriages is currently above the national norm. Children being massacred at school and at Church is also another sign of fatherless families.
How can Dad turn his heart to his children without first seeking restoration in his marriage? The family unit should be comprised of a godly father and mother. Single parent family units are the divine pattern of God (death is the only noted exception).
Eph 5:21-33 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. (22) Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. (23) For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. (24) Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. (25) Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; (26) That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, (27) That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. (28) So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. (29) For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: (30) For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. (31) For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. (32) This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. (33) Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband. (KJV)
Lets explore some of the reasons why husbands fail in their marriages.
Gen 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. (KJV)
Matt 19:5-6 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? (6) Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
Eph 5:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. (KJV)
These verses teach that the divine pattern of God is for the two marriage partners to become flesh (body, soul, and spirit). One or both partners refuse to change and allow the merger to occur. The divine pattern is for the two to become one. The self absorbed, self centered husband or wife is destroying the marriage unit.
The father cannot true his heart toward his children without resolving his marriage conflicts. In order for children to return to their love for their dad they also they also must see his love for his wife.
The focus of Promise Keepers is dedicated to this mission; the fathers first acting as godly husbands.
Matt 20:25-28 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. (26) But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; (27) And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: (28) Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. (KJV)
Jesus did not come to be master or to be the subject of ministry, instead He came to be the minister and servant. This is the attitude that established Jesusí love for His Church.
Let me reiterate that God will heal the marriage in order to turn the heart of the father toward his children.
How serious are the principles Iím discussing in this lesson? Extremely serious, our response to these principles will determine the future of our human race. The call given by Elijah is a call to repent and turn from the Adamic curse that is destroying the families of God. The husband of a redeemed marriage will heed this call and will turn his heart toward his wife first, and then take responsibility for his own children. Lets conclude this lesson with one final thought.
Eph 6:1-4 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. (2) Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) (3) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. (4) And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Its interesting to note that the New Testament does not devote as much time for instruction in the nurturing of children. Nearly all New Testament instruction devoted to family is designed to help the marriage. Remember, part of the curse given to Adam in Gensis is that his labors would produce thorns and thistles. This principle is also true when we consider child nurturing. Children eat from the spiritual fruit produced by the marriage. If the spiritual atmosphere is built upon the pain and frustration of a spiritually disobedient father then the spiritual fruit produced for the children is thorns and thistles (Gen 3:18). The opposite is also true; should the marriage be built on the redemption of Jesus Christ and the principles of godly divine order, then the children will eat the good fruit of love and relationship with Jesus.
(Reference Scriptures: Prov 4:1 5:7 7:24 8:32 13:22 14:26 20:7 31:28 )
Col 3:21 Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged. (KJV)
Col 3:21 Fathers, don't scold your children so much that they become discouraged and quit trying. (TLB)
Its vital that father respond to their children with proper discipline, love and compassion. Do not scold your children so much that they loose heart and become discouraged.
Rom 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (KJV)
We are admonished by scripture to be conformed to the image of Jesus. When we continually rebuke our children for not reaching our expectations, remember this one point. Whose image are you trying to conform your children to your image or the image of Jesus.
John 5:19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. (KJV)
Children do not learn their moral beliefs from the lectures of a concerned father. Children (especially sons) learn their morals from actions they see in their dads. Father must learn to set the proper spiritual examples for their children. It is wrong for wives to bring their children to church and husbands continually stay at home.
1Thes 2:11 As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children, (KJV)
This verse summons up the heart of the father.