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Friday, August 28, 2015

Family Friday: Fathers

Written by Dr. Robert Hooker

As I think about the home today, I realize that the great deficiency is to be found in fathers. A father is not just the leader but the protector of the home. This is why the Scriptures say in Malachi 4:5-6, “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophetbefore 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.”
Our nation is suffering under a curse today because fathers have failed to be the protectors of the home.  I know the question comes in what way or ways? Honestly, there are many, but the one I am going to deal with today is bringing and keeping our wives and children, our families,to and in the place of blessing.

A father must understand that the family will either be blessed or cursed by the decisions he makes and there is truly no middle ground. Mediocrity for the sake of civility is a recipe for destruction in the family. Fathers must seek God, the Word of God and wise leadership so that they will be found in the place of blessing. This would be in marriage relationships, in childrearing, in work relationships, in financial dealings, and all other areas of life. I believe that what has happened is that many men have taken the easy way and the non-confrontational way out of their responsibility to the family.

In Genesis we read of Abraham and Lot. Lot was the nephew of Abraham although many believe they were very close to the same age. They left their homeland together by faith. Abraham was married, but at the time it is likely that Lot was not. Abraham followed God. Lot apparently followed Abraham as Abraham followed God and God blessed them both financially through the process of time. Then came a time of conflict between them that involved their possessions. Abraham tried to resolve the situation by offering the best of what he had to Lot as God had blessed him. Abraham seemed to understand that neither he nor Lot should allow any conflict, emotion or desire to cause them to leave the blessing of God. They had traveled by faith and God had blessed. They had continued to live and serve where God had sent them and God continued to bless. Abraham also understood that the blessing of God, which included his relationship with Lot, was more important than any possession or property he possessed. I believe Lot, on the other hand, saw the conflict and Abraham’s offer to resolve it as an opportunity to prosper financially, perhaps even the opportunity to be his own man and prove that he did not need Abraham. Lot then chose what appeared to be the best of the land. Eventually, however, Lot’s family was destroyed by the world that Lot sought.

Fathers, it is our great responsibility to seek God and His blessing, to walk in wisdom, to seek wise counsel, to lead our families to the blessing of God. This may not always be wealth, but rather a home filled with joy, love, peace and purity as II Timothy 2 teaches us. Fathers are responsible to direct their own eyes and the eyes of their families to God and His Word and not toward the world. It has been said that “all that glitters is not gold;” a true statement. We need to realize that all that glitter’s may not only be fool’s gold, but often toxic waste. We must protect our families from being pulled away by the glitter of this world. When we as men follow the siren’s call of the world’s enticement and fail to protect our family from its charm, we are failing as the protector of the home.
Lot looked toward Sodom. He then moved his family to Sodom and left the place of blessing. He kept his family in Sodom even after the world’s allurement turned to a poisonous trap and then had to watch his family destroyed. Lot left Bethel and Abraham, the place of blessing, for what seemed to be so much better. When you leave the place of blessing, you enter into the city of cursing and destruction.

Please fathers find the place of blessing and stay there.

These simple principles may help.

1.      Find a good Bible believing church and get your family involved in it.
2.      Get a KJV bible and read it daily.
3.      Pray and ask God for wisdom – blessing will follow.
4.      Be faithful to church and lead your family to be faithful to church.
5.      Seek a wise biblical counselor for guidance (if you are reading this probably someone at the church which posted it would be a great place to start).
6.      Pray for your wife and your children that God would allow them to see the true blessing of a family unified and serving God.
7.      Stop and write down the blessings along the way. Not just financial but every day of love and patience that your family begins to experience because of where you are and what you are doing.
8.      Decide to be an Abraham who by faith chose to stay in the place of blessing and not a Lot who left and lost all.

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