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July 25, 2021 1:00 am
In our culture, the line between the roles of men and women has become increasingly blurred. This results in many families with weak husbands or no husbands at all. Rising crime and divorce rates bear sad testimony to the absence of male role models. It’s vital that fathers lead their families in the right direction, because the next generation depends on it.Click here to listen (Duration 54:30)
These days feminists want men to feel that it's wrong to be masculine.
The result, families with either week husbands or no husbands at all rising crime and divorce rates there said testimony to families with poor male role models. It's vital that dads lead their families in the right direction because the next generation depends on it. On today's program God's view of the role of a dead stay with us from Chicago. We welcome you to The Moody Church. Our weekly service of worship and teaching under the ministry of Dr. Erwin Lidster on this program. We continue a 10 part series on fighting for your family.
Later in our broadcast will learn about dad's in charge.
Pastor Lutzer comes now to open our service.
As I look at the service today. I can't help but be filled with joy over the time of worship were going to have.
We have some very special guests with us today. We had the logon symphony orchestra in our morning service. When you join in prayer as we invite God's special blessing upon this time of worship and learning together and may this be a transforming service to the glory of God. Let's bow together in silence as God is with us Lord as we have already done privately. So we publicly dedicate this service to you.
All of the music the preaching of the word of the listening to the word read all of this father comes under the general banner desiring to bring you glory.
We do that today gladly. In Jesus name, amen invite you to follow along with me in your bulletin is a read together from Deuteronomy chapter 6 and eight. Please meet with me on the boat. This is God's holy word here oh Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and with all your mind.
And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.
You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you live down and when you rise and you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led these 40 years in the wilderness that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you keep his commandments or not.
And he humbled you and let you hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord your clothing did not wear out on you and your foot did not swell these 40 years now and in your heart that as a man disciplines Lord your God lends you, so you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God by walking in his way and fearing him. There is a story about a couple that was out to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary.
Both the man and the wife was 60 years old, an angel appeared to them and said, what would you like for your anniversary.
The wife said no. She said I've never traveled up. Love to travel. The angel flashed his sword and instantly in her hand, were two tickets for around the world cruise. It was the man's turn. He took the angel aside and said you know I'd really like to be married to someone who is 30 years younger than I am.
Immediately the angel flashed his sword and instantly the man was 90 years old and that's the man I'm speaking about today. The man and the family. This is message number three in a series of messages entitled fighting for your family and we do have to write today because the enemies of the family are huge. In fact, in the future messages I'm going to talk about the enemies inside the home and the enemies outside the home and inside the home. My how we have to fight. But today I'm talking about dad's and remember in this series of message.
We are expecting transformation. Even as we pray during our day of prayer and fasting. We pray for product codes we pray for those who had addictions and as you pray and seek God were going to pray for restoration and help within your family and be different. The miracle within us and the miracle that other people also need God is able and were trusting him for that.
Before I begin I want to remind you of the pain of the fatherlessness in our home.
Remember that 20 million children will go to bed tonight with only one parent in the home. Probably the mother they'll be no father David Meese wrote, sometimes at night I lie awake longing inside for my father's embrace.
Sometimes at night. I wander downstairs. Pray he'll return, but no one was there all how I cried a child all alone waiting for him to come home. My father's chair sat in an empty room. My father's chair covered with sheets of gloom. My father's chair for all the years and all the tears I cried in vain. There was no one there. In my father's chair here, there, try the end of this message. I'm going to be giving practical advice to all of us whether we are father's mother were single mother were mothers in terms of restoration. This is critical absolutely critical that I don't need to delineate for you.
Do I the great consequences of fatherlessness. In fact out. Obviously, kids who grew up without a father are more susceptible to sexuality at early ages, drugs, and all of the other things that their peers are doing in school and the problem is that the cycle is repeated over and over again. And today in the name of God.
If you're in that cycle. It's going to stop and you're going to be headed in a brand-new direction.
The passage of Scripture I chosen were we begin is Genesis chapter 3 Genesis chapter 2, actually, and them we begin there because this is the owner's manual. Father's. I want you to realize the tremendous power that you have when you walk into a room, remember this, and if your children are there.
They are either diminished because of your presence, or they are enhanced and there are two ways that fathers sometimes destroy their families even if they are in the home. One way is to the there physically but emotionally disconnected, disconnected, uncommunicative, passive the other way is to be selfish and overbearing and inconsistent indiscipline and possibly also abuse so father's. This is for you.
But, as we shall see at the end of the message. It's for everyone. Mary remind you of the first message that I preached in the series. We emphasize the fact that in chapter 2 of Genesis. You'll notice it says in verse seven God formed the man he obviously formed them first verse 15 it is to Adam that the command goes that you may eat of the fruit of the tree is in the garden except the tree that is in the middle of the tree of good and evil. Eve is not given that command now.
Adam tells her as he should, we discover that though in chapter 3 Adam gets to name his wife and he calls her woman and when they sin.
Who is it that God goes to first namely Adam that's in chapter 3 verse nine God hunts out the man why and here's where we begin today about the role of the man in the family.
I need to say at the outset that the Bible doesn't actually just have you no job description for the woman wife, the mother and a job description for the man, but it paints out in broad strokes.
Their individual roles and of course we need the rest of the Bible to fill in some of the details and we will do that in just a few moments, but I want you to notice that first off Adam actually has spiritual leadership responsibility for his wife. Is he whom God holds accountable as you read the rest of the Old Testament, you discover that the man was to be the priest of the family is the one who offered the sacrifices he was there during the Seder he was giving leadership because God is putting responsibility for that family squarely on the shoulders of the man translated into modern terms, it should be the man who should be the one who should be praying for his wife and initiating it. It should be the man in the household who make sure that the kids are being taught the Bible giving them instruction. It should be the man who should be the one Sunday morning helping his family get ready as he leads them to church, that doesn't mean that he has to do all of the teaching. His wife may be a better teacher than he is in. Maybe she'll do the bulk of the teaching. But she does so under the encouragement the strength and the direction of the man whom God has placed in that I was old the man that God holds accountable now what happens in many homes is the father washes his hands.
He gives responsibility to his wife to the church and he spiritually disconnected. Is it any wonder that the statistics indicate that so many children today. Growing up in the church eventually leave the faith because God is not important to dad, why should God be important to me and God squarely in the Bible puts the responsibility of the leadership with in the home of the church can help the church can help, but it can only help. It cannot take the place of dad in the home and dad, if you're wondering what it is that you should teach your children, you'll notice that each of these messages has an assignment and one of the assignments I give you is read Proverbs chapter 2 really you should read all of Proverbs, read the opening chapters of Proverbs and find out what the father teaches his son throughout that book you have. You know the father saying my son do this and this and what is he doing is teaching them to trust God with all of us are these teaching them about the fear of the Lord.
These teaching him about financial responsibility off for the Bible says and honor the Lord with your substance that it may go well with you. Teach them about money. Teach them about their friends.
The book of Proverbs is filled with warnings about bad friends. I got so many parents say to me you know he was a good kid but he got wrapped up in the wrong people in school.
I understand that but where are the warnings where are the safeguards within the home.
Dad for who which God hold you accountable.
So that's where you haven't now dad is often absent because he's working his other responsibility, maybe even travels many make sure that it is being done.
He is a partner with his wife whom he loves and he is a partner with the mother, and he stands together with them. Number one is leadership. Spiritual leadership within the home shared within the home under dad's good direction and leadership. Let's look at the fact that he has to be a provider. I won't go into the text here too deeply because were going to get to some areas that are very important to all of us in just a moment and this is important to of course you'll notice it says them that with the sweat of your brow. I think it's verse 18 thorns and thistles, the land shall bring, and you shall eat the plants of the field by the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken for dust you where and to dust you shall return clearly the responsibility of the man is to provide for his family and in those days the way you did it was to work out in the field. Now we live in an entirely different environment with our situation.
Very few of us work out in the field. I was born on a farm will be worked out in the field always hoped I wouldn't have to spend the rest of my life there but that's where it began, but nonetheless some the father still is responsibility. Now there may be at times of reversal of roles out of necessity.
I understand that and maybe the father doesn't have to work. Maybe he inherited some money.
Maybe he God for bid one, the Powerball or something like that. Most people who do that. By the way, get into huge trouble huge trouble but nonetheless he has responsibility that the needs of his family are cared for dad is there for them, and instead of expecting his wife to take responsibility. He does oftentimes that doesn't happen in the home.
Ever wonder why is that man so much like the zapper the television zapper. The remote control. It's because to a man, even remote control is really better than none at all. So oftentimes that's his role let me give you 1/3 point tend in your outline. This is a little different than now perhaps is there and that is he has to be the spiritual gatekeeper.
So where you find that in the text will think for example about Adam. You see, the serpent comes to get his family to get his wife and the reason that God holds them accountable is because it says in chapter 3 verse six and seven it says expressly that Eve took the fruit of the tree and gave to her husband who was with her and thought to myself if whether or not the first sin was not even eating the fruit of the tree, but rather the passivity of Adam, who stood there watching the serpent to seduce his wife and doing nothing about it. That's why God holds them accountable. He was to be the spiritual gatekeeper bothers when there are attacks against the family when there is bullying in the school what you do is you become involved and it may be your child who is doing the bullying. So you straighten that out you take responsibility for what is happening in your family and all of us must do that. Dad there are so many attacks against the family, there are addictions there are all kinds of ways in which your children are under attack today and what you and I must do is to ask God and say give me wisdom to be the man in the house to be emotionally and spiritually engaged in the life of my family.
That's what God is calling us to never thought of why it is that on television.
The father is always displayed a sort of a wimpy man who doesn't know anything is sort of ignorant and everybody kind of makes jokes about dad. Think it through this serpent to attack the first family is interested in the destruction of our families and he most assuredly is where is he going to go for his attack is going attack. Dad and you see because we live in a time when many men can't seem to assume this role for many different reasons maybe number one because they've had some bad models to follow or no model at all and they don't know what that role is really like, well, one of the reasons that we have family ministries here at The Moody Church is to help you define that to get on track. Another reason is because the confusion of roles. We don't know what were supposed to be in our society where you have men supposedly being more like women than women being more like men to the destruction of the family men don't know what it's like to be a man so they think that being a man is to be tough to be harsh and they have no idea about manhood being both strong but also sensitive and loving and caring. They don't know what it's like to be a man. Then there's another reason in the side auto break our hearts and that is if a man is living with unconquered sin. If he is living with an addiction.
It is going to be very difficult for him to guide his family spiritually. So he feels himself paralyzed man.
This comes from my heart to yours. If that describes you, would you go for help, their ministries here in the church men's ministries there other kinds of ministries that can help you, because you cannot be down by the condemnation. Satan and at the same time have the freedom to instruct your family spiritually and in other ways for which God holds you father and me as a father responsible, as I was thinking of the power of the family. I'd like to give you three objects, three objects that will help us define the power of the family of the first object that I want to mention is that we are a mirror mirror.
You know the way in which the children perceive themselves the way in which the wife perceives herself is dependent on how we perceive them.
A child will think of himself in terms of how his father thinks of him if his father honors him encourages him stands by his side you'll see himself as a valuable and having an ally in a very cruel world. If the father sees the child as a nuisance is someone who just takes his money because he has to be fed and clothed it. He sees his son is someone who is intruding on his time. His son, daughter, can you even imagine the impact that that has on a child. The child perceives himself to be what the father perceive them to be.
After all, in breaded in the heart and mind of a child is this dad must be right and if these abusive I must deserve what I'm getting old. Father you're a mirror reflecting back to your family. Positive images of encouragement and help and stand with them.
Another way to describe it is that your thermostat what temperature is your home going to be at their summer homes where there is just chaos and there is arguing a member talking to the guys said that every disagreement in our house ended up in a fight over was dad. Where was dad saying we have to honor one another. We have to respect one another. We have to resolve conflict with the love one another and modeling it in his own life and in his own relationship with his wife and kids. Where is that father because he's the thermostat and whether your home is a cold place where secrets have to be And where they have to be stuffed into the soul and where Shane is often used for motivation in a home like that dad your accountable because you and I are the thermostat. Another way and that is to say that we also are a compass compass are we going in the right direction. Are we leaving our families correctly to more spiritual understanding and great sense of direction and leadership so that the family notes they can depend on dad nine going to ask you to turn to another passage. This is one that if we do not understand.
We will always have tension in the home will have tension among ourselves and it is very instructive as to what God thinks of family conflict is found in the end of the old testament.
The book of Malachi, not the book of Valachi like a friend of mine thought it should be pronounced won't tell you what country but the book of Malachi. In chapter 4. This is what it says in verses five and six behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord you will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children in the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the land with a decree of utter destruction. God says if our homes are not reconciled if fathers are not restored to their children and children to their fathers. It is an ultimate judgment. What does that say to us here in America. What does it say to us as a nation where our homes are crumbling in where the attacks against the family are everywhere.
Especially in the media and even among our politicians. Where does that leave us, we should weep for our families.
Now I promised you that I was going to give you steps that you can take. No matter where you are is a father or as someone who isn't a father you're a single you're a teenager. Whether your man or woman. It makes no difference what steps most all of us take to fulfill this verse. Let me give them to you very simply step number one is we must be reconciled to our own fathers, we must be reconciled to our own fathers.
You say, reconciled to my father.
My father left the home you say I thinking of a little girl. Let's take a moment to feel the pain she's about eight years old and her father comes into her bedroom and says you know I'm leaving I'm leaving I'm going to live with somebody else. But don't worry, I'll come and visit you from time to time, the little girl is dissolving in tears father walks out of the room and that's the last time the little girl sees her daddy's happening all over America in different ways all the time so you're saying what you mean by being reconciled your own father you can be reconciled to your own father. Without his permission or involvement for some of you. You need to be reconciled to a father who has long since died and you are still bearing within yourself. The effects of how he parented you. So how do we go about being restored to our parents, especially her father.
First of all number one accept reality and the truth just accept it. I have here a story of a young man who writes to his brother and says, as for your concern about dad. That's a big issue.
I don't know where to start. I can tell you that I've spent a long time in therapy dealing with it and I'm just now getting to some closure on it.
It has affected me a great deal and I know that for sure.
Dad's not going to change. I have a hard time accepting that. I've spent my life setting myself up to receive some little acknowledgment or blessing, only to be disappointed.
Each time, somewhere along the way, I stopped trying always miss him, though there will always be a hollow place inside of me were love and acceptance from him should've been this I can never change, he has to make peace with his father is taken the first step in accepting reality. It is so hard for children who've gone through a difficult experience with the father. Of course I hope that many of you as you listen to this say I had a good father. I had a good father and imperfect father because all fathers are woefully imperfect, but a good father but you say will Pastor Lutzer mine was an alcoholic. Mine was abusive mind was distant mine left the family and on and on it goes.
You must make peace with your father.
You must face the reality because remember what ever you don't forgive you pass on while our number one then you face the reality number two you mourn the loss. It's okay to cry about your past, if that's what you need to do and you cry in the reason that you prize because it could've been so different. There were longings that you had it as a child that were never fulfilled.
You can weep over those feel free to weep, you know, if you lost an arm, we wouldn't criticize you for crying. Some of you. God bless you. My heart aches for you because you've lost your childhood as a result of your father, and so as a result of that you you face the loss and you accepted and recognize that things will not change. It is what it is.
Despite the pain and then what you choose to do is you really do choose to forgive and lay it down and how do you and I forgive our standard is we want to forgive others even as Jesus forgave us that you glad for the fact that Jesus freely forgave us that wonderful is it not our responsibility to forgive is were forgiven, with or without our father's cooperation. We hope that there can be reconciliation, but in many instances, there can be. So what we choose to do is to say, no longer am I going to be defined by my pain. I'm going to speak you candidly pretend I'm not speaking to a large crowd as I am today, but rather you're in my office were looking at each other. I taught I just between us. This is what I would say it's so important that when you think about the past that you not focus on the fact that all of your wounds have to be healed. My wounds have to be see the problem is with you and with me. We feel our wounds much more keenly than we feel our sin. Therefore, we don't necessarily see that the real issue God has in mind the real issue he has in mind my friend is holiness pursuit of God, with or without healing, I should say so is preparing this message.
I was reminded of a time when I had the opportunity to speak and I did at one time speak many times during the promise keeper era and I was speaking to a large stadium of 10 or 15,000 people and I was explaining all this to them and then I gave an invitation. Hundreds of men came forward, hundreds I don't know how many I remember all throughout the front men were weeping and crying up to God and remember one man who was sitting in this part or standing in this part of the crowd and he kept saying dad. I forgive you, dad.
I forgive you and I hope and pray that that was the beginning for those men to finally come to realize that their past should not defined.
And even if some left with still very wounds that they should know that they couldn't be men of God, no matter how they were parented because we learned in the first message that wherever sin abounds. There's also grace alongside of sin you look at the Old Testament and the New Testament, there are very few examples of great parenting. There are some just think of Abraham. Now remember, his parents were pagans and I think by God's grace and sovereignty turned out pretty good actually I think of Moses, for example, he was raised by a single woman, the Princess, who was a sun worshiper.
Look at what God did through Moses and all the Old Testament there is a man by the name of Ahaz.
He was not a righteous king by any stretch of the imagination, and yet them. Ahaz who did evil in the sight of the Lord. He is a son by the name of Hezekiah in the Bible says that Hezekiah walked in all the ways of the Lord and serve the Lord all the days of his life is a moment to look at his father.
If you have the faith to believe it. I encourage you to step out today and believe and trust God that you can be reconciled to your father and your past, need not defined your future because God is a God of grace. It might be unrealistic for me to give an invitation here today as was given the promise keepers but I can't help but think that out in the balcony and listening by other means over the Internet and the radio there. There would be hundreds of people, maybe thousands who say this message is for me.
I am sick and tired of pursuing healing for my wounds. As if that's the greatest goal.
The greatest goal is to glorify God and to seek him.
And despite all your imperfection and your inadequacies. Who knows what God will do when you step out in faith and say look hard. Help me to be the father that I should be. So that's a message for all of us is in it. We all have to be reconciled to her parents, boys, girls, men, women now I'm speaking to the fathers once again directly. Suppose you've done that. What is the next step that you as a father should do all the next step is restoration. Restoration of broken relationships. Dad you have to take the initiative here. You know the Bible says in first Peter chapter 3 verse seven. Husbands, dwell with your wives according to knowledge, giving honor unto them as being the weaker vessel so that your prayers will not be hindered. What hinders prayer unresolved relationships. Dad you have to take the initiative. I hope it's okay that I give a personal illustration.
One time one of our daughters wrote me a letter and indicated what she appreciated about growing up in our home and specifically about me and it wasn't about the fact you had. I just love those sermons that you preached are you know why I read your books now. She said the thing that stands out most is that whenever I was wrong. I would be quick to go to the ask their forgiveness. I was wrong many times inconsistent discipline, discipline, and anger of blaming the wrong child until you I've done it all and so you what children are looking for is an honest dad who say I have wrong you. I've not done right by.
I ask your forgiveness begin there because the text says fathers to children children to father's last. I strike the earth with a curse as one translation put were dealing here with huge issues within the family and then of course concentrate on the fatherhood of God. The Bible says that he is a father to the fatherless.
Now there's a promise you can hang on to. And David said, even when my father and my mother forsake me.
The Lord will pick me up. God is our father. If we know Christ as Savior. One of the most beautiful words in the English language I think is the word father. I also like the word dad Outlook to send my kids a card or if I email them. I always sign it. Dad and I love the word dad. What an honor and remember we have a father in heaven and we cry up and we say Abba father term of endearment is anything more precious than that. That's whom you pursue, you pursue God. Jesus in fact taught us to pray, did he not our father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, and he revolutionized even the understanding of the Old Testament by affirming such an rentable intimacy.
Jesus also gave an example of God the father by telling a parable about a boy who ran away from home.
The father welcomed him back without a lot of questions, said bring your ring on, put it on his hand, and shoes on his feet and give them a role and bring hither the fatted calf and kill them for this my son was dead and is alive is lost and is found. That's exactly what God will do for you today to come to Jesus Christ will be welcomed into his family, but you have to come through Jesus because is the only one is a Savior who died that we might be converted then and that we might be able to be forgiven and stand perfectly before God.
God is able to change your circumstances by changing you and me were willing to give him our hearts. Are you weary Jesus said, come unto me all ye who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest and even your family can experience that rest in Christ because God is our father. Would you join me as we pray our father as we have looked over the responsibilities how we deeply repent because all of us have been such imperfect fathers. All of us. Father, we cleave to you and to your grace into your mercy before I close this parent tried now to the congregation how many are there out there who say Pastor Lutzer.
I think this message is for me. I have some business to do within my family. Could you raise your hands. Please, even in the balcony.
Many of you have raise your hands.
Many of you who should have perhaps haven't father whatever you've told us today. Help us to be obedient and we pray that many may be able to say our father who is in heaven praying is blessed on today's church. Our Dr. Erwin insert spoke about dad's in charge third in a 10 part series on fighting for your family, marriage is now disappearing from culture as live-in relationships replace the committed union of man and wife next week.
Join us as we look into the Bible and discover what marriage is and isn't Pastor Lutzer's book getting closer to God. Lessons from the life of Moses will be sent to you as our way of saying thanks for your gift of any amount to support The Moody Church. Our call us at 1-800-215-5001. That's 1-800-215-5001 online go to moodyoffer.com that's moodyoffer.com or write to us at The Moody Church 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614. Join us next week for another Moody Church.
Our with Dr. Erwin looser in the congregation of historic Moody Church in Chicago