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A Father's Long Shadow Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
October 7, 2021 1:00 am

A Father's Long Shadow Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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October 7, 2021 1:00 am

Much of the anguish in today’s families can be traced to fractured relationships between fathers and their children. Can we open those clenched fists and hearts, restoring both dialogue and love? Can we work to mend the broken ties with our fathers? 

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One reason for us. Jesus phone number we all know that fathers are normally family breadwinners in the Bible. Fathers are also responsible for the spiritual well-being of their wives and children today, we explore the power of the dance example for good or ill, and the Moody Church in Chicago.

This is when with Dr. Erwin Luzerne whose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line, pastor, loser is true we feel the impact of our fathers long after they have passed away. David not only is true, we should emphasize the fact that yes we feel the impact of our fathers and Dave I can't help but think that we are talking to many people today who perhaps grew up without a father, but they need to understand that even they are still feeling the impact of an absent father in their own lives.

The role of the father is absolutely critical.

Recently I was in on a discussion regarding the sins of the fathers being visited upon the children and we emphasize the fact that those kinds of curses and bad influences can be broken in Christ, but the role of the father is critical and if there are people out there who are longing for a father left them.

Remember that they have a heavenly father who loves them. Who cares about them and who replaces their own dad. I want to thank the many of you who give us the opportunity of sharing the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In 20 different countries in three different languages. I especially feel a great sense of gratitude fact that throughout the Middle East running to win is heard in Arabic. Thanks for helping us. Would you consider becoming an endurance partner that someone who stands with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts. Here is what you do go to RTW when you're there, click on the endurance partner button that's RTW

Click on the endurance partner button or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Now let us listen to God's word of the role of the father in the home. Today I want you to hear the cry of 20 million children were living without a father in the home. These are lyrics by David Meese about his own fatherless home sometimes at night I lie awake longing inside for my father's embrace.

Sometimes at night. I wander downstairs and pray he will return, but no one was there all how I cried a child 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 through all the years and all the tears I cried in vain. No one was there. In my father's chair. Today I'm going to preach a message which I wish were heard throughout the world. A fathers long shadow.

You and I are impacted by our father much more than we realize fathers can bless us fathers can encourage us fathers can didn't any shots and others can curse us. They have an old within their power. Today my text is taken from the book of Malachi, Malachi, an Old Testament prophet.

The last book of the Old Testament find the place where the old and the New Testament meet and it is pronounced. Malachi not a lot. She like an Italian friend of mine, but it was because this message is so serious and so necessary and so life transforming for we read the text. I would like to pray one more time asking God to do what no man can would you join me as we pray our father we ask in Jesus name that this for many will be a transforming moment for fathers who are listening.

We ask that you will open their hearts go where no man can deep within their souls for all of the children and that's all of us a fathers. We pray that we might be reconciled to our fathers to break the impasse the curses of fathers who have done us harm and not good.

We pray today that as we speak about reclaiming the family that this will be of powerful step in that direction. For every one who is listening. We ask in Jesus name, amen. Malachi chapter 4 verse five behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord, and he will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children in the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction or as some translations put it unless I come and strike the land with a curse. When God ends the Old Testament, he ends with a warning and a warning is that if the hearts of fathers are not turned toward the children and the children toward the fathers. If there is not reconciliation within the home judgment is coming that's God's last word to fathers in the Old Testament, you open up the New Testament did you find in Luke chapter 1 that when John the Baptist just is born. The prophecy says he will go forth in the power and the spirit of Elijah to turn the hearts of fathers toward the children.

The Old Testament opens with an emphasis on reconciliation within the home. The New Testament opens with an emphasis in the same direction. God says it is important for restoration and reconciliation within the home. Why is the role of the father so critical.

Yes, of course, mothers have a great influence but God holds the father accountable for his wife and for his children. First of all because the father is the mirror of the home as children try to find out who in the world they really are and find out their identity. Try to find out whether they are valuable or valueless. Find out whether they are worth anything, they look to the father to find out how valuable they are. That's why fathers can diminish their children by belittling them by criticizing them by by telling them things that that they should never be told by striking at their heart like the father who told his adopted son in a moment of anger.

You are nothing but the product of a one night stand. The father knew that to kill the boy would mean that the father would go to jail so he wouldn't do that when he wanted to do is to destroy the boys soul and he did it through terrible terrifying words. So who are you, you're growing up to try to figure that out it's dad who reflects back to you who you are because you see yourself through his eyes, is not only the mirror in the home. He is also the thermostat in the home. He is the one who's going to set the temperature are we going to have a home with harmony and with respect among the siblings. Is that what were going to have or are we going to have a home where everyone can say whatever they like, they can swear they can cut others down and they can to crack tickly anything in disrespect to one another.

The father determines that this past week my wife and I were talking to a couple and they were telling us about a home that they were acquainted with where they said every disagreement ended in an argument and every argument ended in a fight were going to duke it out. Father determines whether it's going to be that kind of a home or a home where there is optimism, encouragement, strength, belief and joy.

Dad, it's up to you. He's also the compass and the home determines what direction the home is going to go. Are we just going to keep going. Year after year. The way things are in never better ourselves. Never try to improve ourselves. Sit around watch television maybe read a newspaper live from paycheck to paycheck with no goals, no initiative, it's the dad sets that tone and that direction, but what happens when there isn't a dad in the home while the power of the father extends over the family, whether he is there or not. And when he's not there is power is limitless.

Girls growing up without a dad. Don't know whether they are sexually attractive. They don't know whether whether or not they have value, they don't. They need the affirmation of a man and dad isn't there. So they begin to test the waters begin to find others with whom they can have a relationship and pretty soon fall into the arms of young men who abuse them and use them and then toss them away and tell them they're worthless and the cycle begins all over again, young boys wrestling in their spirits between being aggressive as young men are and also needing self-restraint. They don't know where the boundaries are. So what they're going to do is to look to other men to try to affirm them to try to find out about masculinity and almost inevitably, they will choose those who will use them, who will miss treat them and who will do them harm.

At the letter and that's what happens, Mike Singletary, whose name is known here in Chicago because of the fame that he achieved playing on the Chicago Bears said that he grew up without a father and when he goes to prisons. He always asks the man as he speaks to them how many of you have had a good relationship with your father. Raise your hand. Singletary says that up until now, not a single hand has ever been raised. The curse of father was nice.

My outline today is rather simple. Were going to learn first of all how a father can turn his heart toward his child to win his child's heart and then were going to talk about making peace with our fathers, whether they are dead or alive.

That's the agenda.

First of all, how does the father take a child was turned off, a child whose heart is closed. How does he get the child to open his heart. The child has a clenched fist as it were an and the question is you can pry his fingers over them but they will always go back or you can win the child's heart so that he will open his hand on his own.

How do you win a child's heart for requirements fathers you know that you are God to your child. That's why so many people who struggle with fatherlessness or their relationship with their father, end up having so many problems with God as their father because you represent him. Like it or not, good father, bad father in different father. You represent God and God will hold you personally, individually accountable. First we as fathers need to initiate communication.

We need to initiate communication. We need to connect and we can only do that by making sure that the lines of communication are open for something that means that you have to go to your children and ask their forgiveness. You have to say please, please forgive me for my harshness for my indifference for my inconsistent discipline. I love to tell the story that man who attended a church service came in a Saturday morning after playing golf and there were 200 men in the church on their knees, repenting of their sins, and he sat at the back of the auditorium and took his fist and put it into his hand and said God you will never get me you'll never get me but I always like to point out that God got him.

God got him. Why was he so stubborn. What's because he had five children and a hot temper, and he had rules in his house. We've got rules here. If you violate the rules. You know how that goes. And he had turned his children often.

He knew he had to humble himself and going to ask their forgiveness.

If communication is to be restored. But if you're a young father and your children are young and they're still in the home. How do you establish that communication by the questions that you asked.

Find out what is going on in their lives enter into their world so you don't like the music that they listen to what parent has ever like the music that is teenagers have listened to try to find out why he likes it. Ask them questions about school because at the end what you and I must do is to make sure that our children know one thing and that is that they are highly prized, they are highly prized. Jesus surprises you and says of such are the kingdom of heaven, and I prize you as a gift from Jesus to me. So you establish communication. Dad talk say something, something good, something helpful. That's the first thing we as fathers need to do something were not very good at actually started second be the lawgiver.

Yes, that's what God is going to hold you accountable for his being the lawgiver, but also the grace giver the grace giver so you make the rules in the home and you put down the law. But your home just isn't a place of laws. It's also a place of grace.

It's a place where you model forgiveness personally by your attitude and then what you can do is you can begin to see that kind of an attitude develop on the part of your children. Children will miss behave you need proof, jog your memory as to what you did when you were a child why are you holding your children to a higher standard than you lived up to May I ask. Well, I hope that you hold them up to a higher standard than you lived up to, but do so with a sense of humility, knowing that you know evil is bound up in a child but you administer grace. According to Josh McDowell in a survey that was taken and teenagers were asked who can you go to when you have a crisis in your life. Dad was number 48 on the list. I can talk to my dad. He isn't going to listen to.

May I wish I could take time to tell you the stories of kids who have written the completion of this sentence. If I could change my mom and dad I would so many of them say I wish that he would listen to me. I might have something important to say. I wish that he would spend time with me.

Yes there is a law, but there is also grace. Dad's here it your children will never be From sins and crimes because of your rules. They do not have the power to do that they do not have the power to transform and to keep a child. The rules are necessary. Yes, but it isn't rules that will do it. It is relationships that will do that. That's what is transforming for your children is the relationship.

Third, be the protector be the protector. The Bible says regarding God, the Lord, you are my refuge and my fortress and that's what children need in today's world of refuge and the fortress so you protect them from the enemies of the family namely drugs and morality pornography crime sexual predators you talk to them about these things and you discuss them.

Let them express their opinions, even if their opinion is different from yours here them out here them out but stand in for them father in this church very good father talk to me the other day about movies that are being shown in the school that show marriage as diverse two men to women that also is a marriage that also is a quote family how old you think his daughter is supposed to look at these movies six years old and there's a father who standing in for his daughter keeping tabs on what she sees in school and discussing it with the principle involved in her life involved so you're the protector be the mentor in humility and patience in servant love be a mentor you have to know a lot about the Bible.

That's what I'm not talking about that the more you know the better but but it's the modeling of it. My parents could've taught us faith and I'm sure they did, but to me the greatest lesson of faith was when Hale consumed every blade of wheat on our farm and they got on their knees and the old farmhouse and thanked God before his mercies and for all that he meant to them in the midst of their devastation. Children don't forget that you say will there's something in my life. There's a reason why I can't be a mentor.

I have unconquered sin in my life.

If that's the case with you, my dear father would you join a small group would you go for help. Would you seek God. Would you do whatever needs to be done to get rid of what it is that stands in the way of you entering into your child's world. That's the way we can fulfill this admonition, behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord and he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children. Father today. Turn your heart to your needy crying children at great personal cost. It was Seneca who said years ago. Seneca said no man can consider himself a success if his children are a failure is very sobering isn't it a fact is the impact that we as fathers have is much greater than we realize and that's why it is that we need to walk carefully and give our children a wonderful example my friend today.

If you didn't have that in your life. All is not lost their people in your church in your life that can minister to you and God.

Of course, becomes your heavenly father. When you receive Christ as Savior. The reason I'm so excited about the ministry of running to win is that it touches so many lives in my hands. I'm holding a letter from someone who said that he wanted justice for everything. Everything had to be fair, will you have learned and he learned that life isn't fair, so is filled with vengeance. But he said he was listening to one of the sermons of running to win and realize that vengeance belongs to God. Suddenly I had an epiphany. I feel free.

The best birthday gift I've ever had. Thank you thank you thank you. Let's one letter among many, would you consider helping us in this ministry, would you consider becoming an endurance partner, someone who stands with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts go to RTW

Of course, RTW offers all one word RTW Click on the endurance partner button or if you prefer, call us at 1-888-218-9337 thanks in advance for helping us get the gospel around the world. You can write to us running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago 60614 running to win is all about helping you find God's roadmap race of life running to win comes to you from the Moody Church in Chicago next time more on how dad can and must protect their families from the onslaught of pagan culture. Thanks for listening for Dr. Erwin certain this is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the teacher

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