Share This Episode
Running to Win Erwin Lutzer Logo

Dads In Charge – Part 1 of 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
November 9, 2023 12:00 am

Dads In Charge – Part 1 of 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 1057 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

November 9, 2023 12:00 am

A plethora of bad fathers are around us, modeling passivity and abusiveness. But fatherhood is a solemn responsibility, reflecting the character of God to children. In this message from Genesis 2, Pastor Lutzer explains how men can set the tone and meet the relational and spiritual needs of their family. What is God’s view of the role of a dad?

This month’s special offer is available for a donation of any amount. Get yours at or call us at 1-888-218-9337. 

Moody Church Hour
Pastor Phillip Miller

Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith. Society confuses the natural roles of men and women. Feminists want men to feel that it's wrong to be masculine. The result, families with either weak husbands or no husbands at all. On today's program, God's view of the role of a dad.

Stay with us. From the Moody Church in Chicago, this is Running to Win with Dr. Erwin Lutzer, whose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line. Pastor Lutzer, dads are under attack like never before. In some neighborhoods, this situation is at crisis proportions.

This explains why it is in some neighborhoods that there's a tremendous amount of crime. God has given fathers the responsibility to give guidance and also guardrails to their children and of course to love their children's mother. I want to ask you a question. All those of you who are listening, are you blessed as a result of the ministry of Running to Win? Have you been encouraged and instructed?

If so, it's because other people just like you have contributed to this ministry. Would you consider becoming an endurance partner? Well, of course you need some info, so here's what you do. Go to That's and when you're there, you click on the endurance partner button.

Or if you prefer, you can call us at 1-888-218-9337. From my heart to yours, remember that we exist to help you run the Christian life successfully and that means we must understand the role of dads in a family. 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, oh, she said, I've never traveled.

I'd 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 fight today because the enemies of the family are huge. In fact, in the future messages, I'm going to talk about the enemies outside the home and inside the home. My, how we have to fight.

But today I'm talking about dads. And remember in this series of message, we're expecting transformation. Even as we prayed during our day of prayer and fasting, we prayed for prodigals. We prayed for those who had addictions. And as you pray and seek God, we're going to pray for restoration and help within your family and things will be different. The miracle within us and the miracle that other people also need.

God is able and we're 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. There'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.

Oh, 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 through all the years and all the tears, I cried in vain.

There was no one there in my father's chair. Hear their cry. At the end of this message I'm going to be giving practical advice to all of us, whether we're fathers, whether we're single, whether we're mothers, in terms of restoration.

This is critical, absolutely critical. Now I don't need to delineate for you, do I, the great consequences of fatherlessness. In fact, 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've chosen where we begin is Genesis chapter 3, Genesis chapter 2, actually, and we begin there because this is the owner's manual. And fathers, 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 be there physically but emotionally disconnected, disconnected, uncommunicative, passive. The other way is to be selfish and overbearing and inconsistent in discipline and possibly also abuse. So fathers, this is for you, but as we shall see at the end of the message, it's for everyone. May I remind you of the first message that I preached in the series. We emphasized the fact that in chapter 2 of Genesis, you'll notice it says in verse 7, God formed the man.

He obviously formed him first. Verse 15, it is to Adam that the command goes that you may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden except the tree that is in the middle, the tree of good and evil. Eve is not given that command. Now, Adam tells her as he should.

We discovered 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 9. God hunts out the man.

Why? And here's where we begin today about the role of the man in the family. Now, I need to say at the outset that the Bible doesn't actually just have, you know, a job description for the woman, the 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.

It is he whom God holds accountable. And as you read the rest of the Old Testament, you discover that the man was to be the priest of the family. He's 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 makes 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 and 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 household, 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's 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 if 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 within the home. 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 to 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, but 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? He's teaching him to trust God with all of his heart. He's teaching him about the fear of the Lord. He's teaching him about financial responsibility.

Offer, 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've had so many parents say to me, you know, he was a good kid, but he got wrapped up in the wrong people in school. Well, I understand that, but where are the warnings? Where are the safeguards within the home, Dad, for which God holds you accountable?

So that's where you have it. Now, Dad is often absent because he's working. He has other responsibilities. Maybe he even travels, but he makes 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 we're going to get to some areas that are very important to all of us in just a moment, and this is important too, of course. You'll notice it says that with the sweat of your brow, I think it's verse 18, thorns and thistles the land shall bring forth, 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 were, 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 where we 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, the father still has responsibility. Now there may be at times a 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 forbid, won 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. You ever wonder why it is that men 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 a third point. And in your outline, this is a little different than perhaps is there. And that is he has to be the spiritual gatekeeper. You say, where do you find that in the text? Well, think, for example, about Adam. You see, the serpent comes to get his family, to get his wife. And the reason that God holds him accountable is because, it says in chapter 3, verse 6 and 7, it says expressly that Eve took the fruit of the tree and gave to her husband who was with her. I've often thought to myself if whether or not the first sin was not Eve eating the fruit of the tree, but rather the pacificity of Adam, who stood there watching the serpent seduce his wife and doing nothing about it. That's why God holds him accountable.

He was to be the spiritual gatekeeper. Fathers, when there are attacks against the family, when there is bullying in 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. Have you ever thought of why it is that on television the father is always displayed as sort of a wimpy man who doesn't know anything? He's sort of ignorant and everybody kind of makes jokes about dad. Think it through. If this serpent who attacked 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?

He's going to 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 and to get on track. Another reason is because of the confusion of roles. We don't know what we're supposed to be. In our society where you have men supposedly being more like women and women being more like men to the destruction of the family, men don't know what it's like to be a man. And so they think that being a man is to be tough and 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. And then there's another reason, and this ought to 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. Men, this comes from my heart to yours.

If that describes you, would you go for help? There are ministries here in the church, men's ministries. There are other kinds of ministries that can help you because you cannot be bogged down by the condemnation of 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. The first object that I want to mention is that we are a mirror, a 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, he'll see himself as valuable and having an ally in a very cruel world. If the father sees the child as a nuisance, as someone who just takes his money because he has to be fed and clothed, if he sees his son as someone who is intruding on his time, his son or his daughter, can you even imagine the impact that that has on a child? The child perceives himself to be what the father perceives him to be. After all, embedded in the heart and mind of a child is this, dad must be right. And if he's abusive, I must deserve what I'm getting. Oh, father, you're a mirror. Reflect back to your family positive images of encouragement and help and stand with them. Another way to describe it is that you're a thermostat.

What temperature is your home going to be at? There are some homes where there is just chaos and there is arguing. I remember talking to a guy who said that every disagreement in our house ended up in a fight. But where was dad? Where was dad saying we have to honor one another, we have to respect one another, we have to resolve conflict, we have to 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 kept and where they have to be stuffed into the soul and where shame is often used for motivation. In a home like that, dad, you're accountable because you and I are the thermostat. So another way and that is to say that we also are a compass, a compass. Are we going in the right direction? Are we leading our families correctly to more spiritual understanding and a great sense of direction and leadership so that the family knows they can depend on dad?

Now, I'm 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. We will have tension among ourselves and it is very instructive as to what God thinks of family conflict. It's found at the end of the Old Testament, the book of Malachi, not the book of Malachi, like a friend of mine thought it should be pronounced.

I won't tell you what country he was from. But the book of Malachi in chapter 4, this is what it says in verses 5 and 6. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers lest I come and smite the land with a decree of utter destruction.

My friend, I certainly hope that you listen to running to win next time as we expound upon that verse and its huge implications for the family, for children, and for ongoing generations. Just yesterday, I received an email about someone in northern Canada who listens regularly to the ministry of running to win. That, of course, is not unusual. What might be unusual is for you to know that we have just signed a contract to go into Portuguese.

This ministry is now throughout India and in many other countries of the world, more than 20 different countries in five different languages. Why? Because of people just like you. I want to thank you so much for your support. And some of you have listened to running to win for a long time and you've never connected with us. Would you consider becoming an endurance partner? Endurance partners are people who stand with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts. Become a part of what I like to call the running to win family. Here is what you do. Go to That's And when you're there, click on the endurance partner button or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Our endurance partners give this ministry stability and help us to plan for the future. Once again, here's the contact info.

Go to, click on the endurance partner button, or call us at 1-888-218-9337. You can write to us at Running to Win, 1635 North LaSalle Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60614. Running to Win is all about helping you find God's roadmap for your race of life. Rising crime and divorce rates bear sad testimony to families with poor male role models or none at all. It's vital that dads lead their families in the right direction.

The next generation depends on it, and right now, the outlook is grim. On our next program, more of dads in charge. This is Dave McAllister. Running to Win is sponsored by the Moody Church.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-09 03:50:16 / 2023-11-09 03:58:56 / 9

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime