The importance of fathers

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MALACHI 4:5,6 says: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.

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.”

1 Corinthians 4:15: “For though ye have ten thousand instructors (teachers) in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.”

The word begotten in the above scripture means causing to become.

Fathering is essential to success at every level of society. Sociologists confirm that fathers not only play an indispensable role in the home, but also in the nation.

Many problems we face today for example, drug abuse, welfare problems, teenage pregnancy, street kids and many others, are directly related to the absence of fathers.

This has become pronounced in the past several decades. We desperately need fathers today.

The absence of fathers is linked to most social nightmares for example school dropouts, drug addictions, suicide victims and mental illnesses.

With good fathering, young girls get to distinguish the touch of a father and that of a paedophile.

Fathers bring strength and stability. The strength of a father provides tremendous protection for a family’s structure and ultimate destiny.

Without fathers, children are more likely to grow up undisciplined and irresponsible, unaware of consequences of their actions in life.

Fathers bring a strong standard and a firm hand that enables a family to reach it’s potential.

When storms come, good fathers steady the ship with their wisdom and experience.

Fathers bring balance to the family system.

The strength of a father provides tremendous protection for a family’s future and ultimate destiny. (The government of God rests on fathers).

Spiritual fatherlessness is a weakness in the body of Christ today, a great vacuum has been created by the scarcity of godly fathering. Like society, the church is plagued with problems because of a lack of fathers and the Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 4:15: “For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.”

Malachi 4:5,6 sees the in coming apostolic outpouring, a restoration of spiritual fathering that will materialise. Malachi 4:5,6 states: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD . . .

“And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children (sons), and the heart of the children (sons) to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”

The apostolic outpouring fills the void and releases a movement of strong fathers both natural and spiritual.

Because the same qualities essential to families are needed in the family of God, a new generation of spiritual fathers are being enlisted by the Holy Spirit.

These fathers are bringing strength and stability to the entire body of Christ. God is raising such fathers for such a time as this.

Women should not feel neglected in this, they too are very important.

My use of the term “father” or “fathering” should not be misunderstood to mean that I am excluding women from vital mentoring roles.

According to 2 Timothy 1:5, Timothy’s life for example, was deeply affected by his mother Eunice and his grandmother Lois.

It states: “When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that is in thee also.”

Both men and women will make a significant contribution to this movement of “fathers”, (fathering).

We desperately need fathers in our communities, churches, cities and nations today. In the final words of the Old Testament, a unique prophet saw a glorious vision of the end-time move of God’s spirit.

Simply put, the absence of fathers is a curse to any society, city, church or nation. The spirit of God is preparing hearts of men for fatherhood.

These restored father–son relationships will be mirrored in spiritual father–son relationships in the kingdom.

The Paul–Timothy relationship of scripture will again be a living reality in the church. Other father/son models include: Elijah-Elisha, Moses-Joshua and Paul -Timothy.

How fathers function Fathering is a skill that needs to be taught and imparted copiously as the spirit of restoration is released.

We have many scholars, prophets, teachers and other ministers, but the body of Christ is crying out for the ministry of spiritual fathers.

Men must arise in the house of God and take over this mentoring role and raise this generation of young people.

The rise of false prophets can be directly traced to lack of spiritual fathers.

Zimbabwean so-called prophets visit West Africa for a week or two, bring bottles of water and oil and automatically declare themselves prophets.

No training at all has been received by these men, no wonder why their prophecies are dangerous.

They buy a designer suits, hold a microphone and establish themselves a large following of Christian spiritual tourists who have itching ears.

It takes seven to nine years to train a specialist medical doctor, four to five years to train a lawyer and chartered accountant, five years to train a good pastor, evangelist and teacher, 10 years to establish someone as an authentic apostle and yet it takes going to West Africa for one to four weeks to establish a Zimbabwean prophet.

Fathers arise and put order in the body of Christ!
Five ways in which fathers will operate
Fathers demonstrate love
Fatherhood and love are inseparable concepts in the plan of God.

 Fathers nurture their children affectionately caring for them,
 Fathers affirm their children and provide the gentle security of an unwavering commitment to their well being,

 A man who cannot share himself in love may be a biological progenitor, but is not a spiritual father,
 Few relationships can surpass the love a father has for his son. In Genesis 44:30, we have an example of Jacob and his son Benjamin. The Bible says “his soul was knit with his son’s soul . . . seeing that his life is bound up in the lad’s life . . .”

 The love of God the Father towards His son Jesus Christ, this is intense love,
 John 3:35: “The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.”

 John 5: 20: “For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.”

 John 10:17: “Therefore, doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.”

Fathers are vessels filled with immense love. Paul cherished his spiritual children when he said in 1 Thessalonians 2:8: “So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.’ Paul’s message to the Corinthians was equally passionate when he wrote 2 Corinthians 7:3.
“I speak not this to condemn you: for I have said before, that ye are in our hearts to die and live with you.” Without affection, the fathers could become overbearing and an oppressive influence.

Fathers train and discipline
 Training is essential in raising mature and well-adjusted children.

Fathers take a powerful role in this process, firmly directing and guiding their children to prepare them for success.

 Jethro was a wise father in law of Moses.

In Exodus 18:13-26, he offered direction to his overworked son-in-law that both preserved and protected Moses in the face of crushing responsibilities.

 Joseph’s counsel to Pharaoh was so effective that he was promoted to the place of positional fatherhood over him. Genesis 45:8, “ . . . He has made me a father to Pharaoh . . .”
 God himself is a father who disciplines and trains his children.

Hebrews 12:5 to 10 states: “And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, my son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him.

For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.”

 Paul was committed to the responsibility of training. Colossians 1:28 says: “Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.”
Fathers provide
Another task of a father is to provide for his children. Proverbs 13:22 states: “A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.”

To provide means to sustain and enrich.

What does a spiritual father provide for his spiritual children? What is the inheritance he leaves? 2 Kings 2:12 states: “And Elisha saw it, and he cried, my father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces.”

Moses laid his hands on Joshua. Fathers impart spiritual drive and ability. They leave heavenly legacies of effectiveness, anointing and passion for God.

Fathers reproduce
In the most basic sense, natural fathers are men who have physically contributed to creating a new life. They are men who have biologically reproduced.

Fathers (spiritually) exercise the powers of spiritual reproduction, raising sons and daughters. As fathers, lets mentor and raise these young people.

Fathers bless and impart
Of all the functions of fathering, the spiritual blessing of the family must not be forgotten. Bible patriarchs and prophets knew how to impart and bless their children.

Jacob laid his hands on Joseph, imparting a generational blessing. Fathers have the ability to impart blessings to their children in the faith. This transference of divine life is one of the most awesome responsibilities of a spiritual father.

Conclusion
1 Corinthians 4:15 reads: “For though ye have ten thousand instructors (teachers) in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.”