THE SECRET PLACE
Abiding under the shadow of the Almighty
WHEN FATHERS FAIL – NATIONS FALL II
“And they brought young children to Him, that He should touch them: and His disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, He was much displeased (moved with anger) and said unto them, allow the children to come to me and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them and blessed them.” (Mark 10:13-15)
This response of Jesus clearly reveals how important children are to God and the high level of responsibility he has called fathers and mothers to have. This image of God our heavenly Father watching over us and leading us each moment is a type and shadow of how earthy parents, (especially dads) are to guide and likewise influence their own children. Jesus was trying to teach us all a lesson about spending time with children in order that they might develop a strong spiritual foundation. It is this “well” of living water within the heart of a child that can be drawn to provide the wisdom and faith that will be needed as they develop into adults. This transformed state of mind will remain with the individual that has been nourished and saturated with God’s Word as a child, and must be “maintained” in order to stay connected with God. Jesus is clearly saying that unless our hearts remain soft and sensitive as a little child, we will not be able to abide in the “vine” of His presence. Likewise if we live without being filled with God or having our spiritual eyes and ears open to His voice, we will not be able to be a part of His Kingdom.
When children are born, they are an open book that drinks in knowledge and thrives on mental stimulation. Children are created with a keen eye and a sharp brain that quickly processes thoughts and analyzes how the world works. They naturally look and listen to their parents and remember even the tiniest bits of knowledge and are shaped by their experiences. I believe that most parents do not realize their role of being a mentor and how the way they live can have such a strong impact on a child. In fact, we have a very awesome promise in God’s Word that guarantees all the seeds of spiritual LIFE that we plant within the heart of a child will grow and produce a harvest of blessing that will bring glory back to God. In the Christians journey of trying to find a ministry or a specific spiritual calling, we must understand that being a role model in the image of Christ is the most powerful ministry one can have. “Train up a child in the way they should go: and when they are old, they will NOT depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)
When parents fail to lead their children in the ways of God, they have no heavenly foundation or Godly seeds of truth that can produce a destiny of God’s perfect will. They may have negative spiritual seeds planted in their heart but this can only reap a dark, selfish harvest of independence. We cannot put all the blame on the parents for raising ungodly children but it certainly places the little ones at a terrible disadvantage. I believe that some children have found God’s truth later in life and have developed into Godly warriors for Christ. This is not God’s perfect will, but His grace and invitation to His salvation is available to whosoever will hear His gospel and respond to His love. His perfect will is for children to be raised with Godly parents and for Christian fathers to mentor their family under the reverential fear of God’s demands to live holy. Why do we say things like, “When fathers fail – nations fall”? Because God is the one true God and He created humans to live according to HIS spiritual blueprints. As the head of the home, fathers are demanded to have as their highest priorities for their own life and to raise their families according to God’s Word. When they are obedient to these instructions the family is blessed and will live with honor. On the other hand, when the father chooses to live in his flesh and ignore God’s warning to lead his family with God’s plan, he will receive curses and judgment and his family will suffer great loss. “Thou (parents) shalt love the Lord thy God with ALL thine heart, and with ALL thy soul, and with ALL thy might. And these words which I commanded thee this day shall be in thine HEART. And you shall teach them diligently unto your children, and shall talk of them (God’s Word) when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you are lying down, and when you are waking up. And you are to fasten them upon your hand and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. And you shall write them upon the posts of your house, and on the gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:5-9)
Our heavenly Father disciplines His children because He loves them so much. He desires to see them walk in the blessings and honor that He has provided for them. In the same way, our earthly father exposes his love for his children with how he guides, his involvement and how closely he monitors their development. His extent of discipline reveals his amount of concern and this builds the bond of mutual respect that never becomes meaningless. There is nothing worth more than for a child to know he is loved by their father. Likewise, in the spiritual realm there is no higher blessing than to know God loves us and His presence is always with us.
Children are very clever and it does not take long for them to be able to see hypocrisy. I would say that by the time a child is five years old they have already processed much information and have categorized many of the important basic realities of life. The rest of their time on earth is mainly “adding” more knowledge to these subjects, developing their understanding and creating their own personal worldviews. What many parents have neglected is how important it is to watch what we say and do in front of our children. As Christians we have learned about positive confessions and how our words have the power to literally change circumstances by opening doors to blessings and favor or feeding the curses of defeat. However for some reason many have not realized that words which have been spoken can easily find a resting place within the heart of a child and these planted “seeds” can produce much confusion. For example, if we teach children that we should love people and that it is wrong to talk negatively about them, yet they are constantly hearing us do this very thing, it will no doubt cause them to question our integrity. How can they believe one moment that what we are teaching is true – while the next day we are doing exactly the opposite? This will create doubt in the child not only about who we say we are – but also in general about the way all humans live. This in turn can also cause an attitude of suspicion in a subconscious resistance to trust God. You see, Christian fathers are not just representatives of God’s kingdom to the “world” – they are being more closely watched by those who live with them! Selah. Many people choose to live their lives at a distance from God, not understanding why they have all types of dis-orders and dysfunctions. When finally analyzing what is in the bottom of their “well”, they discover a robust crop of pride and rebellion in their soul. It cannot be emphasized enough just how crucial it is to walk uprightly in front of children and to lay hands on them every day praying and blessing them.
Christian Fathers are not bosses – they are leaders. A boss says, “do as I say not as I do” while a leader guides by living what he believes. Men have been called by God to LEAD their families in the ways and words of the Lord. Amen! In today’s world, women have resisted the idea of the man being the head of the family and have fought for equality to assume half of the decision making authority. Many have said the Bible is “out of touch” with the advancement of our culture but I strongly disagree. God’s Word is alive and remains active and super-natural to create whatever miracles that is necessary to help in any age or circumstance. It is the justification of sin by those who choose to discard a spiritual standard to live by. Selah. I agree that women deserve respect but the ultimate decisions should be made by Godly husbands. Women have gained much power in the home because of their need to work outside of the home and this has caused some imbalance of attitude pertaining to control. Money should not have anything to do with spiritual authority. Most of the time the husbands lack of financial management has brought a heavy burden on the wife to bring in more finances in order to float the desires of possessions. I realize that it is difficult to have a high lifestyle without two incomes but it is also very important if possible for the “nest” to be managed by a “stay at home” mom. The desire to have material possessions on credit has driven the family into debt and in turn has caused the need for more money. Many times this is a simple lack of patience to wait and save – or the lust of the flesh to keep up with what everyone else is enjoying. In both cases it is a lack of spiritual maturity and leadership from the father. Where did we get the idea that men are the head of the homes and women are to be in submission to their husbands? In first Corinthians 11:3 we read, “But, I would have you to know that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is man; and the head of Christ is God.” We also see an important passage in Ephesians 5:22-23, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body.” It is a beautiful miracle to see a Godly father rule his house with discipline as long as it is also saturated with Agape love. The wife desires the spiritual security that a strong husband can “demonstrate”. The heart of a child has also been given the desire for security, but it is much deeper than the safety of a physical structure or dwelling itself can provide; real security is the child knowing that a father and mother’s love will do whatever it takes to RAISE them in God’s truth! Selah.