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A Famiy Integrated Church - Turning The Hearts Of The Fathers To their Children pt. 4

August 29, 2012, 2:37 PM

Crossroads Community Baptist Church
A Family Integrated Church With A Family Integrated Sunday School

How To Turn The Hearts Of Fathers To Their Children Pt.4
Malachi 4:6 says: *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.*
It often takes someone else, to help turn the hearts of the father*s to the children; it usually doesn*t happen automatically. Notice that the verse mentions turning the hearts of the fathers to the children, before turning the hearts of the children to the fathers. This is a purposeful thing! Because before the hearts of our children are turned back to their fathers, someone has to help fathers first turn their hearts to their children.
*As we pointed out in our last article- most Sunday Schools, graded education, youth groups, sports teams and so on, tend to split up the  family and turn the hearts of children to their peers, rather than to their fathers. The church has to become purposefully active in reversing this trend, if we are to see our children not only born again, but active in their own pursuit of God within their generation. The church must become pro-active in bringing families together every chance they get; whether it*s in worship service, or Sunday School, or mission trips, or just  church fellowships. Turning the hearts of fathers to their children, must become a priority.
*Ephesians 6:1-4 says* *children, obey your parents in the Lord; for this is right. Honor thy father and mother which is the first commandment with a promise, that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. And ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath; but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.*
*In turning the hearts of father*s to their children, the fathers need to recognize that it is the father that has the primary responsibility for the spiritual training of his children,
not the mother (however where there in no father- or no father who is willing to accept this responsibility- it then falls to the mother)- But Biblically, the training of children, is the Father*s responsibility- not the mothers, not the church, not the Sunday School Teacher, but the Fathers. This is why a family integrated Sunday School is so important, it helps to turn the responsibility to the father.
*The word *Nurture* in Ephesians 6:4 means- tutorage, that means education or training, or instruction, as well as discipline. It is critical that fathers understand how important they are to the spiritual and Biblical training of their children. But like Paul said in this passage- as the father assumes this responsibility of *Bringing up his children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.* He is not to *prevoke his children to anger** If a father does this, he must be quick to go to his children to ask their forgiveness * because if a child*s heart is filled with anger toward his father, because of his father*s provocation- that child will be less likely to listen to his father*s instruction. This is just good parenting!
*Exodus 10:2 says: *And that thou mayest tell in the ears of thy son, and thy sons son, what things I have wrought in Egypt, and my signs which I have done among them; that ye may know how that
 I am the LORD.*
In turning the hearts of the fathers to the children, fathers and grandfathers need to be instructed to tell all their descendants, the things that God has done for them during their lifetime. Fathers need to see the importance of their descendants knowing how God is real today, and not just some sort of historical figure. Fathers and grandfathers should write down things that God has done for them. This is how we create a spiritual legacy. When children see the things that God has done for their father and grandfather, it not only gives them a greater ambition to follow God,
but it also elevates their earthly father in their minds, because they begin to see that their *dad* is also a mighty man of God. It makes him a hero in the eyes of his children; and children*s hearts are drawn to heroic men.
Psalm 71:18 says* *Now also when I am old and gray headed, O God, forsake me not; until I have showed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to everyone that is to come.*
*A father*s heart is turned to his children and grandchildren when he develops a deep desire to show them God*s power in his life, and that God is real. A father needs to ask God to help him in actively turning his heart toward his children. This should be a fathers daily prayer* because he needs to show God*s strength and power to everyone, but especially to all of his future descendants that are yet to come. In my own family, most of my ancestors left no record of God*s strength or power in their lifetime. Most of what is left of their time on earth, is a name, a date of birth, who they married, and the day they died, and frankly, that doesn*t inspire any of their descendants  to turn their hearts to the Lord. I am determined, (with God*s help) to change that within my own family. By God*s grace; my heart will continue to be turned toward my children and grandchildren, and with God*s help, I will leave a legacy of God*s power and strength in my life, so that future generations within my family will know first hand, the great things that God has done in my life, and in my generation* and then they too, will    pick up the torch, and pass it on to their children and grand children!
*Turning the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, has to start somewhere. May it begin with me, and with the men and boys of Crossroads Church.

By Pastor Doug Dunnavant

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