Daddy Issues Part 1

Daddy Issues Pt. 1: Prodigal

In a Game Reserve in South Africa, there was a 5-year period in the 1990’s in which young male elephants killed more that 60 rhinoceroses and in some cases tried to mount them. This was a highly unusual level of aggression for adolescent male elephants. What was revealed was these adolescent elephants, which were committing such acts of aggression had been orphaned. Their fathers were killed under government sanctions to keep elephant numbers under control.

Male elephants go into a state of must where their sexual drive is high and they become territorial. Older males know how to control this state and use it to mate and protect their families. When the adolescent males go into must, the older elephants stop them from engaging in bad behavior. When the elephant fathers were absent, the younger males, with hormones surging, went into a violent sexual rage that resulted in carnage, death, and destruction.

We are seeing similar events take place in our society as we are a generation suffering from fatherlessness.

Today we are starting a series called “Daddy Issues.” We are going to look at God’s design for fathers, the blessing that come when we are in alignment, and the curse that is brought about when we are not.

Main Point: The distortion or destruction of God’s design for a father, results in a distorted perception of God as Father or the destruction of belief in God altogether.

I will be speaking heavily on father – son dynamics, but this discussion can be applied to both fathers and mothers as well as to both sons and daughters. While we will be singling out some masculine issues, the principles affect every aspect of parent-child relationships.

Main Text:
Malachi 4:5-6 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.”

This is the last word of the OT before John the Baptist comes on the scene to break 400 years of silence from heaven to usher in the Messiah’s ministry. He is saying that unless something changes in the parent- child paradigm, and more specifically in the father-child paradigm, there will be a curse that is let loose in the earth.

Romans 1:18 The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness.
Yes, God does intentionally and actively bring judgement (10 plagues of Egypt), but His word contains power and blessing. Violating it, brings about the removal of blessing and in the vacuum chaos, darkness, and curse rush in.

If you step off a cliff, God is not actively judging you for your foolishness by squashing you. Your foolishness caused you to succumb to the objective law of gravity which will cause you to fall and then die as you come to a sudden stop on the ground.

Adam was walking in God’s blessing in the Garden, but when He sinned, there was active judgement in getting expelled from the Garden, but also intrinsic judgement in suffering the consequences of sin. Now he had to deal with weeds and his work became labor.

So we see the wrath or intrinsic judgement of God is at work in our world as a result of our sin, selfishness, and lack of proper fatherhood.

We as parents are to align with God as our Heavenly Father, which should then turn our hearts to our children, which will cause them to submit to our authority and respond with respect.

There has been a near total collapse of this process in our society. Let me share some statistics that reveal some of the consequences of not doing things God’s way.

Symptoms of Fatherlessness:
(Stats from:,, Census Bureau, Pew Research Center, Barna Group)

• According to 72.2 % of the U.S. population, fatherlessness is the most significant family or social problem facing America.
• The U.S. has the world’s highest rate of children living in single-parent households.
• 20 million children live fatherless in the U.S.
• An estimated 24.7 million children (33%) live absent their biological father.
• 7 million American dads were completely absent from the lives of all their minor children.
• 2x Greater Risk of Infant Mortality
• More Likely to Face Abuse and Neglect
• 4x Greater Risk of Poverty
• 10 x more likely to abuse drugs / alcohol
o 71 % of adolescent substance abusers come from fatherless homes
• Physical & Emotional Health Issues
o More Likey to Have Behavioral Problems
o 80 % of adolescents in mental health facilities come from fatherless homes
o 2x more likely to commit suicide
o 2x More Likely to Suffer Obesity
• Educational Difficulties
o Below average in reading and math
o 9x more likely to drop out
o Less likely to go to college and attain professional achievement
• Crime
o 70% in Juvy from fatherless homes
o 11x more likely to exibit violent behavior
o 20 x more likely to me incarcerated
• Sexual Activity and teen pregnancy
o 70% teen pregnancies are in homes w/o a father
o 9x more likely to be raped or sexually abused in a home w/o bio father
• 90% of runaways are fatherless
• Divorce is a leading cause of fatherlessness.

The Barna Group did a study on the relationship between faith and fatherlessness. - two findings can be identified. First, a higher percentage of Millennials report having subpar relationships with their fathers than previous generations. And second, a higher percentage of Millennials are uncertain or doubtful that God exists, compared to older Americans.

Main Point: The distortion or destruction of God’s design for a father, results in a distorted perception of God as Father or the destruction of belief in God altogether.

Why is there such an epidemic of fatherlessness in our nation?
We have left our first love and because lawlessness abounds, the love of many has grown cold. We have become selfish, and entitled and have left our Heavenly Father.

We have a good Heavenly Father, and when we rebel against Him, we become terrible sons and daughters which then cause us to become terrible fathers and mothers, and so the deterioration of faith and society continues.

Jesus beautifully illustrated the broken heart and desperate desire of our Heavenly Father in the parable of the Prodigal Son found in Luke 15:11-32

Luke 15:11-19 “A certain man had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood. And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything. “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.” ’

1. The Son (Us)
Prodigal (Hebrew – Aesotos): Excess (spending, sensuality, drunkenness)
Riot (Chaotic, reactionary, herd mentality)

His rebellion brought destruction and violence to his life, purpose, and destiny, and to his fathers heart.

2. The World
Luke 15:15 Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.

3. The Father
Luke 15:20-24 “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.

The father ran, he had to tie up his robe and expose his legs. He humbled himself and lost his dignity to restore the dignity of his son.

Jesus revealed the love of the Father by bearing our sin and shame, He became undignified on the cross, so we could repent of our mistakes, sins and failures so we can be clothed in robes of white to cover our shame.

4. The Crowd
There was also another reason he ran to his son. Kezazah: “The Cutting Off”

When someone broke ties with the community and squandered their lives and tried to return, the older men would come to meet them and smash a pot on the ground – symbolizing the broken relationship and just like the shards were sharp as a knife and could cut, it was their sin that caused them to be cut off.

The mother could come, but the father would stay at home letting his detachment and disapproval be known and felt. The mother would then relay the intentions of the son to the father and whether or not he seemed repentant and the father would then allow them to come home, or shun them without ever showing his face.

The father in this parable got to the son before the crowd. The Father ran to us through Jesus to cancel and nullify the Kezazah ceremony. He has shut down every accusation against us and has welcomed us home.

5. The Robe
Luke 15:22 But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him…

Revelation 3:17-18 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked - I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.

Jesus has covered our shame and restored our dignity.

6. The Ring - Authority
Not only was the son clothed with a new robe, he put on a signet ring. This wasn’t just an accessory. The signet had the family seal that was used in legal and financial transactions. He wasn’t just accepted back as a slave, but a son, one who participates in the family business. He was given authority and responsibility.

Revelation 3:19-21 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

7. Sandals – Position & Protection

8. The Feast
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We deserve death and judgement, but God’s mercy and love desires to celebrate repentance, not to destroy the sinful.

Ezekiel 33:11 “As I live!” declares the Lord GOD, “I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from their way and live.”
Luke 15:7 there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.

9. The Brother
Luke 15:25-32 “Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’ “But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore, his father came out and pleaded with him. So, he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’ “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’”

10. The Inheritance.
Before we think this parable gives us permission to live how we want as long as we come back one day, I want to point out something important. The son was restored in his relationship, and was even given authority, but he still squandered his inheritance. It was gone and he didn’t get it back.

God loves you and desires to forgive your sin. No matter what you’ve done or how far you’ve run, the Father welcomes you home with open arms. But there are consequences of sin.

The older brother still had his inheritance intact. He will receive a full reward. He was upset over 1 calf, but in time he would own all of them. The Prodigal son would not.
Temporary / immediate perspective vs. eternal.

We are living in a generation where most have rejected the Father, and it has brought about a curse in our lives and in our nation. Statistics more than bear this out.

For those that cry out for it, God desires to send His Spirit, first to turn our hearts back to the Father in repentance.

John 16:7-8 It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.

Once our relationship with the Father is restored, He will then cause us to stop being so selfish and turn our hearts to our children, our legacy, our inheritance.

When we are secured in our Father’s love, we are then healed, free and able to love our children.

When our children are secured in our love, they will be healed, free, and able to turn their hearts toward their parents in love, respect, submission, and carrying on the family business.

Jesus at 12 – God desires to restore the “I must” of our generation.

Malachi 4:5-6 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.”

Let it start with us. Let us repent of our sin and selfishness and come back to Father’s house, and leave a godly legacy.

2 Chronicles 7:14 If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

We need healing in this nation, but that starts with the healing of our families, which starts with the healing of our own souls so we aren’t committing acts of violence, aggression, or immorality like the orphaned elephants.

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. [Heal us from the wounds of death inflicted by sin].