Daddy Issues Part 5

Daddy Issues Part 5: Children to the Fathers

The Bible says that children are a gift from the Lord. They are our legacy, our family, and our future. As parents, we want what’s best for our children. We sacrifice, instill, guide, and grow them in an effort to give them the best shot possible.


We live in a fallen world and things don’t always go as planned. I know children who have been addicted to drugs, involved in sexual sin, who were violent, rebellious, and didn’t listen to anyone, and have even been arrested on more than one occasion. And all this was before they were even teenagers.

They came from a broken home where violence and selfishness run rampant. The failure of their parents mixed with the sin and rebellion in their own hearts, all but destroyed their destiny before they could even drive. And this breaks the Father’s heart. This is not what God wants for His children.

Ephesians 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”

Thank God for grace because under the Law…

Deuteronomy 21:18–21 If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and, though they discipline him, will not listen to them, then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gate of the place where he lives, and they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This our son is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ Then all the men of the city shall stone him to death with stones. So you shall purge the evil from your midst, and all Israel shall hear, and fear.

Main Text:

Malachi 4:5-6 See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.

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.

It’s not just about the failures of parents, but also about how we respond as sons and daughters.

So far in our series, we have looked at the following topics:

Repentance – Change of mind, behavior, life-direction – prodigals come back to the Father
Restore the hearts of the fathers / parents to the children

Tonight, we are going to discuss:

Turning the hearts of the children to the parents

The kingdom is a royal family where we serve the King and expand His dominion, but a sons and daughters, not slaves or prisoners. So, to see the Bible correctly we have to look at it as book of authority and relationships.

Jesus had a close relationship with 3 of His disciples, Peter, James, & John. One day, Jesus has them follow Him up a mountain.

Mount of Transfiguration – Jesus glorified, Moses and Elijah

Now His they truly believed that He was the Christ, the Messiah, the Promised One, the God-Man. They had also just seen Elijah, but the prophecy said that Elijah would come first. They had questions.

Matthew 17:10-13 The disciples asked Him, “Why then do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?”

They were referring to the prophecy found in Malachi

Malachi 3:1 I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before Me.

Matthew 17:11-13 Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things. But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist.

Earlier in Matthew, Jesus said it plainly

Matthew 11:13-14 For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John. And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come.

So this messenger, this one who will come in the spirit of Elijah was John the Baptist. To get more insight into this man’s ministry and how he prepared the way for Jesus, let’s look at a very unusual encounter that his father, Zacharias had.

Luke 1:5-7 There was… a certain priest named Zacharias... his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years.

Zacharias: God Remembers

Elizabeth: God is My Oath

Zacharias and Elizabeth symbolize the bareness of God’s people rejecting His word as Malachi explains. They stood as a righteous remnant who loved, feared, and obeyed the Lord when most did not. They were barren, not fruitful, no legacy, not because of their sin, but because of the sins of their fathers and their father’s fathers. They lived in an evil generation.

This righteous remnant in the midst of a disbelieving generation would be used to usher in the one who would prepare the way for the Messiah. God remembered (Zacharias) His covenant that He would not completely destroy Israel for their sins, but would that He would make it right. He swore an oath (Elizabeth) by Himself that He Himself would come and make things right.

Luke 1:8 So it was, that while he was serving as priest before God in the order of his division, 9 according to the custom of the priesthood, his lot fell to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. 10 And the whole multitude of the people was praying outside at the hour of incense. 11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12 And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.

13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.

Your prayer was heard – He had been praying for a son. Are you praying for children? For fruitfulness? For a generation that will serve the Lord?

John: God is Gracious

John 1:17 The law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

John made a way, was a forerunner for Jesus, the God of grace incarnate in human flesh.

Luke 1:15-17 

For he will be great in the sight of the Lord,

and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. (nazarite – Numbers 6)

He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. 

And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. (evangelistic, love & truth)

He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

Whenever Scripture is quoted by Scripture, but changes how it is worded, pay close attention.

The angel did not say “to turn the hearts of the children to the fathers.” He said,

Luke 1:17 to turn … the disobedient to the wisdom of the just…

This tells us a great deal about what it means to turn the hearts of the children to the fathers.

1) Disobedient – one who does not obey or submit to authority as a lifestyle.

Matthew 24:12 because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.

2 Timothy 3:1-5 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power.

How did we get here? The abuse, neglect, and selfishness of our parents and of our generation acting as a catalyst for the pride, rebellion, and sin in our own hearts. It’s not them over there, if we are going to stop the flood of darkness, death, and destruction, it is us right here right now, that need to repent of our pride, sin, and rebellion. It is us oh Lord standing in the need of prayer.

One of the first ways that we start allowing God to change the tide is to stop blaming. In the Fall, Adam blamed Eve, Eve blamed the serpent, and the serpent has been blaming God ever since. Stop blaming “them.”

Others may have hurt you and wronged you, but God is here and His grace is more than enough to heal, redeem, and restore. What they did is not ok, but your sin is not their fault. We must forgive, not because they deserve it, but because Jesus forgave us and because when we forgive, “they” no longer have that power over us.

“Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die” – Unknown

To stop the cycle, we must stop the cycle. If we want a change, we have to change something. We can’t afford to be paralyzed in our life and growth by waiting around for them to come back and apologize – many times, they never will. Don’t let the decisions of others destroy your destiny!

Hurt people hurt people. The brokenness of those kids parents translated into the brokenness of the children.

2) Wisdom (Greek – phronesis):

Understanding, prudence, discernment, knowledge and love of the will of God.

Proverbs 1:7-8 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. My son, hear the instruction of your father, and do not forsake the law of your mother.

*Pastor Timothy Keller - idiot video*

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

It is having the humility to know that we don’t know everything and that we need God, everyday.

3) Just

Def- Do what is right. Syn: righteous

Genesis 4:7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.

Romans 1:17 The just shall live by faith.

To do right is to live by faith. Faith isn’t belief. It’s not metal agreement.

James 2:19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!

Faith is trusting God with your life. It means seeing how He sees and doing what He says, and trusting Him even when its hard or painful, or scary or you don’t like what He says.

James 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

Faith is trusting God enough to actually do He says.

God is saying that in order to turn back the curse of fatherlessness, He will send His Spirit to work through those who will humble themselves, repent of their rebellion, who will seek wisdom, in order to do better, to be better, so their children can do better and be better by the word of the Lord – so instead of a curse, they can live under His blessing.

1 Corinthians 4:15 For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers

Two-way street

1 Corinthians 11:1 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.

I have had several mentors in my life. None of them were perfect, but I learned something from all of them, and without them I would not be where I am today.

How do the hearts of the children turn back to the fathers?

Repent of our lawlessness, selfishness, and pride

Follow Christ

Follow others who are following Christ

To be a father is to love, guide, and grow others into the will of God.

To be a son or daughter is to submit to the process.

Hebrews 12:5-6 My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when He rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and He chastens everyone he accepts as His son.

We must forgive:

Our parents

Those that have hurt us

Ourselves for our failures and mistakes

We must trust God. It stops with us. No more, for the sake of our children.