I am always amazed by God’s foreknowledge. Not sure why, he is Omniscient!! He has a plan for his Kingdom and it cannot be thwarted. Recently, our daughter Becky sent me some notes from my study Bible from years back. I had given it to her and she had been reviewing certain passages. What she shared was very interesting as it relates to the creation of Abiding Fathers.
On June 16, 1985, visiting Pastor Dribell had delivered a Father’s Day sermon entitled “Christian fathers in a secular world”. That was five years before God shared the vision for the ministry. And twenty-five before he challenged me to write From Faith to Faith, Fathers, are you absent or abiding? which was the catalyst for forming Abiding Fathers. And now is the core message of the international fatherhood discipleship movement. Here are the excerpts from my Bible that day. (as written)
Father’s Day Sermon
“Principles of a father relating to the family”.
- Will draw self-image from Scripture; not the secular world
- Will search the word of God for role models
- Will be a good husband (sacrificial service)
- Will not be drawn into the battle of the sexes
- Will value personal relationships over money and power (time, effort, accessibility)
- Will understand he is involved in the kingdom of God within the home-committed to be all that God has called him to be—”being the divine representative”
- Building this can only be done with the help of God (prayer)
- Will be the leader-hero of the home
The scriptural foundation for this message was Malachi 4. 5–6, being written 400 years before Jesus was born. “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to the children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the land with a curse.” This requires reconciliation wherever needed.
Ordained by God
During this earlier season of life, I was engaged in teaching Scripture in prison ministry each week. It has become obvious that God was preparing me through my encounter with thousands of inmates who had mostly poor relationships with their fathers and through my own role as a father and husband. What he started and did was to burden my heart for the family, which is the burden of his heart. The father has been ordained by God as the spiritual head of the family, and when that is absent, the family fails.
Thus, Abiding Fathers exists today because God was way out ahead of me years earlier. It is a fatherhood movement of God, and he is “Opening Doors Worldwide”, turning the hearts of fathers, wives and children to each other based on godly principles.
To conclude, if you were the arch enemy of God, how would you best attack his highest creation, the family? If you know anything about nature, you don’t kill a snake by cutting off his tail. You kill a snake by cutting off his head. Satan (and the world system) has convinced and cajoled men to be absent and to be pursuing anything other than their highest calling by God, that of fatherhood. BUT GOD…!!!