And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction. Malachi 4:6 ESV
Dad Joke – “I ordered a chicken and an egg online. I’ll let you know which comes first.”
Where’s Dad? Praise the Lord for the faithfulness of single mom’s nurturing families. Children also need Dad. This last verse in the Old Testament states the Dads also need the love and respect of children. Without children and fathers pursuing each other’s hearts, a doorway is open for the Lord to strike the land with a curse or a decree of utter destruction. The number of single parent(s) families, mainly moms, in America is significant enough to tilt us closer and closer to a decree of utter destruction in our land.
How can we change the trajectory for families in which the heart of children and fathers are pursuing one another?
For Dad’s – Any small step in the right direction is the right direction.
- Children, no matter what age, need you to be present. We all know when a conversation is meaningful to the person listening. Dad’s look in your child’s eyes. Make listening a priority. When you are in their presence, make every effort to “Be ALL There”.
- Say “I love you!” in the beginning, middle, and end of the conversation.
- Kids need you to own up to your mistakes. They need to hear you say, “I’m sorry, will you forgive me.” If you have broken a promise, ask for forgiveness. Kids will not understand the pressures that exist that surround the breaking of the promise. But, they will know the value of asking for forgiveness.
- Pray for them by name, daily. We are constantly moving toward the things that we think about and speak about. This is true for negative and positive speech.
- Speak blessing and favor over their lives. The “you can do this” expression from a Dad inspires a child for a lifetime as well as many other phrases spoken in encouragement. Ask God to help you gain a vocabulary to speak blessing and life over your children every time that you talk.
For Children – keep moving toward your Dad
- Tell Dad that you love him. He needs to hear your words. He knows that he is not perfect and has made many mistakes that have possibly hurt you. Saying I love starts the process of unconditional love.
- Honor him. As part of the ten commandments, this one states that a promise and a blessing accompanies obedience to honor our parents. This is the opposite side of the verse in Malachi. We “Honor Dad” by obedience, speaking highly about them and to them, and loving them.
- Pray for them by name daily. A child has a swirl of emotions when thinking about Dad, both positive and negative. Prayer tenderizes the heart to see Dad from God’s perspective as a person to be loved.
- Take opportunities to spend time with him. As you get older, listen to his stories of younger life, he may have already told you many times. Ask how he overcame hard times, pivotal moments in his life, people he valued and had major contributions on his character, and how he formed his beliefs about God.
Ask God to help our nation turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the children to the fathers. This will include salvations. Sin impacts to the third and fourth generations, righteousness impacts toward a thousand generations. Stand up for righteousness. Be the break in generational curses. Turn your hearts toward each other and watch for the favor and blessing of God.
Blessings, Love y’all