Byron Paulus, Executive Director, Life Action Ministries
READ Malachi 4:4-6
It didn’t happen suddenly. At first I denied it. But as uncomfortable talks gradually evolved into tense encounters, I knew the wall of alienation was becoming too thick to simply dissipate. I was losing the heart of my teenage son.
But I was too busy to deal with it. I kept putting it off. After all, I was leading a growing ministry that dealt with matters affecting thousands of people. I wanted to maintain my reputation, and I felt trapped by secrecy. So avoidance became my meager attempt to cope.
Deep down, I knew there was a strong scriptural connection between the presence of God and the father/child relationship (Malachi 4:5-6). I knew I desperately needed God’s help, but the longer I went proclaiming biblical answers to others without living them myself, the more the distance grew between us.
After one terribly difficult interaction with my son, I picked up the phone and called the most fervent and faithful intercessor I knew. I poured out my pain and my needs. And that is when a God-sized work began.
It was hard. But I knew deep down it was my relationship with my heavenly Father that needed the most attention. It was not just that my son’s heart had drifted away from me as his dad, but that my heart had drifted away from my heavenly Father.
God used the alienation and hurt with my son to drive me back to Him in repentance and desperation.
As the Lord met with me, I humbly asked Him to somehow restore my relationship with Him and with my son. He led me to a place of complete surrender and readiness to take a step of radical obedience.
My son was 16 at the time. I knew he loved the outdoors and jeeps. So even though it was during the busiest time of the ministry year, I took off work, and the two of us went off-roading in the mountains of Colorado. That wonderful week together was only the beginning. But I made a statement that week, not only to my son, but to myself and to God. I was making a 180-degree turn in my heart to prioritize my commitment to being a faithful father.
A fatherhood revival is for dads who desire and need the presence of God to do His work in and through them—dads who want to be a picture of God to the next generation. And, it’s for everyone who loves dads and wants to encourage them to succeed in their God-given role.
We all know that fatherhood is in crisis today. Fatherless homes are correlated with increased crime, incarceration, drug and alcohol abuse, school dropout, homelessness, behavior disorders, rape, youth suicide, child abuse, anger, poverty, and mental illness.
Beyond strictly fatherless homes, we all know that many dads in today’s culture are distant from their children, preoccupied with other pursuits, or dysfunctional at various levels. If our early comprehension of God is determined by the example our earthly father set before us, then we have a large percentage of children growing up with a distorted view of God!
Forty years ago, a respected leader looked at me and said, “We will never have revival until we restore a proper view of God. And we will not restore a proper view of God until we revive fatherhood.” He reminded me that turning the hearts of the fathers to the children was part of God’s design in preparing the way for the physical presence and ministry of His Son, Jesus Christ. And it is foundational to the ministry of Jesus today, by way of His Holy Spirit.
The ability to be a great dad begins with entering into or deepening a relationship with the greatest Dad of all. That’s when parent/child relationships begin to mend. That’s when we learn practically how to be the fathers God intends us to be.
– Byron Paulus, (c) 2015 Revive Magazine, Used with permission from www.LifeAction.org
God, start a fatherhood revival in me. May I see You as You are as my heavenly Father. Help me see my earthly father the way You do and honor Him as You command. Please help the sons and daughters of our day get the Truth about You as our great God! Amen
We will not restore a proper view of God until we revive fatherhood. For @Real_Momentum by @ByronPaulus #honoryourfathertoday