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Summary: We need fathers to take on the spiritual leadership in the home.

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Title: Making the Most of Our Relationship Lesson 6 “Turning the Hearts of the Fathers”

Text: Luke 1:11-17

Introduction: READ EXCERPTS FROM “HEART OF THE WARRIOR, A BATTLE PLAN FOR FATHERS TO RECLAIM THEIR FAMILIES.” Beginning at page 97

-- Would you agree that Satan is attacking our homes in America?

‒ How does the reading make you feel?

‒ Does the article sound familiar?

‒ Too close to home?

**Let me begin by saying that today’s lesson is one that has already touched my heart.

-- What a need we as fathers have to become more spiritually minded!

-- Here are just a few rather pointed questions to all of us dads?

-- When is the last time you prayed with your children?

-- Do you ever talk to your kids about God, love and emotional things?

-- Have your children ever seen you cry?

-- When was the last time you read Scripture to you children?

-- There are probably hundreds more questions that could be asked.

**This morning, I want us to hear the charge of our heavenly Father concerning dads.

A. John the Baptizer’s mission. (Luke 1:17 NIV) "And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous--to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.""

-- John’s mission according to this text is two-fold. To prepare the way for Jesus and to ”Turn the hearts of the fathers to the children.”

-- The emphasis is upon the father’s heart.

-- Many children never see the heart of fathers and grandfathers.

-- Many times we want to put on this gruff exterior.

-- Children’s hearts are influenced by the actions of the fathers.

-- Jesus said, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”

-- God’s warriors do not battle with ruff and tough tactics.

-- God’s battle is for the hearts of men and women.

-- And the battle for hearts begins with a battle of love.

B. Paul in Ephesians 6:4 ”Fathers, do not exasperate (frustrate, rile or anger) your children, but instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”

-- Fathers we are ultimately responsible for bringing up our children.

-- When we stand before God in judgment, we will answer to Him for the way we have taught and instructed our children.

-- Listen to Deuteronomy 6:6-9 “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These commandments that I give to you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them upon your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.”

-- How often I have heard this scripture read and them proceed to tell the audience that this is not literal.

-- The Jews took it quite literally.

-- If it helps that we literally write things on ourselves or our things, then, so be it.

-- We must begin to point the way for our children toward the word.

There are at least two things we need as fathers to begin taking back our families for God.

1. Take the responsibility of spiritual leadership that is ours.

A. From Adam onward, men are placed in spiritual leadership roles.

-- Men are to be elders, deacons, teachers, preachers.

-- The home is no different.

-- (Ephesians 5:22-23 NCV) "Wives, yield to your husbands, as you do to the Lord, {23} because the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the church. And he is the Savior of the body, which is the church."

-- 1 Corinthians 11:3 “Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.”

-- Men like the idea of head, but it’s time that we as men took that charge from God seriously!

– Too many men are content with letting their wives take the spiritual leadership role. Mainly because it takes work for us to take charge!

B. So much of what we teach our children is spiritually insignificant. (May be important in some aspect of life, but ultimately is spiritually insignificant.)

-- Our kids are taught from day one, get a good job, college, make ‘A’s’, be loyal to your team...

-- These are all OK in their own right, but we need fathers pointing the way to heaven before they point them to being the best ball player.

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