The Revelation of God through Relationships 1
Abraham's name means "father of a multitude." Gen. 18:17‑19 says that God chose him to "command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord." Parents have the potential of influencing their children in a good manner or a bad manner. "Ahaziah the son of Ahab became king over Israel... And he did evil in the sight of the Lord and walked in the way of his father and in the way of his mother" (1 Kings 22:51‑52). The sons of Israel "walked after the stubbornness of their heart and after the Baals, as their fathers taught them" (Jer. 9:14). On the other hand, there are many examples of good parental influence. God says in 1 Kings 9:14 concerning Solomon, "if you will walk before Me as your father David walked, in integrity of heart and uprightness..." 2 Tim. 1:5 says, "for I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois, and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well."
Success in Ministry Does Not Imply Success in Fatherhood
In other cases, men were successful men of God‑‑successful in their ministry‑‑but they were not successful as fathers, and it caused them great heartache and turmoil later on." God spoke to the priest Eli in 1 Sam. 3:13, "for I have told him that I am about to judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knew, because his sons brought a curse on themselves and he did not rebuke them." Eli did not take care of business at home when his sons sinned. Also, Samuel was a great prophet, but "his sons, however, did not walk in his ways, but turned aside after dishonest gain and took bribes and perverted justice" (1 Sam. 8:3). Since Samuel's sons were appointed as judges over Israel, the elders of Israel cried out for a king who would judge them instead of these unjust sons. King David was a man after God's own heart, but his son Adonijah tried to take over the kingship from Solomon as David became old (1 Kings 1:5‑6).
The Ideals of Roles in Relationships
Ideal roles are only found in God's character. "Only God is the perfect father. Only God the Son is the perfect friend and brother. Only God the Spirit is the perfect comforter. I want you to beware of resentment toward parents that weren't perfect or others as I share. And also beware of idolatry. God gave us these roles simply to point us to Him, not to find some person who would fulfill them for us. They were never intended to replace God, merely to teach us about Him and point us to Him... Man's idolatry tends to substitute the function of God with something created, and we want to avoid that. Even if you had the best father and mother in the whole world you're going to have to learn to look to God because you can't stay with mommy or daddy forever‑‑you have to grow up." In Luke 14:26 Jesus says, "if anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciples." This word "hate" means that we are to love Jesus so much that our love for our family looks like hate in comparison.
God Can Transform Relationships
Many people spend time with others because of a common interest. Often the thing that is done is the focus, not people. They have not learned to enjoy company. We need to learn how to enjoy people. God can take a father or mother and help them to be a good parent that points their children to Jesus.
The Natural Comes Before the Spiritual
Paul states in 1 Cor. 15:46, "the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual."1 Cor. 15:45‑47 says Adam was a living soul from the natural earth, but the last Adam (Jesus) was from heaven (spiritual). "In the Old Testament you had a type of the tabernacle out in the wilderness. It was made out of natural materials. However, it was a replicate of an invisible tabernacle. You have the city of Jerusalem. In Revelations, you have the New Jerusalem, the invisible kingdom of God, the church, being built. So you see that God has created in the universe an order and that order is simply this: the natural is first then the spiritual‑‑the old covenant, then the new covenant‑‑the visible types and shadows then the invisible reality. Do you understand how God operates? He does that so that we in the natural can take examples and types and understand invisible spiritual concepts. So creation itself is telling us about God the natural.
Loving in the Natural Correlates to Loving God
We would not know love unless God had given us a definition and an example of love. 1 John 4:19‑20 says, "We love because He first loved us. If someone says, 'I love God,' and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen." The second principle is this: "God has given us the natural visible order to understand and comprehend the spiritual. As we learn to love in natural relationships we can then comprehend how to love God Himself." "You can't say you love God if you haven't learned how to love someone in the flesh." We cannot love an invisible God unless we first do it in the natural.
We can love God in a greater way by loving our spouse in a new way. "When you're in love, your heart never leaves that person." As we love in the natural, we will love in a greater way in the spiritual. "One cannot understand God and His plan apart from a proper and true knowledge of family relationships as expressed through their various roles."
Creation Proclaims God's Glory
Ps. 19:1 says, "the heavens are telling of the glory of God." Rom. 1:20 says, "for since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made." Brother Lawrence, a monk of the 16th century, was saved as He witnessed creation. "God's divine nature is understood by what has been made." The order of the universe speaks of God's great character. If the stars and solar system and all of creation proclaims His excellency, then so does the apex of God's creation: man. "Let Us make man in Our image." "It stands to reason that the greatest revelation of God Himself in the natural realm is through the relationship that He has created‑‑the roles that He has given man to walk in. Do you see that? That explains why Satan has targeted family roles for destruction. Because if he can distort our thinking about these important roles then he can distort and hinder our conception of the invisible God, because these relationships and roles explain who that invisible God is." Rarely do you see a movie portraying the ideal father and family. Satan seems to attack the father figure and his masculine authority in the home. "Utopia is always depicted as things and sex, never relationships." We need to have shows that set an example and depict the ideal.
God is Revealed As Father
"God could have chosen anything to reveal Himself... The greatest revelation that we have of God is what Jesus revealed about Him: it's called Father... Jesus always called God, 'Father,' except on the cross when He was quoting Psalms 22. He always spoke to Him, 'Father,' 'Father,' 'Father,' and that really unnerved the Pharisees." The Hebrew word for "father" means chief, beginner, source, or inventor. The Danish word for "father" is Foder which means to beget or to feed. "Darth Vader" could mean "dark father" since "Vader" is another Danish word for father.
Father Determines Psychological Gender of Child
Not only does the father determine the physical gender of his child, but also the psychological gender. Dr. Richard Dobins said in an interview in Charisma in March 1986:
I believe there is a correlation between the erosion of the two parent family and the increase of homosexuality in our society. Youngsters need a healthy interaction with both of their parents to achieve a wholesome sexual identity. Research indicates that a father plays an extremely important role in the gender identity of his child. The father furnishes the male child with his model of masculinity. A girl's femininity is also deeply rooted in her relationship with her father. More feminine mothers do not necessarily raise more feminine daughters if the father is absent. When the father is absent from the home during the child rearing years the children's efforts toward obtaining healthy gender identity are adversely affected.
USA Today reports:
Experts say approximately 8,000 to 10,000 individuals in the United States have undergone sex change operations. John Hopkins psychologist John Moaney stated that besides hormonal and psychological causes, "the parents of such people [who have had sex change operations] as far as I know, always hate each other."
"God the Father is the beginning. He is the ultimate begetter. He is the great definer of who and what we are. He is the one who formed man and said this is what you are and this is what you shall be. So it stands to reason, when he creates the role of a father, it is the father that gives the greatest identity to that child. He defines 'this is who you are.' It is very important that a father is building that into his children. That's the reason you need to be delivered of idolatry and everything else you're chasing after, men, so you can become relational and give the time and ministry to your children. Remember, Abraham used to command his children so that they could follow him and his household would follow him so that all those promises could come to pass. You can be the greatest spiritual guy and quote all the Scripture, but let me tell you something, if you don't raise up your family you are going to be a failure before it is over with."
We Desire to Please the Father
Pleasing the Heavenly Father is our greatest emotional drive. "It's innate. It's built into us by the Creator. We want to please the heavenly Father, and we will not be happy until we do. You are either trying to please the heavenly Father or a substitute... You are going to be seeking some man or some figure to fulfill that role in your life to give you that affirmation or you're going to be going straight to God which you are suppose to. It's innate. Jesus is the model Son. He's the one that taught us what sonship is all about. And He said this, 'I always do what pleases the Father' (John 8:29)... We can only get true identity and affirmation from the heavenly Father." Otherwise we will look to other men for it. Jesus always did what He saw the Father doing. A small son will do what his father does. Men get their role model from their fathers. They find out what to do and how to do it.
Difference between Son and Daughter
"The first thing Adam saw when he was created and opened his eyes was God creating a garden. He saw God working. The first thing Eve saw when she opened up her eyes was God and then Adam. God has made man a touch more thing and work oriented. He's made women a touch more people oriented. Not that one is better than the other. They balance one another out. They're good for one another. God said 'it's not good for man to be alone.' He wasn't talking about the man. He was talking about mankind. It's not good for woman to be alone. It's not good for man. They balance one another. They're good for one another."
"Boys need to see their father. Girls need to feel their father." "A lack of fatherhood can create insecurity in a man. He doesn't know how to act as a man. He doesn't really know who he is as a man, because his father wasn't really there or his father was there but so unrelational he was just a distant dark figure in the home, or maybe he was brutal. We're somewhat like a computer that's being programmed even when we don't realize it." "Young girls in the home need to be held and loved by their father... In a very real sense the father gives the woman her sense of femininity as he affirms her. You see, he's the first man in her life and the most important man in her life. And if he does not affirm her as a woman, then she becomes very insecure as a woman and who she is and she can begin to think, 'hey, if this man, my father, doesn't love me and think of me as a woman then why should this fellow who wants to marry me?' She becomes very insecure about her ability to be feminine and to be a woman. A father, in essence, pours in that affirmation saying 'you're beautiful.'" A father ought to continue to show affection to his daughter even in her teens.
Restoration of Fathers to Their Children
Mal. 4:5‑6 says that God "will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers" in the last days. "God thinks so highly of fatherhood that He closes the old covenant (the Old Testament) with this Scripture... There is a curse on this land of the United States of America right now. Ten million homes in this country right now have a single parent‑‑most of them women... I believe that God is about to pour out a spirit of revival upon this nation and its already begun." We are being raised up as godly examples.