In Luke 1, an angel announces the birth of John the Baptist to his father, Zechariah. The angel describes John’s work:
And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared. (Luke 1: 16-17)
Let me write this as a list and let’s take a closer look.
- He will turn God’s lost children to him.
- He will turn the hearts of fathers to their children.
- He will turn the disobedient to justice.
Do you see the parallel structure: the lost, the hearts of (absent) fathers, the disobedient? These are all represented as being the same condition. I think this is no accident; we see the “rewards” of fathers’ disobedience throughout our culture. The destruction of the nuclear family rests primarily on fathers whose hearts have turned from their children. I see this as a call to action for fathers.
The selfishness that leads us away from our families is blinding to us and catastrophic to our children. However, it is also the reason that God sent His only begotten son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins, remove the scales from our eyes, and restore our relationship with Him through grace. He is the God of hope and is calling us home. Answer the call men; lead our families.