Every once in a while, when I am doing my devotions, God places a verse on my heart that not only speaks to me, but lingers on in my mind for days. Saturday was one of those times. I was reading in Luke chapter 1 and when I came to the second part of verse 17, my heart leaped inside me.
Luke 1:17 in The New Living Translation reads:
“He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah. He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and he will cause those who are rebellious to accept the wisdom of the godly.”
In this verse, Gabriel, the angel of the Lord, is telling Zechariah about the son he and his his wife Elizabeth would be blessed with. A son that they had spent many years praying for. He is speaking of John The Baptist. But what really stuck out to me in this verse was the part “…He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children.” We live in a day in age where approx 1/3 of children living in the United States are being raised without their father in the home. How sad is that! And how sad is my heart that my three children are among that statistic. Now please understand, I am not here to pass judgement on fathers who do not live in the same house as their children, because honestly there could be many reason for this and I am sure it was not a choice for every father in this position. However, as I can testify in my own life and in the lives of many women I know who are now raising their children as single-mom’s, many times, it seems as if the hearts of fathers have turned away from their children. One of the tactics the enemy loves to use is to get us to focus on our happiness more than our holiness. To think more about how we want our lives to be, rather than to think about how our choices might affect others. The more we focus on ourselves, the more our heart grows cold to others, because we can’t see past our own desires and wants.
Recently, my children had a rather rough visit with their dad. One that left them hurt and wondering why they seemed so unimportant to their dad. The more he pushed his own agenda, the less loved they felt. As a mom, having to pick up the pieces of something like that is hard. What is harder is trying to explain it to your children in a way that doesn’t crush them or create more anger towards their father than they already have. Honestly, I spent a week feeling crushed by what happened I was so angry. How could anyone treat their own children this way?! How can anyone be this selfish?! I don’t like to feel that way, I don’t like feeling angry, but I felt so helpless. How do you make a father care about their children more than they care about themselves? How do you show them the hurt they are causing? Truth: You can’t, but The Holy Spirit can. That is exactly what God reminded me of as I read that verse.
John The Baptist, was filled with the Holy Spirit from before he was even born (Luke 1:15). In that power, he walked and prepared the way for Jesus. It is the power of the Holy Spirit that changes the hearts of men.
I was challenged after I read this passage. Challenged to not only pray for the heart of my children’s dad, but for all those fathers that have allowed their hearts to grow cold toward their children. To pray that The Holy Spirit would bring conviction, would reveal the truth of the condition of their hearts, that He would show these father’s clearly the hurt that they are causing their children and that He would do what only He can do and ..turn the hearts of fathers back to their children.
PS If you have someone in your life that needs prayer for a changed heart towards their children, I would love to pray for them. You can contact me here or on facebook