THE MOST POWERFUL MAN IN THE WORLD

HEBREWS 11:1-8

These facts are provided by the Department of Health and Human Services from 1996 and so these statistics may be even worse today.  These were the last statistics available.

  • Only 1 in 4 children live now with their paternal fathers.
  • In 1996, 42% of female-headed households with children were poor, compared with 8% of families with children headed by married parents.
  • Girls without fathers in their lives are 2 & 1/2 times more likely to get pregnant and 53% more likely to commit suicide.
  • Boys without fathers in their lives are 63% more likely to run away from home and 37% more likely to use drugs.
  • Boys and girls without father involvement are twice as likely to drop out of school, twice as likely to go to jail and nearly four times more likely to need help for emotional or behavioral problems.
  • The average American father spends only 7 ½ uninterrupted minutes per week with his children but 32 hours a week watching TV.

There is overwhelming evidence that when a Christian father attends worship service on a regular basis, the rest of the family follows.  A 2000 study found that when both fathers and mothers attended church regularly, about 41% of the children would go to church when they reach an adult stage.  Amazingly, when the father attends church on an irregular basis,  60% of the children reaching adulthood will be irregular attendees or drop out all together.  When the father doesn’t ever attend church, only 2% of children that grow into adulthood will attend church with nearly none of them ever becoming Christian.  When this same equation is with the mother, the numbers are not nearly as drastic.  The conclusion is that fathers have the greatest influence on their children’s lives and have the most impact on their becoming a Christian and attending church regularly as adults. [1]

The importance of children coming to saving faith in Jesus Christ can be broken down like this:

  • 7% of saved children will help lead both of their parents to faith in Jesus Christ.
  • 23% of saved wives and mothers will help lead their husbands and children to faith in Jesus Christ.
  • 94% of saved husbands and fathers will help lead their entire family to faith in Jesus Christ.

Dads, you are the most important and most powerful man in your family. Lets look to the Hall of Fame of Faith—Hebrews 11—to see how to be be a powerful dad with eternal influence.

The first Father, we encounter is Father God—Hebrews 11:1-3. This is the starting point for understanding what fatherhood is all about. The Bible reminds us that Father God is our Creator. Being our Creator also involves God being our provider and protector as our Father.

Abel leaves us a legacy of righteous worship—Hebrews 11:4. With the foundation of knowing there is a God, we must also begin to comprehend how to draw near to Him. Abel understood that as he worshiped God “by faith”. He offered acceptable worship to God “by faith” and we must as well.

Enoch leaves us a legacy of sterling character—Hebrews 11:5. Of all the characters of the Bible, Enoch stands out as one of the great examples of sterling living. The Bible sums up his great life of faith by his remarkable departure from this world—“He was not for God took him.” He was spared death because of his remarkable faithfulness. What a legacy he has left for us!

Noah leaves us a legacy of family saving—Hebrews 11:7. Noah knew two things: 1) God was going to destroy the sinful world and 2) there was a way out for his family. He did all he could to save his children by building the ark. Fathers, let us build up Christ and the church in the hearts and minds of our children so that they will be saved like Shem, Ham, and Japeth.

Finally, father Abraham leaves us a legacy of obedience—Hebrews 11:8-10. The faith of Abraham is often the center of his life, but it was the demonstration of that faith which made his legacy. We too must live out our faith so that is seen so that it can be followed.

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