‘The hearts of the fathers’ discusses the importance of being a dad (page 37, The qb June 2012).
‘He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse’ (Malachi 4:6).
These words clearly reflect God’s heart for his children, and God’s heart for his representatives (fathers) and their hearts for their/God’s children. How do I know that to be true? Because it was the very last thing that God said to his people for around a 430 year period—before entering into communication silence, if you will—in preparation for the single greatest rescue mission of all time… the redemption of mankind, through the crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus, The Son of God himself.
And I believe that our society today experiences that ‘curse’ mentioned by Malachi—on a daily basis. Just switch on the 6 pm news. The symptoms of fatherlessness and father absence―even when Dad is still actually in the home, albeit disengaged―are wide-spread and getting worse. Truancy, juvenile crime, juvenile substance abuse, teenage rapists, teenage pregnancies, and teenage suicides have become commonplace, even within the Church.
The good news is that there are movements afoot throughout Queensland, and even further abroad, to reverse this current tide―to help men understand the significance and weightiness of their role as dad, and more importantly to experience it for themselves. ‘Fathering Adventures’ is a ministry devoted to this cause. Hundreds of father-son and dad-daughter relationships are now richer and more whole because dads are making an investment and becoming more present, more engaged, and more intentional.
And ‘Queensland Baptists’ are helping to lead the way! In South-East Queensland, ‘Fathering Adventures’ and Queensland Baptists’ QCCC (Queensland Conference & Camping Centres) have developed a strategic partnership to expand these pursuits, currently facilitating both Father-Son and Dad & Daughter Adventure Weekends at QCCC Mapleton in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, and QCCC Tamborine in the Gold Coast hinterland.
Queensland Baptists’ Churches across Brisbane are also exercising great leadership by casting and conveying this vision among the fathers and families within their congregations and broader communities. One such leader is Dale MacArthur, the men’s ministry leader at Bridgeman Baptist Community Church, who has experienced a ‘Fathering Adventures’ Dad & Daughter Adventure Weekend with his daughter. Dale had this to say about his experience:
‘I have always spent time with my children; however, there have been dimensions to this weekend that I could not have created on my own, and those elements have been priceless and precious. The format and process was perfect. I have been relaxed, challenged, encouraged, and I have had a beautiful time with my daughter.’
However, there’s no time to rest on all that’s been achieved to date. Every great victory is won ultimately by never giving up, and by continuing to advance, together as one. For this reason, we urge all Church Pastors and leaders to join us in turning the hearts of the fathers to their children. Because when that happens, the hearts of the children always turn to their fathers. And instead of our land being cursed, it will be blessed, as it was always meant to be from the beginning with men, women and children, relationships, and families, filled with restoration, freedom, and LIFE to the full.Please help us to build a united and stronger future for our Nation… one family at a time. Discover more about our Father-Son and Dad & Daughter Adventures by exploring the ‘Fathering Adventures’ website, emailing me or phoning 0431 839 035.