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You are NOT the Father

A few years ago, I was in Kroger looking for Father’s Day cards for family and friends. As I was picking out the ones that caught my eye, I spotted a couple that did in particular. But not in a good way… There were two distinct cards that were Father’s Day cards addressed to single mothers! To my knowledge, Mahogany Cards is the only company that makes such cards and they cater primarily to the Black American community. So I paused for a moment and picked one of them up just to get a closer look. At that moment, all I could do was shake my head in disbelief. Well, now I’m kicking myself for not buying one of them just to have as an example of how God’s plan for family is surely being eroded before our very eyes. We have been deceived into believing that issues like gay marriage are the primary cause for this, but we have been bamboozled. The family structure is completely out of order! Since when did a woman gain the ability to teach a boy how to become a man? Since when did she gain some supernatural ability to become a “father” to her children? Did I miss this cosmic event?  The last time I checked man and woman were created with innate abilities to be father and mother. Only a MAN can give the masculine affirmation of a father that is needed by all children. Only a WOMAN can mother a child and nurture it. A woman might be able to use her intellect and knowledge of the Word to raise a son, but that void of affirmation can ONLY be filled by his father. Obviously, the ultimate affirmation can only come from the Heavenly Father. But none of this can ever come from the mother. The same rule goes for a daughter, as she can only be truly affirmed in her femininity by her mother, no matter how much of a Daddy’s girl she might be. A man cannot teach his daughter how to be a woman from a feminine perspective. It’s just not God’s design.

Please know that I have the utmost respect for single mothers. I have lady friends who are single mothers and I try to be a blessing to them in any way that I can. I’m aware of the pressures they face and the sweat and toil that they endure trying to raise kids on their own. They run their own households and often work more than one job to make ends meet. However, this does not give them the title of “Father.” I have heard that saying for a long time that “single mothers have to be the mother and father.” This is a LIE from the enemy! We have allowed this kind of language for so long now that we are reaping the fruit of those words. If ever there was another obvious sign concerning the breakdown of the family, well now we have it: Women being honored on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. You see it is exactly this type of negativity and DISHONOR of men that has contributed to the emasculation of men. There is a DIVINE ORDER that God established that we now seem to reject.

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Now I’m going to say something unpopular… A man does not have to be perfect to be respected as a father! He may be doing the wrong things in the natural and he may even be a terrible father. He might be in prison or on drugs, he just might be many things. But does that give us the right to strip him of the title or role of father? According to worldly standards, yes. According to biblical standards, no. You still honor the position. Despite his loyalty to David, Jonathan still honored his father Saul who had been dethroned by God. Whether or not you like your boss, you still respect and honor the position.

A friend pointed out to me that it’s just like our relationship with the Heavenly Father. Now obviously He is perfect in all of His ways, but we often times don’t understand why He allows situations to occur or things to happen to us. But we still honor Him… This same model goes for our natural father. I have a tremendous amount of the respect for the man who was my active father for most of my life, but I’ll be transparent and say that I don’t like the person that my biological father is currently. However, I can honestly say that I’m praying for his salvation and have vowed to not speak ill of him. I will still respect him. After all, the Word says to “honor your father and mother so that it may go well with you.” (Paraphrasing)

Nowadays we joke about “baby mama drama,” but we need to look deeper at what this has caused. We laugh at talk shows that play this stuff up (like Maury Povich) but the family has taken a form very different from what God intended. There’s no point in playing the blame game and talking about how there aren’t any decent or godly men around. You see, that is a part of the problem. There are two sides to every equation, despite what the popular rhetoric might be. There are in fact good and decent men who are purposely being kept away from their children by the mothers of their children. So is it surprising to see so many young women easily giving their bodies to men because they are looking for the affirmation of a father? Is it surprising that so many young men have no vision or purpose? Is it surprising that so many remain “boys” even when they reach adulthood? True enough, even if Daddy wasn’t around, the distorted image of father is being created further when they go buy their mothers cards on Father’s Day. Lord help us! They are being led to believe that their mothers are also fathers to them as well, which couldn’t be further from the truth!

I pray that whoever needs to read this will be convicted and repent. The family cannot be restored until the fathers are restored because they are the God-ordained head. If we decide to respect the men and just pray, watch as God does what only He can do. Engaging in nasty, nonproductive conversations will only yield the bad fruit that we are continuing to see. Trust me, the enemy is rejoicing and having a “demonic wet dream” over the way that the family has been destroyed. Maybe I should send this message to Mahogany Cards? Maybe they’ll gain some wisdom and insight to not make any more of those abominable cards for Father’s Day. What do you think? Who knows? Change starts within each of us individually, so let’s start there. Let us put His plan above our mere emotions and watch Him restore. Blessings to you all.

Nathan Allen Copyright Revision ©2015

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The Redemption of Fred Phelps: From Victim to Victor

Many of us have endured various sorts of tragedies and personal traumas that date back to our childhoods. Others have suffered through prolonged adversity and negative circumstances over many years of their lives. What separates certain people from others is their response to these different situations. Many people use these situations as justification for the various behaviors and mindsets that they exhibit, as a result. Unfortunately, these individuals never really move forward and hold on to their crutch for dear life so that they don’t necessarily have to transform. Their spiritual growth is actually stunted, whether they realize it or not. In other cases, their stories end tragically due to the lifestyles they led that were influenced by the sins that were done to them in their early years. They never move from being a victim to being a victor.

Well, I’m privileged to know such a man who is not only an example of someone who is no longer a victim, but someone who is totally sold out for the cause of Jesus Christ. His name is Fred Phelps. He is a devoted husband, father, friend, disciple of Jesus Christ and mentor who continues to be a light, a peacemaker and someone who will always speak the TRUTH in any situation. I don’t know many men who possess the level of sincerity that he does. This is a man who has truly been transformed and his diligence in pursuing righteousness has rewarded him greatly. But the path he has walked is not one from which many emerge victorious.

Starting when he was a toddler, Fred was sexually abused at the hands of his father. This abuse continued, as well as many other negative circumstances that the enemy would use to destroy him. The emotional abuse and evil words spoken over him by many others began to create not only a poor self-image and insecurity, but also a perversion of his identity as a man. He would go on to live and embrace the homosexual lifestyle, and he would look to men to fill the void left in his heart by his abusive and absentee father. The enemy had seemingly succeeded in perverting his identity and attempting to thwart his ordained destiny, but God had other plans…

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Despite the direction his life had gone, Fred had always remained in the church. The hand of God was on his life and would eventually direct him to a ministry called “Living Waters.” There he would address all of the wounds that were done to his person and experience the presence of God in a way in which he never had. Because of his repentance, he began to recapture his true self and God-given identity! However, tragedy would strike again, as he was forced to cope with the murder of his sister. But God… A changed man emerged from the ashes of abuse, neglect and tragedy. He committed his WHOLE life to Christ. As a result, he would go on to minister to others who were sexually and relationally broken, and he will always be a treasure to the healing community.

The beauty of this testimony is how God always does a COMPLETE work. The Father always seeks reconciliation, if we are willing to get out of His way and allow it. Fred’s father was constantly in and out of prison and was never in Fred’s life consistently; even during the times when he was out of prison. As a result, they were estranged for seventeen years, but God intervened… He reunited them and the process of healing began. This all occurred as Fred dealt with his father wounds in the Living Waters ministry. Isn’t it amazing and even exciting how God loves to heal and reconcile His children? For the next couple of years there was forgiveness, reconciliation and the sealing of his true masculine identity. The Lord spoke to him and affirmed, “You are not what your father did to you.” Sadly, his father was terminally ill, but a week before he passed, Fred prayed over his father. Peace descended and fell upon them. God was simply confirming that the reconciliation was complete naturally and eternally. Two weeks later, the Lord instructed Fred to take on his father’s last name because he had always had his mother’s maiden name. I know this was his way to honor his father and spark a new legacy with the Phelps namesake. Look at God…

Some years later, Fred would be introduced to the woman who would become his bride. They would be blessed with two beautiful kids, and they were just recently blessed with a third child. He is living proof that the love of God can transform anyone. Along with being a living testimony and mouthpiece for those whose voices have been silenced, he is a mighty warrior who chose LIFE over death. Fred Phelps is no longer a victim; he is a VICTOR.

Nathan Allen Copyright ©2014

 

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