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The battle is on for this generation. God is doing tremendous things in and through youth and children today. Yet they are faced with pressures no other generation has faced: shootings in our schools, pedophiles on the internet, and the homosexual agenda—just to name a few.

The children of the "boomer" generation would ask one another, "What does your daddy do for a living?" The question asked by today's generation is, "Does your daddy live with you?"

More children live without fathers in America (25,000,000) than in any other nation of the world. We are dealing with a fatherless generation.

One half of the children in America will experience the break-up of their family during their childhood. As anyone who has been through a divorce will tell you, it's an incredibly painful experience. The feelings of failure and rejection are overwhelming.

However, whenever a parent goes through a divorce, a child goes through a divorce also.

I'll never forget that hot August night when I was 12. We were at our family cabin on Lake Michigan. I had gone to bed at 10:00 pm, but for some reason I couldn't sleep that night. After lying in bed for hours I heard my mom go in and wake up my dad. The bedrooms in our cabin were right off the family room, with only a thick curtain for a door. I could hear my parents entire conversation; my mom saying to my dad:

"Mark, I'm leaving you!"

My father asked, "Why?"

"I don't really love you. I never have."

I heard my dad beg her, "Please don't leave. We can work this out."

It seemed to me that my dad was on his knees pleading with my mom not to leave. "No, it's over. I'm not going back to that merry-go-round!"

As a 12-year-old boy I felt the same rejection that my father felt. I had the same sense of guilt and failure that he had. I wondered, what could I do to save the family?

My dad was married and divorced three times. Every time he went through a divorce, I went through a divorce.

The Enemy's Handiwork
We desperately need to reach the fatherless generation. One thing is for sure, if we don't reach the fatherless, the devil will.

The other day I read an email by Chuck Colson. In it, he stated that the leading atheists of the world had abusive fathers or were fatherless. Men like Hitler, Stalin and Freud all hated their fathers. The devil has had a hayday with the fatherless.

The urgent cry of the hour is for spiritual parents.
For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.
(1 Cor. 4:15)
We need some spiritual fathers like Mordecai.
Mordecai had a cousin name Hadassah, whom he had brought up because she had neither father nor mother. This girl who was also known as Esther, was lovely in form and features, and Mordecai had taken her as his own daughter when her father and mother had died.
(Est. 2:6-7)
Esther was fatherless and motherless. She was a throw-away child, but Mordecai took her into his house and became a spiritual father to her.

The real hero of the book of Esther is Mordecai. Esther saved the Jewish nation but she could not have done it without Mordecai's help.

The first time Mordecai asked Esther to go before the king to save the Jews, Esther refused, stating that she could be killed.
All the king's servants, and the people of the king's provinces, do know, that whosoever, whether man or woman, shall come unto the king into the inner court, who is not called, [there is] one law of his to put [him] to death, except such to whom the king shall hold out the golden sceptre, that he may live: but I have not been called to come in unto the king these thirty days.
(Est. 4:11)
Listen to Mordecai's response as he challenges Esther:
Do not think that because you are in the king's house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come into the kingdom for such a time as this?
(Est. 4:12-14)
I believe that this generation is called to do great things! God knew what our kids would be facing today. In fact, He put our children on the earth, in this nation, for such a time as this; however, they need our help.

Do not think because you are being a good parent to your children, that your family will escape from the judgment that is to come to our nation. We must reach the fatherless generation. This is the generation that can turn our nation around, but we need some men who will be like Mordecai and be spiritual fathers to the fatherless.

How do we reach the fatherless?

You can make a difference. You can spark a change. You can give hope. The time is short. If we look around we can see the signs of the times. The Lord's coming is not long now. A question for you is, "how are you spending your time?"

Get Them To God
So many times we cheat kids; we cut them short. We think that we've got to entertain them by sticking them in front of video games, or hold their attention by playing games. We use television as a babysitter instead of bringing them into the presence of God.

Our primary goal needs to be to get the fatherless into the presence of God. Introduce them to our loving heavenly Father who loves them with an unending love. He will never leave them or forsake them.

There is a world full of hurting kids—many who don't have a father. The heart of Father God is broken for the fatherless. We need to lead them toward His presence.

A secondary goal is to teach our kids to love the fatherless. Not love the sin they may display, but show them the Father through us. Our job is not to judge and condemn, but to love.

It is not hard when we think of a fatherless little baby. But what about the fatherless 12-year old, who does not want to be at church and who is following the world full force?

As Christian leaders we have an awesome responsibility. Every one of the children you minister to is precious to God. You have an opportunity to minister God's Word and His love to them. Not just the cute and quiet ones, but the loud and noisy ones also.

I challenge you to look at those kids you see each week differently. See them as God sees them.

Author Biography

Mark Harper
Web site: Mark Harper Ministries
Pastor and Leadership Coach, Mark Harper has 35 years of experience in the local church. He is the creator of the Super Church 2.0 Curriculum, which is used in over 5,000 churches worldwide. The focus of Mark's ministry is helping leaders build strong churches and helping parents build strong families. Not only has Mark served in the local church as pastor, associate pastor, and family ministry pastor but he is also a certified coach with the John Maxwell Team. He also recently released the Amazon Best Selling book The Red Book: The Lifeblood of Children's Ministry.

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