The presence of a father in a child's life has a very positive effect.
- Research results show that 24 million children (34 percent) live absent their biological father.
- Research does show that children living with their married, biological (or adoptive) parents are less likely to be poor, to use drugs, to experience educational, health, emotional and behavioral problems, to be victims of child abuse, and to engage in criminal behavior than their peers with absent fathers.
- Even president Obama states that "being a dad is the most important job in a man's life" Fatherhood.gov
In the same way, the absence of a father in a child's life has long lasting catastrophic effects.
- A fatherless generation is what I call the Ishmael generation.
- There are five characteristic of this generation
Transition: The Ishmael generation is...
I. A Generation that does not come by accident, but by disobedience. Gen 16:2
A. God made a promise to Abram Gen 15:2-4.
- Abram was to have a child from his own body
- The promise needed to be fulfilled God's way
B. Abraham tries to fulfill it
- He listens to his wife's Gen 16:2
- He takes matters into his own hands
- He follows cultural trend instead of trusting God
- Ishmael generation comes from self indulgence
- From not trusting God and breaking His command
- Comes from sexual immorality, think babies out of wedlock
- Comes from broken homes
Transition: The Ishmael generation is also...
II. A generation of conflicts. Gen. 16:4-5, 12; 21:9
A. Conflict between Sarai and Hagar
B. Conflict between them and the world Gen. 16:12
- Untamed and wild generation
- Living in hostility
- Against all
- Everything that relates to God
Transition: Even though the Ishmael generation is full of conflicts and is...
III. A generation without a father, but within God's plan. Gen. 21:11, 14
A. Abraham sends off Agar and the boy to the desert Gen. 21:14
B. This was part of God's plan [[Bible:Gen.21:11)
IV. A generation of promise. Gen.16:9-10, 21:13, 18
A. God keeps his promise despite Abraham's mistake.
B. Ishmael has a promise from God
- Although fatherless, the Heavenly Father has promises for the Ishmael generation
V. A generation that God hears. Gen. 16:11, 21:17
- God hears Gen. 16:11
- God heard the boy in his anguish and pain Gen. 21:17
- The Ishmael generation cries out
- Why do we not have a father?
- Who cares about us?
- The Ishmael generation is a generation that is not here by accident, but it is here by way of rebellion
- It is a generation that lives in conflict and hostility
- It is a generation that has been abandoned by their fathers
- We must see them as part of God's plan
- We must show God's promises to them
- We must bring the hope of God