When I was a little girl I nearly idolized my dad. I found him to be the funniest, smartest, most interesting man ever. When he’d go jogging around the neighborhood I’d tag along. When he would do his sit-ups I’d sit on his feet and help him keep count. Try making fun of him and I’d tell you a piece of my mind faster than you could finish your first insult.
Through the years I began to look at my dad in a darker light. Instead of seeing him for all he did for us, I saw what he didn’t do. I started to judge him. I didn’t realize how much this hurt me as I was placing that wedge in my heart between me and my dad. I began to build a wall I never thought I could climb over and never saw it coming down.
Then I got to experience being a parent. I got to see what it was like to make the tough and easy decisions. I got to see what it was like to be concerned for my child, and learned how to accept news about my daughter’s well-being. It took some hard knocks to get me to open up my eyes and heart again to my dad. Eventually, little by little things began to change. I started having compassion for my dad. I started empathizing with him. I put myself in his shoes and tried to see life through his eyes. What I saw was not a man who was falling short, but a young woman who had judged her father much too quickly.
Thank God for second chances and forgiveness. Because of this, I was able to enjoy the rest of my dad’s years here on earth. Boy did I enjoy them! I saw even more how cool he was, how funny he was, and how wise he was. My dad did all he could to be the best dad he could be, even until his dying breath he was encouraging me. Now here I am thankful as I reflect on the man I called “Dad.” My dad never stopped loving me no matter how distant I was with him. He never stopped praying for me, and he never stopped pointing me towards Jesus. Dad was such a wise man to place his daughter in the safest place he knew, in his heavenly father’s hands.
Photo Credit: ID 49057996 © Altanaka | Dreamstime.com
In the age of social media, we can fully expect that every May just before Mother’s Day our timelines will be flooded with photos, stories, and tributes to mothers all over the world. A couple of years ago I noticed how this trend was growing even more so than years prior to. However, just one short month later, you could hear the theoretical pin drop on the same feeds when it got close to Father’s Day. I got really upset and publicly asked, “Where’s all the noise for fathers?” In my haste to stick up for the “good dads” that are still out there taking care of their families, I overlooked the pain that so many carry in their hearts over the absence of their father.
I have an idea about what the statistics are, but experience and conversation alone has led me to believe that we are currently seeing the most un-fathered generation to ever walk the earth. It is so common to me to know plenty of people who have never met their dad, never speak to their dad, or their dad made a conscience decision to remain absent in their lives. Then there is a population of those who have a father that has transitioned from this earth, or a father that was in the home physically, but not emotionally or mentally. These scenarios cause this fatherless group to cling to and go the extra mile to praise their mothers who have given blood, sweat and tears to fill in every gap to the best of her ability.
Just as I wanted to give attention to the fathers who are actually present with their families, I want to extend encouragement to the group who may feel a little sting in their hearts every time Father’s Day comes around. You have probably heard it before, but I want to remind you again. God knows everything there is to know about you, including the fact that you would have to tackle life without a father in it. He still says you can do ALL things through Christ’s strength (Philippians 4:13) including make it through each day and your life with courage. He knew you would be in the position you are in and His promise is that He will always be with you, filling every void, and picking up all the slack your earthly father left behind.
Psalm 27:10 (AMP)
Although my father and my mother have abandoned me,
Yet the Lord will take me up [adopt me as His child].
Psalm 68:4-5 (ESV)
Sing to God, sing praises to his name;
lift up a song to him who rides through the deserts;
his name is the Lord;
exult before him!
5 Father of the fatherless and protector of widows
is God in his holy habitation.
Photo Credit: ID 53858890 © Katarzyna Bialasiewicz | Dreamstime.com
As I think about Father’s Day this month it reminds me of how important the love of a father is to a child. A father’s love is powerful and life changing to a child. I believe we all yearn for the approval and love from our father. For some it is hard if they don’t have an earthly father but our Heavenly Father is here always to show us His never ending love for us. Fathers make a huge impact on the lives of their children. My father taught me so much but his presence and love far outweighed anything. He gave me a taste of what God’s love was like before I accepted Him in my heart. The presence of my father was the best gift he could give me.
I remember when my dad came to a “mother and daughter” event at school since my mom couldn’t make it and then came to a pageant I was in and was my number one cheerleader believing I would win it. It was in those moments I felt overwhelmed with love because my dad took the time to support me and be available. That kind of love shaped me into the person I am today.
Our Heavenly Father can show you that love but far more than we can comprehend. His love far exceeds any kind of love. God’s love is sacrificial and has no end and does not stop. So don’t lose hope if your earthly father is not with you or there for you but remember God is our ultimate Father and He wants to reveal His love to you in a whole new way. This Father’s Day take the time to open your heart to the real love God has in store and watch Him restore your life in a new way. Thank you to all the dads out there that show this kind of love to their kids and being there for them. A special thanks to my amazing father who has shown me that kind of love and thanks to my wonderful husband who has demonstrated that to our kids. These men in my life inspire me to be a better person and so thankful for that influence. Lastly thank you God for what you did by sending your Son to die for us so that we can have life abundantly and experience your sacrificial love.
Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!