This week, we celebrate Father’s Day.
Lets Be Real.
Some of us have/had great fathers, some of us didn’t. Some of us don’t know a father, some of us have substitutes. A male contributed to our beginnings, we all have that in common. Knowing or admiring him, is a different topic.
I admit, my father, is near perfect (to me). Closing in on 90-years-old, he is still warm, approachable, encouraging, wise, and the most wonderful husband. Watching him take over as the household caretaker, (my Mom having more health issues) has been a demonstration, to all of us, of living wedding vows and serving with joy! I pray, I have half his tenacity and resolve.
My Dad, truly, gave me a healthy view of what my Heavenly Father must be like.
You, Lord, are our Father. We are nothing but clay,
but you are the potter who molded us.
Dad is full of unconditional love, forgiveness, mercy, kindness, trustworthiness, faithfulness, tenderness, leadership, strength, etc. He also leads by example, to love God and put Him first.
I possessed no framework for understanding people who didn’t have a loving example. In adulthood, peers struggling with the concept of a loving Father/God entered my reality. I reasoned, “If your Dad was insufficient, just imagine the opposite … isn’t that great and wonderful: God replaces all the things your Dad wasn’t. That’s great news …. Right?”
It rattled me to realize …. “yes” isn’t always the answer!
All the wonderful traits my father exhibited, I naturally and seamlessly transferred to God. I had no internal conflict between an earthly father and Spiritual Father. With ease, I imagined a Father could be perfect, and He loved me. It blissfully rested on my soul.
Reality Check: If a person has never experienced a loving, trustworthy, etc. … father, what meaning do those words hold? Instead of a perfect loving Father being “good news”, they are words spoken into a void. Those words don’t fit together. They want to understand, but it’s a struggle based on prior life experience. They want to trust and blindly believe. Yet, casting aside old shadows, and the concept taking root in their heart, is major lifework and often needs help from Biblically based counseling.
More Scars Than Sweetness
A good father should be the norm, but is foreign too many. How deeply this saddens me! I feel immeasurably blessed for my father. But, also, burdened for the ones whose earthly father’s left more scars than sweetness.
I’ve learned, we can help: mentor a younger one, be a big brother/sister, a foster parent/grandparent, don’t assume you understand (you likely don’t), be sensitive to other people’s experiences, be an encourager, give friends space to share openly. Rarely are two life journeys the same.
The sweetness of friends, pseudo parents/sisters/brothers can begin the journey to healing. As well as, promote understanding of an Eternal Loving Father, which can be very difficult to wrap arms and hearts around.
Speak words of encouragement to a Dad.
Offer kindness and support to someone who didn’t have a loving father.
I pray for you, more sweetness than scars, for the rest of your days,