Faith, Marriage and Family

The DAD Dilemma

I always look forward to celebrating Father’s Day with my family. I had a great relationship with my own father when I was growing up, and now my children have a great relationship with their father. But, the harsh reality is that there are thousands (no, probably millions) of people who struggle to acknowledge their relationship with their father in any fashion.

In my opinion, this is truly the biggest problem we face in a society. To not be able to have a wholesome, growing, functional relationship with one’s own father has left a huge scar in humanity. The sheer pain of remembering the times where love was traded for ignorance, or trust was traded for shame, well, it may be too hard to bear for those who live with the “dad” dilemma.

A child only wants to be loved and appreciated for who he/she is. The child does not want to perform at a particular level for acceptance or love, yet this seems to be the normal routine. I’m not blaming the father alone for these less-than-desirable actions toward the child. The performance-based approval weighs heavily on the mother as well.

So, this Father’s Day should also be a time of healing. It is one thing to reflect on the past, but it is an extraordinary thing to forgive the past. I am guilty of hanging on to past wrongs that have never been sealed. I cannot relate to those who deal with the pain of their past and its relation to their father, but I can relate to just general pain of childhood mishaps.

My heart breaks for those who are in need of healing. Some may never find it. Their fathers may be dead, or they may be absent. Their fathers may have provided for them financially, but their love bank was completely broke. Others may have suffered emotional and physical scars from abuse. And, then there are the few who had a hero for a dad.

Father’s Day is not meant to bring out the hurt, but it does remind us of the dilemma of what being a Dad means to our society. In one sense, a Dad is the hero and provider of the family. In the other sense, he is the enemy of our souls. I pray that true healing will begin in those who have been wronged. I pray that the blame game will stop. I pray that relationships can be restored. And, I pray that fathers everywhere will stop looking to themselves and look to God Almighty for strength to carry the task of training the next generation of children.

I do not have an earthly father anymore. But, my heavenly father is all I need to guide my steps, guard my heart, and grow in grace. My prayer continues for those who are in need of a good father. You may not have an earthly father, but you will always have a heavenly father – should you choose to accept him.

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