Have you ever seen it? That cloud that hangs over Father’s Day? It’s a cloud of abandonment, pain, and un-forgiveness. Father’s Day can be hard for some because of a loss of a father, but many others suffer on this day because of man who chose to be absent. Maybe you dread this day, and most days dealing with the void that you feel. But there is a cure for fatherlessness.
If you or someone you know grew up or is currently growing up without a father, please read and share this post.
I was not fatherless. I had a stepfather who raised me for most of my life. Our relationship wasn’t always the best, until I grew up and learned to appreciate everything he did for me, how much he loved me, and what it truly meant for a man to step up in such a way, especially for children that weren’t his own. I see now that I gave him such a hard time because I was hurting and dealing with feelings of abandonment. Regardless of the love I was shown, it would be difficult for any little girl to understand why someone so important to her, wouldn’t be there for her. Raising my own daughter without her biological father comes with its challenges. Although I am confident in the abilities God has blessed me with, I cannot downplay the importance of a father figure in a girl’s life. I can protect her from certain things, but ultimately, there will be wounds and pain for her, and for you, that only God can heal. And here’s how He’ll do it:
If you grew up without a father, you may have some bitterness in your heart, today especially. You might feel like you aren’t good enough or that you are unloved. Maybe you had a father figure, such as a stepfather, who does everything he can for you, but you still struggle with the fact that you were unwanted by your biological father. The pain left behind from abandonment is deep and only a wound that can be healed by God. Because this healing REQUIRES forgiveness. And sometimes that means forgiving a man who isn’t sorry, or is too proud to say it. Most days, you will have to pray for the strength to dish out this kind of forgiveness. It may not come easily or often. But if you allow God to soften your heart, you can be free of resentment and bitterness.
If God has worked in you to forgive someone who has wounded you, you’re one step closer to feeling whole again. However, forgiveness doesn’t always lead to restoration of a relationship. If it does, that’s great. But “above all else, guard your heart (Proverbs 4:23).” Set boundaries. Don’t allow someone to take advantage of you or expect something from you that isn’t healthy for your life. Know your limits and willingness to allow someone back into your life or not.
No matter what your relationship looks like with your father, learn to love and accept what God has blessed you with. As I mentioned earlier, I was blessed with a stepfather who fully stepped into his role as my father, and I have two brothers who have acted as constant father figures for my daughter. Do you have someone in your life who has stepped up in the place of someone who has stepped down? Don’t see your home as broken, but as whole and full of God’s love. Even if it doesn’t feel that way yet, God will take you there!
The Ultimate Healing
Finally, and most importantly, ultimate healing comes from accepting God as your Heavenly Father. Let Him fill the empty places and heal the wounds of your past and present. “He is a father to the fatherless” (Psalm 68:5). Rest in this truth. You don’t have to strive for the acceptance of a man and neither do your children. Place God as the main father figure in your life and in your children’s lives. He will send the right men to your life, who will love, protect, and lead the way that a father should.
Happy Father’s Day to all the present Fathers and the father figures. We love you and are thankful for all you do.