It's Never Too Late For a Father to Connect with His Kids
How is your relationship with your father?
How is your relationship with your kids?
Did you know that those two questions are connected?
I believe that even with the intervention of God the Father in our life, most of us will repeat the broken patterns of our fathers. Even though I try to be the best dad I can, I know there is no such thing as a perfect father. We are human, and just as soon as I do something right, I blow it and hurt my kids in ways that I wish I could take back. I know that your own father had to process this in his own story.
The beginning of healing our own family story is connected to our first forgiving, and letting go of the ways our parents have hurt us. Beloved, your healing is in your hands today! It starts the moment you say out loud, “Dad I forgive you for what you did to me.” I have men and women that have spent a lifetime trying to figure out why their dads or moms treated their family that way. Something powerful happens when we forgive and choose to bless our parents for the hurt we carry.
You might be reading this and saying, “Yeah right, you don’t know my dad! There is no way I can forgive him until he makes everything right.” Well, I have a question for you. Do you think that carrying the hurt has affected you as a father, or as a mother? The hurt we carry can transfer to the relationship with our kids, no matter how much we promise to do the opposite. I made promises to myself to not do the same broken things that were done to me, and I consistently broke those promises. Have you done the same?
One of the most powerful things you can do to reconnect with your estranged kids is to first bring your own father story to God. I have found it almost impossible to be the man and father I need to be without first dealing with my own pain and unforgiveness toward my father. It is not enough to be aware of how much your childhood was affected by the hurt from your dad or mom. There is a myriad of books out there talking about the negative effects of a father wound in your life. But knowing how to handle those memories can mean all the difference in the way you parent your kids.
Showing mercy to your father by forgiving him is one if not the most powerful things you can do in your story.
When we withhold forgiveness—because we’re waiting for our dads to make things right—we park our future in the land of limbo. We put the healing of our hearts into the hands of the future actions of our fathers, or those who have hurt us. Showing mercy moves our healing from our dads’ hands to God’s hands. Forgiveness isn’t saying what that person did was right; forgiveness is showing the same mercy that God shows to us when we ask to be forgiven.
Eph. 4:32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Do you see? “…as God in Christ forgave you.” God the Father has enabled us to forgive others, because He forgave us! Not just because He is a forgiving God, but because He took all of the anger and punishment that our sin deserves and placed it upon His Son on the cross.
That means that there is nothing we can’t forgive, because Jesus died for all of it. Even the worst things your mom or dad has done to you: Jesus has prepaid for it all. When I choose to forgive, I am able to forgive because Jesus has already taken the hit on the cross for all of the wickedness that could ever be done to me. When I show mercy, I am honoring the sacrifice that Jesus made for me and everyone who would hurt me in the future.
If I withhold forgiveness, I am saying to Jesus that his sacrifice was not enough to cover what others have done to me. If Jesus’ sacrifice was not enough for my dad, then it also not enough for my sin against Him.
“And that’s exactly what my Father in heaven is going to do to each one of you who doesn’t forgive unconditionally anyone who asks for mercy.”” (Matt 18:35 MESSAGE)
I meet many fathers who carry a lot of guilt for the hurt that they have caused; they want to make it right, but they don’t know how. I have met many fathers who have carried years of guilt over not being a good father, and their kids opened their hearts to God by having mercy on their father, forgiving these fathers even before they asked for it. Chances are that your dad is fathering you the same way he was fathered.
Forgiveness is God’s way of not only setting us free, but breaking the cycle of hurt, and opening the possibility of blessing. Your kids are watching how you reconcile the pain in your own story.
Praying for you Beloved!
In His smile,
I would love to hear from you in how this message is touching you! Please login below and write your comments and questions to us. Your response can help many other people navigate their familiy story too.
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Published on October 6, 2017.