I never suspected that when my parents divorced last year (with me at the age of 34) under less than honorable circumstances, that Fathers Day would become one of those holidays that just wouldn’t quite be the same.
I’m hoping this isn’t a life long trend. But I know that this year things aren’t going to be the same. I will watch as everyone thanks their fathers for being a great example of a father, and being there for them through thick and thin, and for showing them how to love their spouses, and on and on and on.
All the while I will struggle to want to even say the words, “Happy Fathers Day!”
I’ve struggled over the last year about how to adequately address the situation with my father and remain faithful to the commandment to “Honor thy father and mother.”
How does one celebrate Fathers Day when the father they grew up knowing is no longer that person when everything about them – their character, their presence, their integrity…very literally everything you thought you knew about the person, suddenly becomes a question as to who the real person is?
Growing up I always counted myself blessed to have both of my parents together. Never in a million years would I have dreamed that I would watch their marriage fall apart while I was an adult. Yet, here we a are.
So how does someone celebrate Fathers Day when their earthly biological father has become a real life Dr Jekkyl and Mr Hyde?
The only conclusion I can come to is this, which I believe is 5 fold:
- Be thankful for what I did learn when my father was around, faithful, and actively living out righteous fatherhood.
- Celebrate my children and me being their father and then committing to being a father of integrity and character for them and for my wife until my dying day.
- Thank and appreciate the spiritual fathers that God has surrounded me with in the absence of my own father.
- Be thankful for a Heavenly Father who will never abandon me, whose character and integrity is righteous and holy and spans eternity.
- Search the Word of God cover to cover to learn what He wants fathers to be like and aspire and strive to be that in every way.
No my father is not dead. But he is no longer the man I knew. And in a way I can relate to and understand those who truly are fatherless.
So I hope in light of Fathers Day tomorrow that you can find hope and peace and joy even if it also brings pain and sorrow. Use the 5 points above to remain joyful and thankful in spite of that pain and sorrow.
This is my heart for the fatherless – may you seek the face of God the Father and enjoy the day no matter how things may be for you and your biological earthly father.
Brad. This was difficult to read for me because your parent’s story is closely linked to mine, but with a different outcome; your story could have been that of my children. As a wife and a mom, I’m deeply sad with you on this day that looks so different. But…I applaud your courage in allowing yourself to feel with authenticity, and to choose to see some good (points 1 and 3) along with hanging on to the real Abba Father. Draw close to Him, and invest consistently in the intimacy of your covenant… Best to you…and Happy Father’s Day.
Thanks! And I’m sorry that you have been through a similar situation. I have another article on here titled “Divorce: The Death of a Marriage” where I first began to wrestle with this as things began to get more and more apparent that my parents were heading toward divorce. No matter ones age – this is not an easy thing.
At 27 years of marriage when it all began to unravel, the first thing I did was research the impact of divorce on adult children. I was shocked, no ASTOUNDED at the impact, and it is one of the reasons I dug deep in my soul to see if there was a way to heal. We did. You should check out the blog post I’m sharing from my daughter’s blog 2 years ago – Father’s Day – when she’d just learned the depth of pain that had been woven through our marriage. In a few days, I’ll post her post from this year…HUGS.
I’m so glad to hear that you guys were able to heal. I know in time that will be the outcome. And God is able to redeem and restore. Only time will reveal where things go from here.
And yes – I never imagined how tough it would be for a 34 year old man with 4 of his own kids to go through watching his parents divorce. And worse to watch his father transform into something unrecognizable. But can work all things for good for those who love Him.
Love to have you read today’s post…
Just read it. Sounds like a redeemed and restores and transformed person. Glad to see that. I’m still praying for that for my dad. As of writing this he is still pursuing another woman who is married. With zero remorse. God can change his heart and that’s what I’m praying for. It’s hard to watch.
I mean restored.
Oh it is. We will pray for your dad, too. Miracles do happen…and Happy Father’s Day!
Thank you. 🙂
I love you Brad. Your grandfather was a wonderful husband, father, father-in-law, grandfather and great-grandfather. He is now enjoying being in the presence of his Heavenly Father and with one of his precious daughters.
Indeed. I love you too grandma. Thanks for stopping by and reading this article!!
This post hit home, I am awaiting telling our son that his parents will be divorcing soon. My husband who has requested and adamant that we shouldn’t remain together. We decided to wait so Father’s Day wouldn’t mark such a sad memory, I do believe however that this day will be forever changed. I am sad for all of us 😢
I don’t know how old your son is or the circumstances surrounding this divorce (and quite frankly – as a 34 old adult it’s no easier) but I am sorry either way. I wish there was something I could say to lessen the pain. But what I do know is that I can pray for you and your family. And I do know that the tentacles of divorce reach farther than the 3 of you. So I will pray for those around you guys as well. God can and will restore that which has been taken by the enemy for those who love Him. So stay close to God. He doesn’t abandon his children. He will provide in ways you all nerve thought imaginable.
I don’t know you but I love you and your family. And God loves you guys too.
Our son is 16 yrs old, he has had a wonderful childhood. My husband has been a great father the past 8 years, it is frustrating that he feels he must find a new life at this point. Our son will be blindsided and I am devastated just thinking about it. Thank you for your payers, m
My father was good throughout my life. It was only in the last 3-4 years that things changed dramatically and when we learned why it was devastating.
The impact is far more reaching than just those in the home. My father kept saying it was just between he and my mother. He couldn’t have been more wrong.
People don’t realize it but something happens to the conscience of people who have allowed their sin to become common place – it gets seared. And they become incapable of recognizing what they are doing as wrong.
So I share your pain. And your sons. Especially your sons.