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.