I have a challenge for Fathers.
Ephesians 6:4 NKJV says
And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.
Fathers do not fully realize the good or the damage their words have on their children.
From the time I came into the world till the day 17 years later when my dad kicked me out of the house.
I was told in no uncertain terms that I was not fit to be alive, that I was a failure who would never amount to anything. That I was not to be seen or heard.
That brainwashing has been with me my whole life. I am 69 and those words still cause me to shutdown and sabotage any attempt I make to be successful.
There are days when I think I am slowly getting out of that pit. Then something happens to cause me to fall right back in.
Something may happen to remind me I am a failure and I fulfill it. Not by choice and sometimes not knowingly.
This last month has been another such situation.
I am retired and working at being an entrepreneur with ecommerce. I am wanting to have my wife in a nicer more expensive facility. I have the training and the tools.
Somedays that is not enough. I find I struggle believing I can do it. Then a setback happens like this past month. I then shutdown and it reinforces my dad’s prophecy.
So fathers please never speak in anger or frustration.
You may never know the long term damage those words will have on that child.
I have a challenge for Fathers.
I admire your vulnerability and courage in sharing this story with us. It is certainly a reminder I will take to heart.
I will take the risk of sharing with you something I do with my children. We call it “the love tank”. They come and get a big hug from me. While hugging them, I tell them, over and over again, “I love you” until they tell me that their love tank is full.
I share that with you because what I tell my children next is that, as good as my love tank is, their heavenly Father’s “love tank” is even better. It is perfect, continuous, joyful, and good.
I know it may seem impossible but I wanted to share with you that you are in your true Father’s embrace - now and forever.
Ephesians 1 says,
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
He has adopted you as his son and blessed you with “every spiritual blessing”.
I’m praying this morning that you might be able to hear the voice of your Heavenly Father come through all the walls and barriers that were set up by the verbal and emotional abuse you suffered as a child. I grieve and mourn that this happened to you. I am grateful that we can find hope and healing in the body of Christ and in relationship with Jesus.
I have no good memories with my father. He never even acknowledged me. Outside of almost killing me at least on two separate occasions.
I would have died and thought I had gone to heaven.
To have hears him say just once I Love You.
My heart weeps to hear that, brother. He sounds like a terrible man who caused real harm by his words and actions.
It makes me think of my mom’s story. She was born out of adultery. Although my grandfather didn’t divorce my grandmother, the whole family labelled her and was offended by her every time they saw her. My grandparent’s marriage was destroyed by it - married but detesting each other until she died young in her early 60’s of breast cancer. Only after my grandmother died did my grandfather remember his love and give forgiveness. He deeply regretted - to tears - that he had waited decades to find forgiveness in his heart and he knew that he had participated in spreading his unforgiveness to others intensifying the relational damage to the family.
My mother and grandfather grew closer later in life, although it took a death as a catalyst for healing. But, she told me that finding forgiveness was a milestone and that her forgiveness was anchored in scripture (Matthew 6:14-15 - you will be forgiven in the manner in which you forgive others - having received such great forgiveness she didn’t have the right before God to harbor unforgiveness) and in learning her dad’s own story. She found out that he was a child of the depression who was kicked out of his home at 12 when his family couldn’t support him. He did child labor in a hosiery mill and lived in a box behind the mill for a time before finding a 6’ by 8’ storage room someone would let him sleep in. He had no family or friends and a 6th grade education. But he could work like a horse. He knew little of family or friends or love or leisure - but he knew work, and through work he tried to validate himself and prove to the world he was worthy. But, his 18 hour work days 6 days a week are what led to the affair that led to my mom. As she learned my grandad’s story, she found understanding and empathy and through those forgiveness and through that restoration for her heart.
My mom is 75 now but still carries some of the hurt within her from the emotional and verbal abuse of the decades she experienced growing up. BUT, she has found healing through her understanding of her dad and, especially, of her identity in Jesus. Despite her father’s failings growing up, He truly sees her and has loved and loves her well. Her childhood shaped her into a performer - she always wanted to be the smartest or the prettiest or the the friendliest or the _____est to prove she deserved to be loved and validate herself to everyone. YET, she has found in Jesus, someone who has loved her at her worst, someone that she doesn’t have to perform for to experience love and validation and that special someone has true sight to see the wonder that is her uniqueness and treasure it.
Brother, you are unique in the world and in the family of God. And, you have someone who sees you truly and knows the wonder of who you are. There is no need of performing to earn or gain His love. He has already validated you when He created you as an image-bearer and as He committed Himself to you for eternity when He accepted you into His family. What you weren’t given can’t be obtained but what you have been given can be the treasured experience of your life. In regard to whether or not you will be successful in your business venture, the Lord alone knows. But, what you can know is that the true love of your life sees you truly and loves you in all of your good and bad, successes and failures throughout your whole life.
Maybe something here makes sense to you and is helpful. Sent your way with a prayer. Glad to call you brother!
If you read my post called Forgiveness. You will see that I have forgiven him.
I hold no anger towards him.
My feelings are mostly of sadness.
He never met my wonderfull daughter nor my amazing grandkids.
He lost out on so much that could have been part of his life.
That is why I weep when I see a son reject his father’s love.
During those times I get a miniscule glimpse of how God feels when we reject his love.
I hear you. All of us miss out on so much of the joy and richness He wants for us. I listened yesterday to an audio file that was focused on Jesus weeping for Israel as He wanted to gather them as a hen does her chicks but they wouldn’t have Him for their protection, comfort and nurturing. I do believe we miss soooooo much He would like us to have and experience through Him and is grieved.
Being a father of 3, thank you for the tender reminder…