It wasn’t until I became more aware of the experiences of other people that I discovered how dicey Father’s Day is for a lot of people. It is not a holiday of fond memories, love, and cheesy dad-gifts for many, many people. I write this post and counsel people with the full knowledge that this can be an extremely difficult topic, as people may be recovering from various types of abuse and degrees of hurt. Yet, I am reminded that my heavenly father is good, and his commands are good (Psalm 19:8). I hope that this post will give you some ideas on how you can obey God, honor your fallen father, and keep yourself safe (emotionally, spiritually, and physically).
Why honor your dad?
Simple. It’s commanded. [“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.” Exodus 20:12]. For the believer, we continually lay down all that we have—our will, plans, desires, even our hearts and feelings. This is one of those instances. We recognize God’s control over our lives, even how we came into the world. He is sovereign. God is not evil, nor does he orchestrate evil, but he will certainly work in evil’s midst to bring us into his presence, to define us, to refine us, and to provoke us to reach for him. Even in the worst instances. (Acts 17:26-27).
How do I honor my dad?
What if my dad is unlovable or difficult to honor? What if he has deeply hurt me?
What if I haven’t been the best father?
Prayerfully consider some of these ideas. Father's Day is a fictional holiday. God's commandments, however, are very real and very good. If you need help figuring out the next step, finding healing, or finding forgiveness, contact our office. You are not alone in this journey.
-Bradford Coleman, LPC, NCC