The thought of celebrating Father’s Day can be quite difficult for some.
Maybe it is due to a toxic or non-existent relationship. Perhaps it is the mental scars from stern demands, angry outbursts and childhood abuse. Or it could be feeling alone and fatherless since your dad passed away. The reasons are many. And the negative memories and emotions can make it a day you want to avoid.
Friend, if you find Father’s Day challenging, I want to encourage you to shift your thoughts and heart from your biological dad to your heavenly Father.
Come near to Him and He will come near to you. Lift up your eyes and look upon the One whose love is large and incredibly patient. See His goodness and faithfulness. Hear His voice of love and compassion. Feel the comfort and warmth of His presence.
As you spend time with Him, you will come to know that God is always present and eager to be with you.
Scriptures teach us that God is an everlasting Father (Isaiah 9:6) and a Father to the fatherless (Psalm 68:5). Repeatedly, He presents Himself as a Father because we all know what a good father is supposed to be and do. He planted that understanding in our hearts. We all need to be loved, protected, disciplined and valued. All of us desire that kind of dad.
So if our earthy father comes up short or doesn’t event come close, God will. And God does.
I am so thankful that Jesus shared His dad with us. When Christ taught us to pray (Luke 11), notice He didn’t say, “pray to My Father who is in heaven.” Instead, Jesus said the most profound words, “When you pray, pray to Our Father who is in heaven.” I love that He shared His Father with us. He gave us permission to address Almighty God as Father.
Psalm 27:10 says, “Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me.” God knows that many times our biological dads are distant, disinterested and unfortunately, detached. And in our fatherless state of life, God offers to fill that role. He accepts us right where we are. Insecure. Anxious. Fearful. Depressed. Worthless. Uncertain. He receives us with all that baggage. No condemning words. No judgements made. And no critical comparing.
Then God our Father does what He does so well.
I call it the Great Exchange! He gives us beauty for ashes. Joy for our sorrow. And a new song of praise to take the place of that spirit of despair.
He encourages us to call out to Him when in trouble. Draw near to Him when afraid. Hand over all worries when anxious. And trust Him… always. He models for us all the characteristics He had in mind for earthly fathers. He promises to us that no one has to be without a good Father.
One significant thing that helped me make this transition real was to renounce any lie I believed about God based upon the shortcomings of my dad. I had to give God a clean slate and not hold Him accountable as a Father for the wrongs of my earthly one. It not only helped me grow in my relationship with God, but it provided confidence that I am loved, secure and significant.
Friend, take a moment today and pray this confession with me. (The Truth About My Father God by Neil Anderson: Freedom in Christ). I believe declaring these words out loud will grow your relationship with God as Father and help you feel valued and loved.
I renounce the lie that my Father God is distant and uninterested. I accept the truth that my Father God is intimate and involved.
I renounce the lie that my Father God is insensitive and uncaring. I accept the truth that my Father God is kind and compassionate.
I renounce the lie that my Father God is stern and demanding. I accept the truth that my Father God is accepting and filled with joy and love.
I renounce the lie that my Father God is absent or too busy for me. I accept the truth that my Father God is always with me and eager to be with me.
I renounce the lie that my Father God is never satisfied with what I do, impatient, or angry. I accept the truth that my Father God is patient and slow to anger.
I renounce the lie that my Father God is mean, cruel, or abusive. I accept the truth that my Father God is loving, gentle, and protective of me.
I renounce the lie that my Father God is controlling or manipulative. I accept the truth that my Father God is full of grace and mercy; He gives me freedom to fail.
I renounce the lie that my Father God is nit-picking, exacting, or perfectionistic. I accept the truth that my Father God is committed to my growth and proud of me as His growing child.
This Father's Day, remember this: where our earthly fathers may have fallen short, our heavenly Father offers us everything we need and more.
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