In 1972 the Temptations released a song entitled “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” which has become the mantra for less than stellar Fathers. Though many have used this as a joke when describing their non-existent dads, the void in their hearts that these individuals left is no joking matter.
With Father’s day approaching I wanted to take a moment to address this all too frequent scenario. For some, these absentee fathers were replaced by men of integrity who chose to make a difference in a child’s life whether they shared the same DNA or not. To these individuals we give great honor, thanks and appreciation.
There are those however who never had the pleasure of experiencing the love of an earthly father. For those who struggle with pain and abandonment issues, there needs to be a letting go and there is no better time than right now to do so. I am a firm believer in the power of forgiveness, not because someone deserves it, more importantly, because what they don’t deserve is the power to hold me in bondage because of something they did or did not do in my life. Now I am sure many theologians will correct me and tell me it should be a matter of my heart wanting to forgive, but I’m just being honest on how I deal with this.
Most importantly, you are too valuable to allow the sins of another stop you from attaining the greatness you were created for. Your Heavenly Father, being the provider of all things pertaining to you, has made provision to heal and fill that void that was left by another. Your requirement is to allow HIM access to your heart to fill it.
I’m fine, it doesn’t matter anymore:
One of our greatest defense mechanisms is the “I don’t care” posture. I am well familiar with this because it has been my choice most of my life. However, I had to come to the realization that it is not always the correct response. There are times when this is only a smoke screen to what is truly going on within our emotions. Although it may work in public, in privet moments the pain can be very real. This is where the need for forgiveness comes in. If we don’t forgive and release that person, we are held in bondage to the act that was committed against us. For some it is abandonment, for others rejection, there is abuse and even molestation that has to be dealt with.
It is time to face the issues head on, acknowledge they happened and put them behind us. In other words, it is time to let it go. I know for many, that may not be as easy as it sounds, however, the first step in this healing process is forgiveness. There are no excuses to be made for what was done to you and trust me I am not trying to make any. I believe we are responsible for our own actions in spite of what may have been done to us. That being said, often these men are just continuing the cycle of what they experienced in their upbringing. There was obviously something missing in how they were fathered or the lack thereof. We make up our mind that this stops with them. No longer will the generational issue be passed down to the next line in your lineage. You may say I would never do to my children what he did to me, but if you are still harboring un-forgiveness, then there is anger, pain and bitterness issues resonating within you and that will have a profound effect on your parenting skills.
It is time for the fatherless child in you to be healed! Although the things we encounter in life contribute to who we are, it is not the final say as to who we become. God created you for specific purpose and that purpose is the definitive on who you are.
Affirmation of a father:
Part of the responsibility of the Father is to affirm his children.
AFFIRM, verb transitive afferm’ [Latin affirmo; ad and firmo, to make firm. See Firm.]
1. To assert positively; to tell with confidence; to aver; to declare the existence of something; to maintain as true; opposed to deny.
In a correct family setting, the father builds the confidence of the children by declaring who they are. He is the one telling them they were born for greatness that nothing is impossible for them to achieve. He tells them to get right back up when they fall and do it again. He corrects them in love when they are wrong and applauds them when they are right. When this is missing in a child’s life, it is very easy for that child to get off course. Now don’t get me wrong, I know some very strong women who have instilled these things in their children lives, but it is supposed to come from the father and when it doesn’t, there is a void.
For those of us who missed that in our growth process, that is when the Love of our Heavenly Father steps in to fill that void. He has stated that you have been fearfully and wonderfully made, you are a pearl of great price. He has told you in HIM nothing is impossible and though you may fall seven times He is right there to pick you back up. He chastens you when you are wrong and tells you well done when you are obedient to His will. He declared that not only were you worth fight for, you were worth dying for. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Please allow me a moment to tell you a little of my story in hopes it will help you see the need to get beyond the actions of your father. My biological parents met in college in San Francisco in the mid 50’s. My mother was from New Orleans and father from Texas. One would imagine for people of color in the fifties to get from the deep south to California in pursuit of a college education was no minor feat. According to the documentation I received surrounding my birth, he was in his third year of college and was 24 years old and my mother in her second year and 22 years old when I was conceived.
Upon the announcement of my formation, he abruptly told my mother he wanted nothing more to do with either one of us. Remember, this was the 50’s and pregnancy out of wedlock was considered a major disgrace. All of my mother’s family was back in New Orleans with the exception of an Aunt whom she was residing with. The Aunt promptly put her out in her shame. Feeling she had nowhere to go she checked herself into a home for unwed mothers and gave me up for adoption.
I have never held my being placed up for adoption against my mother. I have always loved her in spite of not knowing her for her sacrifice of love to bring me into this world. On the other hand, I had a very different take on my father. He became known to me as just the sperm donor used in my conception. My feelings for years was anger for what he allowed my mother to have to go through because of his unwillingness to step up to the plate and be a man. I was not even concerned with if he had married her or not, it was more that he left her to fend for herself in one or the most difficult times in her life.
Later in life, I released the anger and just had a feeling of numbness. You know the place where indifference resides and you really don’t care one way or the other about a person. I thought I was good in this place. I felt like as long as there was no hatred in my heart all was well. Then someone pointed out to me what the Word of God says. “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.” This was so important to God He said it twice, Exodus 20:12 and Ephesians 6:2.
Important note here, he did not make reference to if he was a good or honorable man, He just said “Honor him”. What is honor? HON’OR, verb intransitive on’or. [Latin honoro.]
1. To revere; to respect; to treat with deference and submission, and perform relative duties to.
So in my place of indifference, I was not honoring the one in whom I share the same DNA.
I have no doubt, many of you reading this have suffered far greater injustices other than being non-existent in the eyes of your father. Some of you have physical and emotional scars that will never go away. For someone to tell you to honor the one that beat you or raped you is asking way too much of you. I understand that. But I also understand that you are far too valuable and precious to God to stay in this current state of bondage to your past.
One step at a time:
This journey with Christ is one of progression. We take it step by step at first, then we advance to level by level ultimately getting to the place of dimension by dimension. What I am currently encouraging you to do is take the first step and that is the one of forgiveness. Let that be your gift to yourself this father’s day. Instead of reflecting on all the wrong he did to you reflect on how wonderful it is to know by God’s grace you made it past all the pain. No matter how the enemy tried to use him to destroy you, you made it through. Start with a prayer on his behalf declaring him free from the wicked devices of the devil. Declare he will never be used of the devil to inflict pain on anyone ever again.
You have no idea how liberating it is to pray for the one who caused you pain. To go into the devil’s camp and snatch someone out of his grasp has power within that will change your life, not to mention what it does for the other person. Keep in mind the man was just the instrument the devil used to try and kill you. I would rather do harm to the kingdom of darkness than to give it the satisfaction of knowing it had halted me in any area of my life.
Maybe your father is already dead, you still need to release yourself from the bondage of your past. This means forgiving the act that was perpetrated against you.
Let this be the year that you no longer dread all the post and testament of the wonderful dads everybody has/had and this year brag on the FATHER who wouldn’t let you die or stay in a state of numbness. Brag on the LOVE OF “GOD” YOUR FATHER! Write your own testament of deliverance from the bondage of hurt and pain.
May God’s choicest Blessings of Grace and Peace be yours!
©Coylette James 2015