Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Honor Thy Father

I’m writing this on Father’s Day and here is my conundrum: how to honor a man who chose from day one not to be a part of my life. What does it look like for me to honor a man who wasn’t there to protect me when I was attacked in our home by a neighborhood boy? How do I honor a man who never attended my graduations and wasn’t around for birthdays and Christmas? What does honor look like for a man who wasn’t there to tuck me in at night or walk me down the aisle?

These are tough questions and it has taken me decades to even get to the point that I was willing to ask them. But I am willing because there is One who has always been there for me. The Lord is the Father to the fatherless and I have been adopted into His precious family. I realized a long time ago that He is all the things I could ever want in a earthly father and so much more. He was with me through the attack and He was there for all the birthdays and holidays and in the church when I walked down the aisle arm in arm with my favorite uncle.

It is because of my heavenly Father that I now ask how I can honor my earthly father, a man whom I’ve never laid eyes on. My conclusion thus far is that I can have a heart that is full of forgiveness and love even though he certainly has done nothing to deserve it. This is not lollypop Christianity at work here. I’ve spent a good deal of time wrestling through these issues. God and I have argued about it. I’ve been angry and hurt to the core and I have let my heavenly Father know these things in no uncertain terms. I have listed the hurts and neglect and I have written a letter that will likely never be read by the person for whom it was intended.

My earthly father can never undo the damage he has caused or regain the years that are lost forever. He can’t go back in time and be a grandfather to my children any more than he can turn back the clock and be a dad his little girl. But I can choose what I will do with my reality and I choose Christ and I choose to honor my heavenly Father by making room in my heart for forgiveness and love. I can pray for this man’s salvation as I have no reason to believe he is living in the shelter of God’s Kingdom. I can hope that I will meet him one day, if not in this life, but the one to come. And I could do none of these things if I did not have a Father who loves and adores me and has taught me a better way.

I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me. Phil 4:13


  1. Very powerful, Susan. Thank you for sharing how Jesus helped you work through this. And letting us all know that it's OK to "wrestle" with God...

  2. You continually amaze me with the spiritual progress you make. Love you so!