A Different Kind of Father
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Some of us grew up with a Father who was never there for us; expressed no emotion or love toward us and never had time for us. Some of us grew up without a Father in the home. While most people have a positive view of their Fathers; there are those of us who do not know what it is like to have a loving, kind, compassionate, available Father in the home. If you grew up without a Father in your home or if you grew up with a Father who was distant or maybe abusive or self-serving, you are the person I want to speak with today.
There are two main points I want to share with you. The first is that you are not alone. Second, I want you to know that you have a Heavenly Father who loves you very much and wants an intimate Father-son or Father-daughter relationship with you. Our Heavenly Father longs to love you as a dearly loved son or daughter; despite the kind of earthy background or upbringing you have come from.
Let me share with you the kind of Father I grew up with. I grew with an extremely abusive Mother who abused me and my brother when there were no witnesses around and certainly when my Father was not home. When my Father was home, he had far more important things to do then to spend any time with my brother and I. There was the lawn to mow; organizing tools in the garage; reading the paper or watching the news. My little child-heart ached and longed for a daddy-daughter relationship. I tried my best to please him and make him proud of me any way that I could but his response was no emotion; no love and complete indifference. I can’t remember my Father ever telling me that he loved me or that he was proud of me. It seemed to me that my brother and I were nothing more than irritations that happened because he had sex with our mother. I felt that I was more of a bother than I was worth and I spent a lot of my time in my room; alone for hours and hours at a time just trying to stay out of the way so as not to irritate him.
My Father was not abusive; he was shut off emotionally. I honestly don’t think he knew how to relate to us and he certainly didn’t want anything to do with us. The clear message I got was, “Just hurry up and grow up and get the hell out of the house so I can have some peace and quiet.” Strangely enough, I idolized my Father. I thought he was the most intelligent man I had ever met and I loved him so much my heart literally broke again and again with every brush off; every indifferent comment; and every time he had no time for me. It is safe to say that the first love who broke/shattered my heart was my Father.
My husband grew up without his biological father. My husband’s Mother and her parents raised him. He had a fairly good life and he knew the love of a Father figure from his Grandfather. His Grandfather took him fishing; attended his baseball games; protected, provided and loved him as if he was his own son. They had an awesome relationship; yet, he has often told me it wasn’t the same. He longed for a Father to be that steady rock in his life; to help guide him and mold him and give him stability in his home. To make matters worse, his biological Father paid his Mother $2,500 to wash his hands of this “mistake.” How do you think it feels to know that you were sold for $2,500 so that you wouldn’t be a burden to your Father? I have never seen a man so broken living with the knowledge that his biological Father sold him for $2,500 to be rid of him and not take any kind of responsibility. Like me, my husband’s heart ached and longed for the Father relationship he never had. For most of his life he has had to carry around the knowledge, guilt and shame that his biological Father threw him away like the day’s trash.
I do not know what is worse; growing up with a Father who was distant and had absolutely no time for you or growing up without a Father and living with the knowledge that you were labeled a mistake. Fathers who don’t have time or don’t take responsibility for their children are doing a great disservice to them and really, to society as well. Our prisons and the streets are full of children, young adults, men and women who did not have Godly, loving parents to rear them and show them unconditional love. There are the exceptions but, for the most part, the people living on the streets or in prison did not come from a good upbringing and most of them did not grow up in homes with loving fathers.
You know what? The God I believe in doesn’t make mistakes. There are no orphans of God. He doesn’t throw children away and His heart aches and longs for a Father-child relationship so much that He simply couldn’t stand by and watch the children he created go to hell without attempting to save them. Father-God had to come up with a plan so that his dearly beloved children could spend eternity with Him in Heaven if they choose to.
God loved his human creatures so much that He sent His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, to come to earth and live in a human tent and to die for us. Not only did Jesus give up His citizenship in Heaven for a season; suffer the same aches, pain, hunger and thirst that we have suffered but He willingly agreed to be brutalized and ultimately die on the cross so that my sin and your sin would be paid in full and we could have a right relationship with God the Father. Jesus had no sin; never sinned and was an innocent lamb that willingly was sacrificed for us. As Father-God looks at each of us; His children, He hopes that we would all choose to become His children by accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16.
Psalm 68:5 states: “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.” I can remember the first time I read this verse and the first time I really stopped and meditated on the words. As tears welled up in my eyes I thought to myself, “Can this God really love me? Can He be the Father I never had?” I wasn’t sure but as I started to wonder something started to stir inside of me.
Jesus taught us to pray, “Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be Your Name….” The first time my husband heard this in church, I saw the tears well up in his eyes. It was like a light came on that said, “Does God really want to be my Father?” I could also the see the fear, “What if I don’t measure up? What if I am a mistake to God and He decides to throw me away too?” My heart broke for my husband and I realized that we were a couple of kids that have never known a loving Father; someone who was actually there for us and who actually cared about and loved us.
I remember when I finally confronted my Father about the abuse I had sustained at the hands of my Mother. As I tearfully shared the truth with him looking for any hint of acceptance, love or even sympathy, I soon discovered that my Father worshiped my Mother and had placed her so high on a pedestal you would have thought that she was a god. You know what he did? He kicked me out of the family. He sent me an email that stated I would be better off if I no longer attended family functions; including birthday and holiday celebrations and I should just go my own way and the family would go in the opposite direction. My heart shattered into a million pieces and I cried until I threw up and then passed out from sheer exhaustion. I literally cried for days and even today as I type this article, tears well up in my eyes. I had been thrown away by my own Father like the evening trash and it destroyed my heart and shattered my spirit. What kind of Father kicks his Daughter out of the family because she shared the truth of abuse with him? He acted like it was my fault! It was never my fault; not then and not now. Did my love for my earthly Father wan? No. Once Daddy’s little girl; always Daddy’s little girl. I still loved him unconditionally despite what he said or did to me. Don’t ever underestimate the love that a Daughter has for her Father; no matter how much he shatters her heart.
There was only one place I could turn and that was to my Heavenly Father; and turn I did. I found solace in Psalm 27:10: “Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me.” I grabbed on to that nugget of truth and refused to let go. During the time of realizing my Father had thrown me away, I would recite that verse sometimes 100 times a day. I threw myself in the Word and looked for other nuggets of wisdom from the Lord that told me He loved me; He would be my Father now and He would protect me and provide for me. My heart ached for the love of a Father.
I then read how Jesus told the people to let the little children come to Him. How He loved them and blessed them; how he said that the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these and that we need to become like little children to inherit the Kingdom of God. I read how He was called the Everlasting Father; and the Father of all who believe. After surrendering to God; repenting of my sins and accepting Jesus Christ as my personal Lord, Savior and Father, I started to feel His love for me. He literally became my Father and, to this day, I have never felt so much love before in my life – complete, honest, unconditional, pure Fatherly love. In an effort to become like a little child, I have purchased many stuffed animals…….just kidding. For me, becoming like a little child again means to trust God unconditionally and a knowing that He has my best interests at heart no matter what this world throws at me. I trust in my Heavenly Father like a child trusts his/her loving earthly parents.
My Husband has come to know that same love and as he grows closer to the Lord; his heart has softened and the bitter root that had taken hold and grown to mammoth proportions has been plucked out and replaced by The Father’s love. He doesn’t carry around the victim mentality of growing up without a Father. He knows his Heavenly Father loves him and he is able to have that Father-son relationship with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ. It is awesome to see him smile again and to hear his laughter and to see the burden lifted.
So how about you? What kind of home did you grow up in? Did you have a loving attentive Father who was always there for you and showered you with praise, adoration and kindness? If that describes you then you have tasted a tiny portion of what Father-God is like. If, on the other hand, you grew up in a home similar to either myself or my Husband with no Father around to love you, praise you or shower you with kindness then I want you to know about Father-God’s love for you. I want you to know that your Heavenly Father loves you more than the best earthly Father in the world ever could. Your Heavenly Father longs to have a personal intimate relationship with you; giving you nothing but His best and keeping nothing but your best in His heart at all times.
There are many nights I fall asleep asking my Heavenly Father to just hold me as I sleep. The peace that comes over me is unexplainable. The love I feel in my spirit and heart brings tears to my eyes. I have never felt so much love and I never ever want to step away from that feeling. I am addicted to the Father’s love for me.
If you do not have a relationship with Father-God and would like to feel the love of a real true Father, I would encourage you to cry out to Him and tell Him you long for a Father who will love you unconditionally. Ask Him to reveal His Fatherly side to you in a very powerful and mighty way. Ask Him to take you up in His arms and just hold you; just love you. He will, you know? He absolutely will.
To wrap this article up, I would say that while I have lost out on the love of an earthly Father, I have gained so much more and have felt more love from my Heavenly Father than I could ever hope for; ask for or imagine. He loves me with such an infinite, complete and honest love it almost hurts. It is a good kind of hurt; it is a healing hurt. Finally, the knowledge that I have knowing I will eventually get to meet this God who wants me to refer to Him as Father and see Him face to face is something I long for. What a glorious day that will be! I imagine throwing myself into His arms and never wanting to let go. I imagine kissing His face and giving Him my best bear hug. Most of all, I imagine myself saying, “Thank you Father. Your grace and love were, are and always will be sufficient for me.” I love Him so much it hurts.
I never like to close out a book, article or blog without sharing how you can have an awesome personal relationship with the One true Living Father-God. If you have tried everything to fill that void in your being without feeling satisfied, try accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. You will never regret it and you will have a love and peace you will not be able to explain, comprehend or understand; all you will be able to do is praise the Lord and share His love with others. You won’t be able to contain it; you will have so much love it will overflow right out of you.
Simply pray this prayer with me: “Father-God. I have finally realized that I need a Heavenly Father and a Savior to save me and take me to Heaven. I am incapable of this on my own and in my own strength. Father, I am a sinner and I have sinned against You and Heaven and I repent before You now and ask that You would forgive me of my sins. Jesus I acknowledge that You are the Only begotten Son of God and you died for me and in my place on the cross for my sins. I ask You to come into my heart and be my Lord and Savior. Thank you for saving me, Jesus. Amen.”
If you have just prayed this prayer you are now a new creation in Christ. The old man; old woman is gone and God will make everything new for you and for your life. Trust Him; believe in Him and believe Him. He loves you more than life itself and He alone is your provider, protector, and the One who will stick closer than a brother to you. You will never be alone again; even when there is no one around. Thank you for taking the time to read this article. I hope you were encouraged. Stay in faith and praise the Lord!
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