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Topic: Rejection (11/15/04)
TITLE: I hate you!
By Keith Thomas
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I have never like the term blended family. It always smacked of something different and not quite the same as a “real” family. We were determined that we would be a “real” family. How could we be a real family when my son hated me so much? Everything in me wanted to jump into the back of my old beat up Toyota give him something to hate me for. I had done nothing to deserve such treatment. Fortunately I held my tongue and my anger. My new bride apologized but I knew we were in for a long trip and I wasn’t thinking of just the honeymoon trip.
Not long ago that little boy became a dad for the second time. He is now 26 years old and as fine a young man as you would ever want to meet. I’ll never forget the moment when he handed me my second granddaughter. As I held her and her sister in my arms I said “Son you’re a lucky man”. His reply? Dad luck has nothing to do with it. It was your love and hard work. I hope I’m half the dad you are.
I don’t know exactly when the change happened. As tears filled my eyes I thought back to that fateful day 21 years earlier. Along the line God showed me that I was the adult and it was my responsibility to lead this young boy home. He had been divinely and providentially placed in my care. Before I could become his father he had to become my son. I had to demonstrate to him that my love was unconditional. He had to know that my acceptance of him was not based on his behavior nor on his ability to love me back. I began to look for ways to support him and to affirm him. There were times when I consciously considered ways to demonstrate love to him as I drove home from work. And now I look back over the life we have lived together I can honestly say it’s been worth all of the effort. I grow weak to consider the number of times I failed. How often I would lash out at him because he was an easy target.
I also think about the times standing in the cold rain watching him play football. I rushed him to the hospital with broken bones and other ailments that plague boys as they grow. I bought his first car. He learned that not all dads are good mechanics so I bought him a car that worked. Somewhere on that journey between the rejection and grandchildren I became his dad.
I am now a pastor and a leader. God’s people are kind and every week I hear about preaching a good sermon or receive a thank you note for some service rendered. I appreciate their kind words but the words that bring me greatest pleasure are “I would like you to meet my dad”.
I think about the man he has become and the one I have become. You know perhaps it’s me who has grown more in the last 21 years.