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Father Time

Welcome to Father Time Blog. This is a collection of questions and answers that have come during our conferences this past 15 years of travel, preaching and coaching. If you have subjects you would like to have included please email me at: fathers@mac.com. We are committed to praying and seeing your family healthy, growing and full of love.

When Every Day Is Father's Day

“Instead, bless—that’s your job, to bless. You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing.”
1 Peter 3:9 MSG

Blessing someone is one of the most powerful things a person can do! It mirrors the way that God captured our hearts when were far away from Him. When you bless someone you honor them and when we honor them it breathes new life into our relationships.  Remember that all of creation and our very existence was spoken into life by the Father Himself. Don't be fooled, the words we say really matter.

This is the first year I've stayed home on Father's Day with my family and my church and haven't been away at a speaking engagement. This was also the first year that I've gotten through to talk to my step-father on Father's Day over the phone. I've tried many times, but this year is the first year I actually got ahold of him. Many of you are familiar with my story of fatherlessness - how I lost my father before I was born and was raised by my step-father who was still recovering from his own childhood at the hands of a brutal father. My step-father had many flaws as a parent, but this Father's Day I took the opportunity to bless him anyway. And I want to tell you something - I think it was as liberating and life giving for me as it was for my step-dad.

When God gave the fifth commandment to Moses, "Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.", I believe He was giving us a way to speak healing and life into our fathers and mothers - more specifically, to those fathers and mothers who have hurt and wounded their kids. The fifth commandment is the only commandment with the promise of favor and inheritance if we do it. I meet dads all the time who want to heal the hurt they caused their children. They long for a holy 'do-over' to take back their years of flawed parenting, of absence and regain the hearts of their kids.  Most of them believe their is no hope for a new beginning with their kids. They continue in their absence, etc. because they are hopeless.

Beloved, maybe your dad is one of the hopeless who genuinely believes there isn't a chance and therefore continues to live from that wound: He doesn't reach out. He doesn't try. He doesn't _________.

Or maybe your dad is one of the helpless who doesn't even understand what a true loving relationship is because he's never experienced one himself.

I met a 92 year old father and his daughter at a conference I did this past weekend. He pulled me aside after the first session and I could tell that he was uncomfortable being vulnerable with me, but the Holy Spirit was working a miracle in his heart. He wept as he described the sorrow he felt for the way he hurt his daughter and his inability to be a loving and present father for her. He went on to tell me that all he ever wanted was play time with his dad. "Every Christmas my dad told met hat he would play with me. But he never did." It is amazing to me how many grown men (and women!) I meet who suffer from this same wound, this deep aching of the soul for a present, loving father.

Beloved, my question to you is this: If your dad did a complete 180 and was able to perfectly and lovingly communicate to you his sincerest apologies for all the hurt and pain he caused you... would that be enough to heal your broken family story? My guess is that while that would help heal a great deal of brokenness or pain in your own story, it wouldn't fix everything. What if you knew your dad was one of the hopeless or the helpless? Would forgiving him and honoring him with words of blessing (that he may or may not deserve) change your current relationship?

When the Father commanded us to honor our fathers and mothers, He did not include the stipulation that our fathers or mothers deserved or earned their place of honor. He simply gave us the commandment and promised a blessing for being obedient. Perhaps you can make this next year, the year of Father's Days as you reach out and up in faith and bless your father. You may find as I did, the blessing shows up in the healing you find for yourself through obedience.

COACHING TIPS

1. Spend some time with Jesus today and prepare your heart by forgiving and releasing the expectations you have of your father.

2. Guard your conversation when you are together. When we are hurting it is easy to be passive aggressive in our comments.

3. Set a goal of telling your dad what you love about him. Think about it beforehand.

4. Give your dad ways that you can connect in the future. Offering them a way to 'win' with your relationship by sharing expectations is a great way to start.


5. Be patient with the process and don't try to discipline you dad by avoiding him. This always works against you. I am not talking about dads who are not safe to be around due to abuse - my assumption is you know that.

6. Speak well of your dad to your friends. You don't have to wait until they get it right. Honor you father and watch how God increases your borders this year.

"And my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:19

 

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