In today's post, I will be sharing what has helped to change my negative feelings towards my dad in hopes that, just like every other post on this blog, it will help someone somewhere.
The bitterness that you feel towards a deadbeat or near deadbeat dad is not pleasing to God. I know he may have disappointed you but that hatred you feel for him is not reflective of Christ, which means it has to be dealt with. Honestly, I don’t want to change my feelings towards my dad with the intention of building some type of Father-Daughter relationship. In fact, I really don’t care much about that. Instead, I want to be healed so that I can honor God and reflect the characteristics of my true Father.
For most of my life I didn’t want a relationship with my dad. It's not that I didn't want it; instead it's almost as if I convinced myself I did not need it. I like to say there was no longer a place for him in my life. This is especially true once I developed my own personal relationship with God. Recently he started to come around but I just did not see a need for developing a relationship with him. My mom was more than enough for me.
Honestly, I find it a little strange now that he's coming around now that I'm done with school, done with college, and now making my own money.
Here’s my thought process behind it. If I had a child with someone that I divorced that child would still be my child. That child was something that God allowed me to create with someone else. I would consider that child one of my most prized possessions. Even if I was divorced, I would at least do things for it and take care of it. However, besides child support my dad did nothing. Often times I would think, “Wow! If my mom wasn’t here right now I would have nobody to take care of me.” Because my dad never did anything for me.
My mom sent me to private school for K-12 education. Private school costs money and a lot of money at that. During high school my mom lost her job and it was very tough on her. Nevertheless, she sacrificed in order to make sure that I was still able to receive a quality education. I feel that my dad would have never done that for me. Considering his track record that is a very valid feeling for me to have. He never offered to help.
Honestly, It’s not even about helping my mom. Instead, it’s about him not helping his daughter. He never offered to help my mom. Wouldn’t he want his daughter to still stay in a good quality school? My mind just doesn’t understand why would he wouldn’t offer to help? Surely he had to have known the importance of education. In my brain I’m thinking forget about how you aren’t married to my mom anymore aren’t you going to help me out?
My mom was still unemployed when I went to college and he never offered to help pay for college tuition. This makes me feel two ways. First, very thankful and happy to have such a good mom, who even without a job sacrificed to help me. She is so selfless and I love her for that. Secondly, it makes me very angry to know that I didn’t have a dad who would sacrifice to help.
Selfless. Sacrifice. Those are two key differences between my heavenly father and my earthly father. My heavenly father showed his love through sacrifice for me. I felt that if he really loved me then he would sacrifice for me but he didn’t. I love you for me is not effective in words but rather in actions.
On the rare but dreaded occasions when he would call and end the conversation with I love you many of the times if I did say it back I did not mean it in my heart. Sometimes I would hang up the phone and not say it because I did not mean it.
I said all this to share how my lack of a father made me feel – hurt, abandoned, rejected. Ultimately, I want to share how I overcame[and are still overcoming] these feelings. If you can relate to my experience with my dad here are some things that are helping me to eliminate the mal-feelings I have/had towards him.
1. Get Real Before the Lord. This helped me so much. I encourage you to get real with God about it. Let him know how you feel about your father. There was no point in me going around venting and blabbing my frustrations about my father to other people. There’s nothing they can do to change him.
It would just be gossip no fruit would come from that. However, I could talk to God and give my frustrations to him and if he saw fit then he could change my dad.
Many times I came close to just telling my dad how I really felt about him(which wasn’t good) and just writing a letter and sending it to him in the mail. I wanted to let him know every way that he has failed me and made me feel. Hurt people hurt people. What would be the point in hurting him as he hurt me? There is no profit in that. No matter how hurt you are the sting of your words will not cause anyone to change. Only God can change people you can’t. If you have an issue with your father or anyone take it to God and vent your frustrations to Him.
2. Pray! Whenever I was annoyed at something my dad did God would hush my flesh and then my spirit man urged me to pray for him. I would pray about my dad to My Dad. God listens to our prayers. Whatever, I couldn’t stand about my dad I would tell God about it. As I said before God would change my dad if he saw fit. If he decided not to change my dad then he could change me and my heart towards him.
If you really want your feelings to change towards your dad you have to be intentional about it. Do your part. Even when you don’t see change keep working on you and praying for him. Remember change does not always happen overnight. Also remember grace. Extend grace to your father. I know part of my father’s problem is that he didn’t have a father when growing up. Although I believe that should have turned on something inside his brain that says, “Hey, I didn’t like not having a father, I’m going to be intentional about being a better one to my future kids.” Clearly that didn’t happen. When we continue to fail and mess up God gives us grace. Let the Holy Spirit help you give that same grace back to your dad and others. I pray this helped.
If you have any questions or comments I’d love to hear from you.
Check out my most recent Youtube Video titled, Step Up Your Standards.
Read my post on She is Set Apart titled, When the Question is Why.