When I was a child there was a TV program, Car 54 Where Are You?. It was about two police officers who drove about the city. This sitcom dealt with a funnier side of police life. This morning following a dream in which I kept getting lost this story appeared to me about dads. (The short version is there was a round building owned by the Haman Corp. In it, there were 4 stores, no wait 5 I found out. The difficulty was you would climb the stairs in one location, only to come down the stairs and find out the décor and store at the bottom of the stairs had changed. At one point I walked up the stairs to talk to the garage owner, as I walked down the stairs it had me in a country store setting. I later found out the circular building had been divided into five stores but never figured out how the change came about.)
I thought “Dad’s? Where are you?”
As a dad and now a granddad, I am concerned about the dysfunctional parenting skills displayed by so my parents, but today my “focus” is on dads. Not because I am mad or think there are not problematic moms, just where my focus is.This weekend was a busy one for me. I have had a “spiritual” daughter spend over a week with my wife and I. Add my own children and grandchildren, church and social obligations and it was a blur. (My wife said last night, “the weekend went by too fast.” MY answer is if weeks were the same length as weekends we probably would not notice, but hey, 5 versus 2…sounds like a recent Sox game!)
I do not understand any parent who does not want to be part of a child’s life. When I went through a divorce at an early age, my heart was for seeing my daughter. Making all the sacrifices I could to see her and see her as much as possible. My philosophy may sound harsh, but you “brought them into the world, devote yourself to seeing their future bright.” And while I could easily speak of those who do not know the Lord, I am specifically talking to those who do. As men in the church, recipients of His goodness and grace, we ought to give love out like candy to our children.
Last night at our Sunday night school on the prophetic, we had a great turnout. After the teaching we moved to one of the exercises in the activation of gifting and the prophetic. (Last night’s was to “prophesy in 15-30 seconds what you see without using Christianese.) Upon completion I “interviewed” people and we talked about the joy of hearing from God.
As we prepared to end, God began to open up words of restoration for many. I prayed for many. The theme was restoration, wholeness and acceptance. As I prayed I realized that many were crying. (My daughter-in-love suggested I carry lots of tissues for the ministry I do!) Many were touched because they had been left “dadless” on some level. Some had absentee fathers, others emotionally removed dads and others did not know “dad”.
My heart goes out to anyone who has grown up like that or is growing up like that. I have seen so many damaged people because of the actions of a father, that all I want to do is be a catalyst to seeing it changed and the problem eradicated.
Are you a dad? You may well be the most important person your child will ever encounter outside of God Himself. The difficulty is that you may be “god” to your child in their eyes. They look to you. My oldest granddaughter has not seen her dad in over a year. He has made no attempt to see her. She still thinks he is “the cat’s meow” and can do no wrong. (He has been jailed multiple times, drinks and drugs heavily and offers no support for the care of his children.)
I want to reach out to dads everywhere and say your child needs to hear from you. (I recognize there may be legal issues and even documents barring you from your child.) But I am talking about the dad who may be lollygagging through life thinking “they don’t miss me.” If you have the opportunity to reach out to your children (And it is legal. If you have been denied by divorce or legal decree, I am NOT talking to you or encouraging you to break a law.) and have not, I want to encourage you to do so. Letters, email, gifts, phone calls; whatever the manner or method be.
Last night as I prayed for these folks, I think I can say with safety that all “issues” were tied up in relationship (Or lack of relationship.) with their fathers.
My granddaughter would give anything to see her father. I imagine there are millions who feel the same.
Perhaps you are older and never got over the damage by dad on some level. God wants to bring healing to your wounded heart. He may use a loving couple in the church or He may speak directly to you. But He is seeking you out. Looking for you.
I could not “live” without my children when I was apart from them. God is even better. He sent His Son to die in your place to assure an avenue to your heart. To your life.
Dads-reach out to your children. Spend time with them. Forget about ladder climbing. Find a mountain or a hill and climb it with your child.