To all the fathers who have abdicated your roles, repent. You can’t get back what you’ve already lost but there is still time for repentance, restoration and healing. Why are you waiting? To the women who are both mother and father to your children due to loss or leaving, we honor you today. You bear a weight most of us can’t imagine. Don’t underestimate the power of your testimony in Christ. Listen to how the Apostle Paul addresses Timothy.
“2 To Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. Guard the Deposit Entrusted to You. 3 I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. 4 As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. 5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. 6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, 7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
His mother and grandmother are the purveyors of God’s faithfulness to Timothy! And do you hear how Paul addresses him? “My beloved child…”
He calls him in essence his very own. How precious that in Christ we can belong to one another in such a way! This is God’s faithfulness to his promises in Psalm 68.
“5 father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. 6 God sets the lonely in families…”
When earthly families fail, we belong to an even more permanent family still. Our identity is not in the rejections and losses we endure from ones who were meant to love us more than they love themselves, but in that we belong body and soul to our faithful savior, Jesus Christ, and have an everlasting place at His family table, which no one can take away.
Today I know far too many people for whom this day is a kind of agony to merely publicly thank my Dad or my husband for being great. Because honestly, there but the grace of God go they. This is life in our broken world. We wreck and are wrecked by others, even those whom we inherently trust and love with our whole beings… even when we don’t want to because they have hurt us by commission or omission.
So today if you belong to the Heavenly Father rejoice in Him. Rejoice that he will never leave you nor forsake you. If you are a man who can be a father to someone whose father has been lost to them in one way or another, do it. Don’t make this day all about ties and BBQ’s and naps. If you are a man who has abdicated your role, repent, seek forgiveness. Beg God to open your blinded eyes. If you are a child for whom this day hurts like hell, reach out and be vulnerable and ask someone to love you like a father should even if you don’t know what that really looks like (your imagination could be wrong.) If you are a mother who worries about how your children will fare without their father in their life, press further in to the heart of your father and into His family to which you belong. You are no more broken or rejected or pathetic than anyone else you see around you. Those are the lies of one who wants to devour you. His head has already been crushed by the nail pierced feet of Jesus. What sting you experience from him now is just the leftover wrigglings of his as good as dead carcass.
You are an heir. You are an overcomer. You are seated amongst a throng of broken people whose only hope is Jesus. Rejoice in Him alone today.