June 18th came and went. For me, it was a special day. My kids and wife took me out for breakfast and I gorged myself on pancakes. I received notes and letters from my kids that were filled with kind words and gratitude. I called my dad to tell him thank you, wish him a happy Father’s Day, and tell him I loved him. All of this is pretty much what every Father’s Day has been like in my life from the time I could remember. This was and is my reality and I am so grateful for that.
Not everyone is as fortunate as me. On Father’s Day evening we watched the movie “The Shack.” In this movie one of the main conflicts of the main character is how his broken, abusive, and messed up relationship with his earthly father affected how he viewed his relationship with God. Likewise, I am currently reading “Unashamed” by Lecrae. The morning after Father’s Day this is what I read:
I have never called anyone “Dad” my entire life, so thinking about God as my Father felt weird. As a child and teenager, I wondered if my biological father abandoned me because I wasn’t good enough or worthy of love. I felt like maybe one day I could earn his respect, affection, and presence. This distorted view of what a father is like bled into the way I related to God.
I am not sure anyone would deny that our relationships, or lack thereof, with our fathers here on earth affect how we might view or relate to God. With this being said, think about the millions of children who have no father, think about the hundreds of thousands of children in the US who are currently in foster care, and think about the children who have had their fathers walk out on them.
One of the many things I love about God is that He is a redeeming God. He takes old and broken things and makes them new and whole. When we chose to be involved in adoption and foster care, we get the opportunity to be part of God’s redeeming plan in the life of that child. We get the opportunity to model the love of a father so that whatever their distorted view of a father is, it will not continue to bled into the way they relate to God.