Father’s Day can be a difficult holiday for many people, for many different reasons.
Most people grew up with a supportive, loving dad – which makes them eager to celebrate Father’s Day. However, not everyone is blessed with the same situation.
For some, the day serves as a painful reminder of years of neglect, abuse, and abandonment.
Here is the truth: All dads fail at one time or another. They are human, just like you. They make mistakes too.
But, find comfort that there is one Father who will not fail you – your Heavenly Father. The gospel of John says God is your father, “Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12 NIV)
When you accept God as your true and perfect father, it will change everything. He can help you see past your hurts and your tainted view of your earthly father. He can give you the heart to accept that, just like all of us, fathers are not perfect.
The good news? It is never too late to rebuild your relationship with your dad!
This Father’s Day, here are 5 ways that can help you develop a better connection and restore your relationship with your father:
1. Ask God for a humble heart
If your relationship with your father has been broken or you just grew distant from each other over the years, it might be hard for you to reconnect even when you wanted to.
So, seek God’s help. Ask God to humble your heart and clothe you with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience (Colossians 3:12).
When you humble your heart and choose to restore the relationship, then you have taken the first steps toward your healing and reconciliation process.
2. Remove the root of bitterness
Bitterness hardens the heart. It is contagious and it affects not just you, but everyone that surrounds you. To heal, let go of bitterness and embrace grace.
The Bible gives both a warning and an encouragement about the root of bitterness.
“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” (Hebrews 12:14-15 NIV)
3. Forgive even if forgiveness was not asked for
Forgiveness is a crucial step to healing a broken relationship. Will it be easy? Not likely.
But, through Christ, you can be granted the grace to forgive. God loves you and has forgiven you so that you can extend the same love and forgiveness to your father.
“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6:14-15 NIV)
4. Choose love
“Hurt people hurt people.”
Have you heard this phrase before? It is quite applicable to this situation. If you are struggling to forgive your father, chances are, he is struggling too.
Sometimes, it is hard to love. But love is the answer. Ask God to bless your heart with a love like His. Choose to love your father, just as your Heavenly Father loves you (John 13:34).
5. Be thankful
The negative experiences that happened in the past do not diminish God’s purpose for your father.
Give thanks to God for giving you life through your father. Give thanks to your earthly father. Give thanks because it is never too late to restore your relationship. Pray and believe that God can turn everything into good.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NIV)
Are you struggling to forgive your father?