My father died in 2001 from a heart attack. My grandfather died in 1995 due to untreated COPD, although he never smoked as far as I know. I think it was due to his hobby of woodworking and breathing sawdust for many years. These were the two father figures in my life. One who was with me while growing up and one that wasn’t.
I spent many hours, days even, being angry and hurt while I was growing up. Especially during my teen years. I felt betrayed and tossed aside by my dad, and my grandfather as good as he was didn’t know how to help me. I now realize that I wasn’t tossed aside by my dad, and my grandfather was at a loss about how to handle my feelings.
My real problem was that I got conflicting stories about our relationships. Sometimes it went one way and everything was OK. Then, later it would change and there would be frustration and bitterness mixed in with other feelings and being a teenager didn’t help. We would go to church and I would hear about the love of God and how we are supposed to emulate Him in our lives.
Then we would get home and things were…different. Nothing like what I had heard in church. There was no abuse or anything like that, but God’s Word wasn’t spoken of or read in our house until my grandfather was over 80. I would find him reading and studying the Bible then, but that didn’t happen while I was younger.
In many ways I would like to thank my father and grandfather for showing me what NOT to do in this life. So that when I became a father myself I would tell my son that I love him and I began reading the Bible when he was small. When he was 12 I became the pastor of a small church, so he got to see me preparing for sermons, praying and studying God’s Word.
Fathers have a lot on their shoulders, sometimes grandfathers do too. The only One Who can help the ENTIRE family to muddle through the teen years and come out still smiling and being a family is Jesus. Having that foundation in my life and my family’s life has helped me so much while raising my son. Since my family was broken before I even knew what a family was, I had no idea how to be a dad.
Thankfully, my wife and I had given our lives to Jesus before our son was born, although we were busy with work and I had gone back to school before I knew we were even having a child. Our life with Jesus suffered because of our work during this time because while I was in school, I worked in the lab at the hospital on the weekends. Sunday was my wife’s only day off, so many weekends during that time neither of us went to church. I do regret that, but it can’t be changed now.
God loves all of us and He doesn’t want us to live our lives without Him, but there are so many who choose to do this. Why? Because, love can’t be forced upon someone. God knows us better than we know ourselves because He has known us since before we were born, even from the beginning of creation. Just as any father on Earth, God wants a relationship with us. Seek to learn more about Him by reading His Word and praying for Him to reveal its wisdom to you for your life.
Have a wonderful Father’s Day!