“Loving Irregular Dads”
Sharon Glasgow, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member
I Corinthians 13: 4-8, “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself. Is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.” (NKJ)
Anybody out there have an irregular dad? I did! Most people just automatically imagine that all dads are normal; well some are not normal according to the world’s standards.
My dad was always different from other dads. He didn’t like crowds so he didn’t come to special events like award ceremonies, sports competitions or even graduation. He was a man of few words; he never said congratulations, good job or I love you. But in my heart I knew he was proud of me and loved me – he just didn’t know how to express it.
When I became an adult I would take him out to eat or go fishing with him and I can still remember as if it were yesterday, his pants falling off him when he walked, and him clicking his false teeth in and out in public! I would mention to him that he should keep his teeth in place while we were out, but he couldn’t seem to control that habit.
The most challenging thing about being with Dad was that he smoked, and he couldn’t stop even for the duration of a single visit. I’m allergic to cigarette smoke, so this made visiting with him difficult because I couldn’t breathe. But, I wouldn’t give anything in the world for those times I had with him, even if they were hard.
My kids didn’t get to know their grandpa. I wish they could have. He was schizophrenic, and his mind continued to deteriorate when they were young. He is gone now, but every Father’s Day I think of him. I miss him, clicking teeth, smoke and all, because I loved him no matter how irregular he seemed.
Maybe your dad isn’t all this world says he should be either – but he is your dad. It’s time to honor him even if his quirks make him everything you wish he wasn’t.
He may never know how to say I love you or show he loves you, but you will be freed when you give him unconditional love. When his profound differences make you squirm, let God give you His wisdom to act and say the appropriate things, and you will reap what you sow – abundant blessings.
Your dad may never give you the approval you think you need. But the truth of the matter is that you only need God’s approval. So, be filled with the joy of the Lord as you internalize His truths this Father’s Day, and be free to bless your earthly father with love that never fails.
My Prayer for Today:
Dear Lord, Help me to love my dad in a way that would bring honor to You and him. Help me to see beyond the external differences and into his eternal realm. Help me to live out “Love never fails” with my dad. Amen.
Make plans for your Dad this Father’s Day. Nothing can replace the gift of love. Bless him with all of your heart. God will help you.
Are my actions toward my dad pleasing to God?
How does the following verse apply to me and my relationship to my father?
II Corinthians 5: 9 says, “Therefore make it your aim to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. (NKJ)
Am I carrying bitterness that I need to get rid of?
II Corinthians 4:7-8, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed” (NKJ)
II Corinthians 4:16-18, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (NKJ)
Ephesians 4:31, Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. (NIV)
The Heart of a Father, by Selected Authors, including Max Lucado, Josh McDowell and Joni Eareckson Tada
Dreams of a Woman, by Sharon Jaynes
Message of the Month Club
Originally published Friday, 17 June 2005.