A Prayer to Encourage Fathers Who Feel Like Failures - Your Daily Prayer - June 16

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A Prayer to Encourage Fathers Who Feel Like Failures
By Lynette Kittle

“As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Now remain in My love” - John 15:9

In today’s culture, many careers require employees to be on the job for more than 40 hours a week, taking more and more time away from men who want to spend time with their families. As well, rising consumer costs are keeping a family’s breadwinner from being able to cut back on hours, working as much as possible just to keep ahead of inflation. Sadly, the pressure from employers, along with an escalating economy, causes fathers who long to be present and involved in their kids’ lives to put time with their families on the back burner, stress out, and focus on keeping their households afloat with housing, health insurance, clothes, food, and more. But in providing for their families, fathers are missing out on valuable time with their kids, losing time being involved in their lives in a personal way, knowing what their kids are thinking and doing, and what’s spiritually going on in their lives.

Feelings of Fatherhood Failure
All of the above can make a father feel like a failure in their children’s lives. Add to it the number of broken families, where fathers don’t live in the same home with their kids and have limited time to spend with them the sense of failure increases. As well, the enemy of our souls works to convince kids that their fathers don’t really love them, don’t want to spend time with them, and just don’t care enough to be around. Likewise, he also works to convince dads their kids don’t want them around or need them, causing some fathers to walk away completely.

What’s A Father to Do?
God understands fatherhood. Even though He is the perfect, flawless Father, He’s experienced the sorrow that comes with having children who struggle with believing He truly loves and cares for them. The story of the prodigal son offers fathers three steps in restoring relationships with children who have rejected them and turned away from them.

1. Love your children unconditionally.
In the story of the prodigal son, fathers can learn how to love their children unconditionally, even when their kids seem to reject them and want nothing to do with them.

Luke 15:11-12 tells of a father who had two sons. “The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them. Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living.”

Still, after losing everything, he returned to his father, who greeted him with open arms. “So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to this son, threw his arms around him and kissed him” (Luke 15:20).

2. Entrust your children to God.
The father in the prodigal son’s story released his son to God’s care and discipline, entrusting Him to speak into his heart and lead him back to him. Even though the father didn’t want his son to leave, he didn’t force him to stay by withholding his inheritance or by some other form of control or manipulation. Although it must have been heartbreaking for the father to let him go, he trusted God to be with and deal with his son.

3. Forgive your children freely, even if others disagree.
As the story goes, the son spent all his inheritance and returned to his father broken and repentant. When he did, his brother, who had stayed at home, didn’t think it was fair and disagreed with his father’s forgiving heart. But the father didn’t waiver in his forgiveness for his wayward son. “My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours, but we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found’” (Luke 15:31-32).

Let’s pray: 

Dear Father,
We ask You to speak to fathers’ hearts today who are feeling like failures. Forgive them for the ways they may have let You and their children down. Guard their hearts from the heaviness of regret. Soften their hearts to receive Your forgiveness and to freely offer forgiveness to their children who may have rejected and hurt them in return. Bring forgiveness and compassion, too, oh Lord, to the hearts of their children, who may have felt unloved and abandoned by their fathers. Lead these fathers in finding restoration and reconciliation with their children.
In Jesus’ name, Amen

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/andreswd

Lynette Kittle is married with four daughters. She enjoys writing about faith, marriage, parenting, relationships, and life. Her writing has been published by Focus on the Family, Decision, Today’s Christian Woman, kirkcameron.com, Ungrind.org, StartMarriageRight.com, and more. She has a M.A. in Communication from Regent University and serves as associate producer for Soul Check TV.

Related Resource: Remember God's Enduring Love for You in this Guided Meditation on Psalm 100!

This guided Christian meditation from Psalm 100 will help you experience and praise God for his unending love for you. Become aware of God’s presence with you, and praise God for his loyal and enduring love from the beginning of time and into the future. Listen to every episode of the So Much More Podcast on LifeAudio.com, or subscribe on Apple or Spotify so you never miss an episode!

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Originally published Sunday, 16 June 2024.

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