Yesterday during a telephone conversation with two brothers-in-Christ, it was discovered that we all had something in common. We had all experienced estrangement from our fathers at some level, and had all blessedly reconciled with our dads.
That led to a discussion on how bitterness can be passed on from one generation to another. Bitterness is toxic; I describe it as emotional cancer. This burning anger consumes you and it eventually affects your family. If you are a dad, you are teaching your children, especially your sons, malevolence and malice.
Dad, if you are a follower of Christ, you cannot possibly want to pass the baton of bitterness to your children. However, that is exactly what you are doing if you are unwilling to forgive and reconcile with your estranged father.
I know this for a fact. My father abandoned us when I was 13 years old; at the time when a boy needs a father most. I carried the root of bitterness in my soul for 27 years; it nearly destroyed me. Worse, it affected my family.
When I was facing a divorce and separation from my own children, I recommitted my life to Christ and asked God to shape me into the man He wanted me to be. Guess what was the first thing God wanted me to do? Yes, reconcile with my father.
My heavenly Father knew that if I did not repair the relationship with my earthly father, then I would never become the man God wanted me to be. When you drag around the anchor of anger everywhere you go, can you possibly expect to grow as a man?
In the days and weeks leading up to Father’s Day, I’m going to be sharing the joyful journey of reconciliation with my father. Although I lost 27 years with my father, the last seven years of his life were sweet.
I want each of you to experience that same sweetness with your fathers.