Fathers and Forgiveness

I’m thinking about my Dad today.  He was a wonderful man, although I didn’t know that until I had children of my own. Growing up, we didn’t have a close relationship, mostly because he wasn’t very relational.

I’m wired for relationship and he was practical, analytical, loved routine, was linear, didn’t color outside the lines and ate the exact same thing every day for lunch.  He was an aeronautical engineer that had a pocket protector that held his pencils (you know the type). Rather than offer encouragement and support he was wired to look at something and figure out the how / what / when / where of what could go wrong or break down.  So we didn’t speak the same language and we weren’t close.

After I married and had kids, my son developed a love for “Papa” that was endearing.  “Mommy, Papa can fix anything!”  I learned to appreciate his practicality and the fact that although we didn’t speak the same language of love he still loved his family and cared for us by providing for us financially and with a nice home.  He wasn’t exactly knowledgeable on the emotional and spiritual aspects of supporting and raising children, but you do the best you can with what you’re equipped with.  And I think he had regrets about that, but being the practical guy that he was he didn’t dwell on it.

Could my Dad done better as a Father?  Sure he could have. Could I hold on to bitterness and un-forgiveness for things he wasn’t programmed to understand?  Absolutely…and I dabbled in that for a season.  Could I bash him after he was gone and blame him for being the reason for my own lack-luster ability to be more of a positive encourager? Oh, that would been the easy thing to do. But the bottoms line is forgiveness and grace.

Dang – there’s that grace word again.  Ugh.  Giving my Dad something that he didn’t deserve.  But what if I want to hold on to it for a little while longer until I’m feeling better and THEN I offer him grace when I’m good and ready?

The place that I’m at is this:….I certainly don’t deserve forgiveness from MY “heavenly Father”…and so today I will offer forgiveness to the man that cared for me in his own way – the only way he knew how and I will continue to allow God to heal any broken places in my heart.  I will say “Happy Father’s Day” to my Daddy and rest in the knowledge that my Heavenly Father offers me the best love and support my earthly father couldn’t.  So its a win / win.  Forgiveness is for me to offer, and when I have trouble walking through that all I have to do is ask God for help.  And forgiveness is for my sweet Dad.  Happy Father’s Day, Dad!

Oh….and by the way….guess who now is just as linear as her dad (I seriously want to roll down my window and reprimand people whose bumper stickers aren’t placed evenly in the middle of their bumper) and eats almost the exact same thing for lunch every day?  Uh huh.  However, I DO draw the line at pocket protectors!  🙂


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