All your sons will be taught by the Lord, and great will be your children’s peace. - Isaiah 54:13
Our ideas about God are first shaped—and very powerfully so—by our families. So it’s little wonder that as relationships within the family have declined, so has the understanding of what it means to have and maintain a relationship with God.
As divorced and overworked parents spend less time with their kids, the concept of a personal God and Savior becomes less clear and less meaningful. An absent father sets the framework for a child who views God as absent too. And a passive father leaves his children wondering if God can or will become involved in their problems and day-to-day struggles.
I’m pointing to the men for two reasons. The first reason is so you men can begin to identify how your family environment growing up has subtly shaped your thoughts and beliefs about God. If your experience has been positive, great! If it hasn’t, please let the present, active, loving Father correct your thinking and heal your heart. Turn to Him and see that He is good.
The second reason is that many of you are fathers yourselves or will be. Your children are watching and listening to you more than you think. And you influence them—and their thinking about God—more than you know. I want to encourage you, men, to walk with Jesus Christ! For those of you who’ve had the blessing of good parenting: pass it on. For those of you who haven’t: let the wreckage stop with you!
“Our children give us the opportunity to become the parents we always wished we’d had.” - Louise Hart (1881-1950)
Taken from The Life Recovery Devotional: Thirty Meditations from Scripture for Each Step in Recovery by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Copyright © 1991 by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.
Whether he was there or not during your youth, your father has shaped and continues to shape who you are and how you function in every aspect of your life. And while our culture devalues the contribution that a father makes to a family, it is clear that those of us with an absent or detached father have an empty, undefinable longing–for Dad. Making Peace with Your Father offers you a comprehensive look at the role of the father. It celebrates the positive influence a dad can have and uncovers the consequences that absent or abusive fathers have on their children. Most importantly, it takes you through eleven steps that will move you toward forgiveness so that you can make peace with your earthly father for the pain or difficulties he has brought to your life–allowing you to develop a closer relationship with your heavenly Father.