When You Have an Absent, Abusive, or Abandoning Father… God Cares

Fathers are meant to love, guide, encourage, protect, teach, comfort, and lead us. So what happens when a father doesn’t fulfill his responsibilities? Emptiness happens. Depression happens. Doubt happens. Confusion happens. Children lose their way.

A neglectful father leaves his children to fend for themselves. They may have to fend for food or clothing, or they may have to fend for attention or guidance. Boys with neglectful fathers are known for being angry. They have missed out on having a man teach, lead, and guide them. Girls with neglectful fathers are known to look for love in the wrong places. They missed out on the protection, comfort, and safe haven a father should provide for them. Neglectful fathers are selfish and lazy. They don’t make an effort to ensure that their own flesh and blood will live as healthy, warm, and self-assured human beings. They aren’t there to meet their children’s deepest emotional needs, and they aren’t even aware that their children have needs at all.

Children of neglectful fathers are also often responsible for their younger siblings at home, when they have their own schoolwork to complete, and their own jobs to attend. They often work multiple jobs while going to school, so they can take care of themselves. They are so focused on survival, that they don’t even get a chance to find out who they are, or what they want to gain out of life. Their goal is to be self-sufficient, in order to leave home as soon as possible. It takes a long, long time for these angry, lonely children to heal. Some never do… unless they find Jesus.

A physically and emotionally abusive father cannot protect his children. He can be abusive in a variety of ways, and he can be abusive both directly and indirectly. A father who beats his children into submission by using physical power and fear, is not a good father. A child would be better off without him. A father who hits his wife, and not the children, is still an abusive father, causing his children confusion, anxiety, fear, helplessness, and vulnerabilility. He is teaching them sinful patterns that they will take with them and use on their own children, unless intercepted by The Holy Spirit.  A father who turns a blind eye to the fact that his wife abusing one, or several of his children; and does nothing about it, is also abusive. He is an accomplice to his wife’s cruelty for allowing it; for not taking his rightful, godly place as head of the household to make it run as God planned. He has neglected his responsibilities as a father. Physically and emotionally abusive fathers are self-centered, and dangerously angry. They lack self-control and self-esteem. Children who have physically and emotionally abusive fathers are children who run away, quit school, get caught up in addiction, have teen pregnancies, and don’t finish school.

A father who abandons his children leaves them as orphans. He may abandon them by physically walking out of their lives, or he may abandon them emotionally by “checking out.” He may spend all his free time on the golf course, or he may actually spend it at home in front of the TV set; never even getting to know his children at all, even though they live in the same house as he does. The abandoning father is selfish and self-centered. He thinks about, and cares only for himself. The children of an abandoning father grow up and move away, without ever having a relationship with their father. There is no relationship, because one never existed in the first place. Abandoning fathers often find themselves bewildered as to why their children never call or visit, but their children know the truth: their fathers walked away from them a long time ago. Some fathers physically walked away from their children and never looked back. These fathers are complete strangers to their children, and vice versa. But all types of abandoning fathers are still unknown to their children, even if they pop back into their lives “once in a while.” The abandoning father has missed out on the greatest gifts in his life… his children.

Neglectful, abusive, abandoning fathers have often come from neglectful, abusive, abandoning parents themselves. The pattern can repeat for generations without having been broken by the power and authority of Christ. The Silver Lining is that The Holy Spirit is able to grab hold of the heart of a father who is listening for God and searching to make things right and good. When this father pursues Jesus, God begins to put a stop to the toxic patterns. Jesus can break these bad, sinful patterns any time he is invited into a father’s life. Jesus can heal any of our wounds left by an absent, abusing or abandoning father.

When Jesus is invited into our hearts and minds, we are given power and authority over the pain, rejection, and lies which have been taught to us as children. God can heal us from our broken pasts. God helps husbands in Christian families to become good husbands and wonderful fathers for their children, through Jesus Christ. Jesus creates true, long-lasting change within the fathers who belong to him. He offers complete forgiveness, wipes away sin, and helps Christian fathers to become more like him each day.

Jesus also helps us to forgive our earthly fathers who have hurt us; helping us to turn them over to The Holy Spirit. This allows us to walk forward with God with a clean heart, so we can live our lives without pain, focusing on His calling for us, instead.  Jesus can even teach orphans how to be good fathers to their children on earth. Jesus also restores broken relationships between children and their fathers who have hurt them. But God must be at the center, because Jesus is the only one who can truly heal our deep wounds. This is because sins are only cleansed by his blood, and forgiveness is only offered through him.

For those with a father unwilling to allow Jesus to restore his heart, God is a Holy Father to us all. God can, and will, fill that void with his infinite love. The Bible tells us that God promises to love, guide, encourage, protect, teach, comfort, and lead us. God is able to redeem our lives from the pit. He helps broken fathers make amends with estranged sons and daughters when all seems lost. God creates a new generation, and He makes all things new. Fathers, let Him lead you; and show you how to be the godly, loving head of household you were called to be. Then your family will be sheltered under His great and mighty wings.

“And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous–to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (Luke 1:17 New International Version).

Whomever you are, know that God is your Heavenly Father, and that He knows you and loves you; both eternally and unconditionally. Call upon His name, for Jesus is the answer:  yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Invite Jesus into the center of your family, and experience the presence of the Holy Father of us all!

“And, I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty” (2 Cor. 6:18).


Invite Jesus into your heart today, and change the generation of your family and its future generations!  HOW TO INVITE JESUS INTO YOUR HEART AND RECEIVE ETERNAL LIFE!

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When the Tables are Turned, is it Abuse… or Righteous Anger?

The table was shoved over in a fit of rage when I was around eight. There’d been a bit of squabbling at the table, as happens between eight-year-old and four-year-old kids, but nothing out of the ordinary. It came as a complete shock. It was apparently the last straw; the one that broke the camel’s back. The flimsy card table in our tiny Italian kitchen was suddenly flipped over. There was a scream, and tomato rice soup was flying everywhere. What just happened? Our entire lunch was on the floor; the table upended on its side. And suddenly it was silent.

As I surveyed the red creamy soup splattered all over the walls and in puddles on the floor, we began to cry. My little sister started yelling, “My tooth! My tooth!” In a flurry of activity, we ran to kneel on the floor beside her and look into her mouth. Fear. Had the table smacked her in the face on its way down? Then, suddenly relief, as the discovery came… “It’s a piece of rice! It’s just a piece of rice!” 

I guess it was the relief, because it surely wasn’t joy, that brought the nervous laughter. Suddenly we got the impression it was not so bad after all. In fact, it was all quite funny. But it was actually only funny, because we were trained to believe it was so. The brainwashing had set in long before. I knew what to do. I was supposed to laugh along; make light of the situation. That way no one would get mad… and I wouldn’t get into trouble. And then we could all put a smile on our face and pretend it had never happened. 

What was that after all? Was it abuse, or was it righteous anger?

Well, let’s compare it to another scenario from a time long before. Instead of little kids bickering at the kitchen table, there were money changers in the courts of God’s Holy Temple. And they weren’t innocently sitting at tables eating their lunch. No. They were sitting at tables exchanging foreign money. And instead of having a little argument to top it off, merchants were also selling sheep, cattle, and doves to be sacrificed. Instead of children facing an angry woman, the merchants and money changers came face to face with an angry man… an angry man who just happened to be the Son of God! 

Jesus didn’t shove a flimsy table of food to the ground; he shoved multiple tables, scattering tons of coins: here, there, and everywhere! If that wasn’t frightening enough, he created a whip out of cords, and sent the animals running hither and dither from the temple’s courtyard! Merchants and money changers were in his Father’s House, and Jesus was mad as a hornet! Did you know that Jesus yelled too?! “To those who sold doves he said, ‘Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market’ ” (John 2:16 New International Version)!

What was that after all? Was it abuse? Or was it righteous anger?

Well, if you had to choose which situation to witness, which one would you pick? I know which one I would choose. For the silver lining is in knowing that my Savior is good, and perfect, and pure. Though the scene with Jesus was extra dramatic, I would have surveyed the whole scene with peace, instead of anxiety. I would have sat on the sidelines knowing that his corded whip was not for me, nor the righteous anger, nor the disciplinary action. I also wouldn’t have been forced to fake laugh, and pretend I was okay. This is because my confidence is in Christ. My Savior knows what he is doing, has a purpose for it all the time, and it is always good.

I can see myself as a small, skinny eight-year-old girl, about the age of my daughter, sitting on a wall in the courtyard. I’m watching Jesus; glad that he is clearing the temple of the bad guys. I’m sitting in my ratty brown robe, barefoot, swinging my legs against the stone wall, waiting for him to finish his work. I can hardly wait for him to toss down the whip and head over to me. Everyone is gone; the merchants, the buyers, the money changers, and the animals. It’s just me left.  As he comes towards me, I bow my head, but it’s not out of fear. 

It’s out of reverence. It’s because I know he’s getting ready to pull me into his comforting, warm embrace of unconditional love. My head is down because I know his hand is going to touch the top of my curly auburn head, and he’s going to say, “I love you, my child. There’s nothing to fear.” But I’m not afraid anyway. And when I look up into his beautiful, dark face, and smile into his kind, brown eyes;  I nod my head. I can’t talk, because I’m overjoyed. But he understand me. He can read my mind. He knows I’ve remembered. He knows that I, just like “His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me” (John 2:17).

Prayer: 

Dear God, turn the tables in my life. Where I am weak, make me strong. Cleanse my mind of the lies I was taught as a child. Fill me with The Holy Spirit, and open my eyes to the truth. Instead of bitter anger, help me to continue to forgive those who have sinned against me, just as you have forgiven those who have sinned against you. Remove the deceit from those who have become blind to the truth. Bring instead, wisdom and discernment, to those who seek Your Face. 

Years later, I’m on fire for You, Lord. My speech, and my body have experienced the shaking strength of righteous anger, and in it I did not sin; just as you my Savior, did not sin in the temple courtyard. I am zealous for you, Jesus. I’m zealous for others to make their home with you in Heaven. It consumes me, and I don’t care if the world hates me for it. Even if I’m the only one left sitting in your courtyard, I will wait for you to come get me. I want to live in your house forever. I want my home to be wherever you may be. Thank you for saving me. Thank you for your eternal love. 

“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord” (Rom. 12:11).

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Be of Good Courage, Christian Graduates! God Promises You a Great Future!

It’s graduation time! This year is especially meaningful to me, because my twin sons are included among the 2017 graduates. As homeschoolers, my husband and I have watched them pursue their interests from a young age, with the freedom and time to really develop and excel at their God-given gifts and talents. For that, we are immensely grateful.

It hasn’t been an easy journey, and it’s been far from perfection. In fact, our family has suffered greatly over the years. My husband and I have had to allow Jesus to heal us from abuse, abandonment, and neglect experienced in our own childhoods. Yet, during these stormy times, we found the silver lining: God taught us important truths to pass on to our children. Now our children won’t have to enter adulthood believing the same lies we were led to believe; lies which cause God’s precious children to struggle with depression, fear, anxiety, rejection, and more. Our children won’t have to build walls to protect themselves. Instead, they will have the tools to help them properly communicate, and they will understand that Jesus is a true friend who will protect them, and he will always be there to help them get through the trials in their lives.

Our twins had the combined experiences of some extremely difficult and painful circumstances: fighting for their premature lives at birth, a near death experience from an asthma attack which involved being medivacked from one hospital to another, a traumatic dental injury on a boat, and chronic illness with severe pain and suffering.  And there were more hard times. Yet Jesus was there for my boys. God saved them, healed them, and the whole time… had plans to prosper them! God has plans to prosper you too!

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God prepared our family for what we were going to endure, by giving me a desire in my heart to homeschool my children. I already had more than seven years of teaching experience in the public school system, and the school system where we lived continued to let us down. Homeschooling relieved so much of our stress, and it gave our boys more freedom to explore their own interests. They could move ahead or take their time. They had more breaks, no extra homework, lots of field trips, new friends, and much more family time. They could eat when they were hungry, and they could even do their school work in their pajamas! However, our plans were not to get sick and have our lives turned upside-down.

But God had a different path, and therefore, a different plan for us. The devil had planned a disaster, but God had given us homeschooling; so instead of “getting behind,” we were able to adjust our schooling to fit our chaotic lives. Our boys were miraculously able to learn above and beyond what they would have learned had they attended public school. It wasn’t that they did all the same curriculum as everyone else; it was that they learned things that were different… more like quality over quantity. They still took all their regular subjects, but did so without being overloaded. There was more time for exploring subjects which really held their interest, rather than choosing from a list of electives. There was more time for building elaborate Lego villages, or using the bricks to make actual working clocks. It was such a joy to see what they’d come up with next!

All of this was occurring as we desperately shuffled our calendars, attending never-ending specialist appointments with the whole family in tow; including a new baby. There were many days when school was done in bed, and days when it took every bit of strength just to force down a health shake while lying on the couch. There were many days of dumping bags and books onto the floor, grabbing more bags and books, and heading off to yet another appointment. The house was trashed; and we were exhausted, sick, overwhelmed, isolated, and often… hopeless.

In the midst of the hard time, and at the beginning of the hardest time of all, God had given us our beautiful, baby girl who brought us the brightest sunshine and joy during our darkest days. Before she came, I was excruciatingly ill with my pregnancy; almost as ill as I had been with my twins, except this time without the ruthless, never-ending vomiting. Even back then, my nine-year old twins were using their gifts and talents to teach themselves music, art, computer skills, outdoor survival skills, and so much more. They also helped care for me when I was ill, and when their baby sister came, they eagerly learned life skills; how to carefully care for an infant, how to cook, and how to do laundry. Most of all, we learned that we were meant to be a family; we needed each other, and we loved each other.

During the stormiest trial, God had been creating the silver lining just for us. Our boys taught themselves piano, guitar, and drums; and they practiced everyday. They both enjoyed art. Our son who was then ill, was into video and visual effects. He splurged on an expensive computer program with a student discount, so he could teach himself graphic design, animation, video editing, and more. He was allowed the extra screen time, because the computer helped to distract him from the pain he endured from his disease which had no cure: Eosinophilic Esophagitis.

Our other son began drawing intently for hours up in his room. As we dealt with his brother being sick, along with his own long-awaited dental surgery for a serious injury, he found an escape into the beautiful world of art. He explored drawing with different types of writing instruments, and shocked us when we discovered the fine, detailed drawings he had created with pencil, colored pencil, and pen. He also was into studying wilderness survival skills. He read best-selling books on survival and prepared a backpack full of everything a hiker would need for an emergency. He loved spending time in the woods and could identify all types of trees, snakes, and bugs. He was an encyclopedia of knowledge about all kinds of wild animals.

Today, I stand here even more amazed! After my son received a miracle healing from Jesus, curing him from Eosinophilic Esophagitis, we still had to deal with my own chronic illness. God gave us answers there too, using a couple of specialists who confirmed its root; severe allergies to more things than I could have imagined. Hence, immunization therapy began for three members of our family. Recently, came the long overdue surgery for a collapsed disk in my back. God has brought us through so much, and He will continue to bring us through whatever else comes our way. We only need to trust Him. We are so excited about the plans God has to prosper our young men as they graduate. We know God’s plans are always good! My husband and I are in awe over the art, photography, music, web design, and entrepreneurship presenting itself as our young men graduate; especially with everything they have been through in their past.

We know our sons’ accomplishments are not because of us, but rather in spite of us; and that everything given to them has come because of the grace of God. We are now discussing business plans, and the recording of an EP. They now play drums; along with bass, acoustic, and electric guitar in our church worship band. Our son who is an artist has now advanced to beautifully crafted drawings in ink, and a vast knowledge of art history which blows my mind. Our son who is a computer expert has now advanced to learning code, and is getting paid for web design. All my anxiety, worry, and fears were for nothing!  Why am I even surprised at what God has done? After all, God always keeps His promises! And God has promised my sons a bright future as they walk with Him on the path which lies ahead!

Even in trials, God promises to take care of all of His children, which is why I’m so excited to see what the future holds for my young men! This is why my two young men can graduate, while walking towards the future with strength, courage, and confidence in Christ. This is why all Christian graduates can walk towards the future without fear, even if they don’t yet know what they want to do with their lives! God already knows what you will do in your life, and his plans for you are always good! “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,”plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jer. 29:11 New International Version).

Thank you, God! Thank you that no matter what hardships we go through here on the earth, we don’t have to carry doubt, or be afraid. Your plans are always good, and you always prosper those of us who are your children… those of us who have a relationship with your Son, Jesus Christ. Thank you for the confidence we have in him; both for today, and for the future! 

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