Today we have the privilege of hearing from my friend, Ed McGlasson, a former NFL lineman who played with the Giants, the Jets, and the Rams. If you’ve never had your earthly father talk to you about how much you’re loved by your Heavenly Father, Ed is here to speak into your life as a surrogate dad, of sorts. Read on as he unpacks solid biblical truth that has the potential to change your life. ~ Michelle
How many of you have ever said, “I’ll never do to my kids what my dad did to me!”?
Most of us have said that at one point or another. These are natural reactions to hurt we’ve received, even if we had a great dad. But what about those of us who didn’t have a present, loving father? What about those who had an emotionally distant father, an absent father, or an abusive father?
Without the model of a present, loving father, boys grow up to become discouraged or despondent husbands and fathers. Some feel it’s just easier to leave, so that their kids don’t suffer from their mistakes. Unfortunately, this only perpetuates the broken cycle of fatherlessness that initiated their feelings of unworthiness in the first place.
The issue of fatherlessness is nothing new. While the number of fatherless children today continues to grow at an alarming rate, the issue was present all the way back in the Old Testament of the bible. The prophet Jeremiah wrote in the book of Lamentations:
“Orphans we are, not a father in sight, and our mothers no better than widows.” (Lam 5:3 MSG)
Jesus came to change this orphan song. He said: “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:18)
He was speaking to each and every one of us born without a present, loving father in our lives.
When young boys are raised in a home without a present, loving father, they suffer. Boys tend to ask the question, “Who am I?” and “Am I good enough?” Without another man present to answer this question for them, they spend their life trying to find their identity and prove their worth through their exploits, careers, and other accomplishments. While most of these young boys will grow up to be fathers themselves, they often lack the tools necessary to provide their children with a present, loving father—even if that is their very heart’s desire.
So what is God’s answer to fatherlessness? Is it too late for men in America to rise up and become the men, fathers, and leaders they didn’t have themselves?
The book of Malachi gives us a clue as to how God plans to heal this issue of fatherlessness:
God has a plan to not only heal the issue of fatherlessness, but to heal the wounds you personally have suffered without a present, loving father in your life: your father wounds. He has a plan to heal your family, your community, and yes—the whole world.
God’s plan is two-fold. He plans to turn the hearts of fathers back to children. And he plans to turn the hearts of children back to their fathers.
But first, in order to do this, God’s plan is to become your father.
“…and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:18 ESV)
How does God the Father become your Father? God the Father adopts you into His family when you put your hope and trust in His Son, Jesus Christ, and receive His free gift of forgiveness. When this happens, it changes how you father your children, because it changes how you’ve been fathered.
God’s plan isn’t just to change you into a great father. He wants you to have a great Father yourself. It is through this relationship and blessing from your new heavenly Father that you receive the blessing you need to pass on to your children.
When you receive the Blessing of the Father for yourself, God will begin to turn your heart back to your children. This process happens when you discover how much God the Father loves you, and the great lengths to which He’s gone to be your Father.
These truths can be further realized through daily reading and meditation upon God’s Word. Knowing that God has blessed you to be the father to your children—and has given you everything you need to be their father—empowers you, and turns your heart to stay and be the present, loving father that He has called you to be.
If God’s plan all along was to turn your heart back to your children, then He also has a plan to empower you to be the father your kids need you to be. It is never too late to become that father!
Many young children live in bitterness, and shut down in their relationships because of wounds they’ve received from their fathers. This is not a reason for you to shut down as well; this is an opportunity for you to take the first step in love and forgiveness even if your kids have hurt you.
Here are two questions you can ask your kids that will help begin the healing process of turning their hearts back to you:
Can you help me understand how I’ve hurt you so that I can ask for forgiveness?
Can you help me understand what you need from me as your dad right now?
If you have the courage to ask those questions, you have taken a gigantic step in restoring your relationship with your kids. Let your heart turns back towards our children so your children’s hearts will turn back to you.
It’s never too late to be the father your kids need you to be, and to have the Father you’ve always wanted. Remember, the Father loves you and sent His Son to let you know!
Ed McGlasson is a pastor, best-selling author, renowned conference and corporate event speaker, and a five-year veteran in the National Football League. He is the author of the best-selling book titled, The Difference A Father Makes, as well as Be Loved and The Father You’ve Always Wanted, with a big vision to reach hurting families with the love and the blessing of God as their Father through his testimony and life-changing message. You can read more about him at blessingofthefather.com.