When You Don’t Have a Good Dad on Father’s Day

The Gospel Coalition | 6/16/2019 | Staff
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On Father’s Day, children of all ages hit the stores looking for cards that thank our dads for being loving and teaching us the important things in life. We look for ways to honor our dads. We express our affection and the debt we owe them.

But some of us struggle to know what we could thank our fathers for.

Dads - Appearance - Lives - Others - Words

Some dads never made an appearance in our lives. Some are barely present physically, let alone emotionally. Others might be known for their destructive words and the bruises they leave behind. Maybe they love their beer more than their babies or make it hard for us to believe any man could be gentle and loving. They don’t just make us wonder if they love us; they make us wonder if anyone could love us.

We hate this day called Father’s Day, because it reminds us of the father we never had.

Day - Pain - Fathers - Help - Situation

But on this day, we can still be encouraged. Though we may rightly lament the pain our earthly fathers caused (and seek help if we’re in an abusive situation), we can also find hope in our sonship before our heavenly Father. Though our earthly dads fathered us in sin, he fathers us in perfection and righteousness. We aren’t fatherless.

Here are six truths to remember about our flawless Father.

Psalm - LORD - Spirit - Dads - Fun

Psalm 34:18 says, “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Our dads may have made fun of our pain or ignored our cries. Perhaps they’ve continued to break our hearts over the course of years. But God is near to us when we’re crushed in spirit. He shows us compassion. When we don’t know how to pray, his Spirit helps us (Rom. 8:26–27). He doesn’t ridicule our pain but brings purpose to it (Rom. 8:28–30).

As believers we will never be...
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