Happy Father’s Day To Overlooked Fathers – Sunday Thought For The Day
Today is ‘Father’s Day’ and we observe the creative advertising used to promote the commercial importance of the day for businesses. Everything from grills and accessories to clothes and eateries.
Many, if not most churches, give fathers special little gifts. Some churches provide the opportunity for those in the congregation to share their praises and/or memories of their fathers. The overwhelming majority of those filing pulpits will preach in some way, shape or form concerning God our Heavenly Father and the parallels between Him and earthly fathers, so forth and so on.
But, there’s a special group of fathers who are completely ignored every ‘Father’s Day’ and pretty much the rest of the year as well. They don’t receive the love, honor, and acknowledgement that they rightly deserve. Few of these fathers draw attention to the quiet agony they endure. The pain and abandonment these fathers silently suffer cannot be overstated.
C.S. Lewis wrote: “I have learned now that while those who speak about one’s miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more.” (A Grief Observed; Published 1961) Lewis was speaking to the importance of having a safe means of expressing one’s grief.
The fathers and specifically the Christian fathers, I reference are those who are emotionally, physically, and/or spiritually separated from their children. Some experience this pain because their children have embraced sinful immoral lifestyles and practices that they biblically cannot accept. Others are fathers whose children were raised in healthy, loving, Christian homes, but elected to turn away from how they were raised, choosing instead to model godlessness.
Then there are the fathers who were unsaved and for any of a plethora of reasons were separated from their children. These fathers have since become Christians. But, their lives prior to becoming Christians led to estrangement and divorce.
I know one such man that I love dearly, who suffers from just such a thing. He was divorced when his children were very young. Today they are grown with children of their own and he suffers the greatest of agonies of having no involvement or contact in their lives. His ex-wife has since passed away, but the hatred she instilled in their children continues today.
Who do fathers like my brother in Christ turn? Who acknowledges them today? How many of us can the fathers I reference, truly trust to share their pain? How many churches have given any thought to creating healing ministry for these fathers? How many churches have attempted to find out how many such fathers are in their church? Have churches given a moment’s thought that having a regularly scheduled time for these fathers to come together, can become a true ministry to hurting lives; and if handled properly can become powerful and much needed evangelistic outreach that grows organically?
What thought does the church give to men who are today rock solid Christians, watching with silent tears as unsaved children, treat unsaved parents better than their children who are Christians treat them? Consider the deep pain Christian fathers feel watching godless men take their unsaved fathers to breakfast each week without fail. Consider the silent sense of loss a Christian father feels, knowing unsaved families who faithfully spend time together via digital means and regular dinners. Has the leadership of individual churches given a moment’s thought to what it’s like for the fathers I reference to be shut out of the life/lives of their child/children?
The fathers I reference are reduced to watch godless fathers given to every type of sinful behavior, enjoy the closest of relationships with their sons and/or daughters. There are few things more painful than when a child shuts their father out of their personal life. There are few things more painful than when the Christian fathers I reference, hear others regale the attention their child has given them when the child has no such time for their father. Have the church/Christian friends of the fathers I reference, given one thought to what it feels like for fathers who are the victims of unforgiving children? Has the church considered the pain fathers feel when their children reject God?
This group of fathers needs our support. The silent pain fathers shut out of their children’s lives suffer, must cease being ignored. It is a vital ministry need.
I would be remiss if I didn’t say, it’s important for children to examine themselves regarding how they show love to their parents. Christian children, on your knees before God, ask yourself if you are truly showing Christlike love to your mother and to your father? On your knees before God, ask Him to show you how to love each parent more. Ask God to remove any spirit of resentment, bitterness, distrust, anger, selfishness, and dismissive behavior toward a parent or parents.
Let’s make ‘Father’s Day’ a day that is set aside to honor God by truly honoring our fathers. Not as the world does, but as Christ instructs.
Today’s scripture passage is specifically for church leadership and a call to those in the congregation with ears to hear. God bless you, keep you, and transform you, into the glorious likeness of Jesus Christ. Filled with the Holy Spirit; knowing the difference between sin and obedience. Committed wholly to the immutable Word of God.
READ: 1 Peter 5:1-10 KJV
1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:
2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
3 Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock.
4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
About the Author
Mychal S. Massie is an ordained minister who spent 13 years in full-time Christian Ministry. Today he serves as founder and Chairman of the Racial Policy Center (RPC), a think tank he officially founded in September 2015. RPC advocates for a colorblind society. He was founder and president of the non-profit “In His Name Ministries.” He is the former National Chairman of a conservative Capitol Hill think tank; and a former member of the think tank National Center for Public Policy Research. Read entire bio here