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Life of an Ordinary Aussie Woman

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Father's Day: A day of struggle?

Father's Day...
Is it just me, or does it seem to you too that Father's Day is a lot quieter than mother's Day? Does it seem to you too that many people struggle on Father's Day and good, patriarchal fathers seem to be so rare nowadays? Or is it just me?

To me, Father's Day does seem quieter than Mother's Day. I can't help but notice the missing people who chose to sleep the day away, or the little kids with sad faces, or the grown men who are extra quiet at church, or the single-mums who are trying hard to keep their smile plastered on to hide their exhaustion...

Father's Day should be a day of joyous celebration...but we live in a world where sadly Father's Day can be a trigger for deep, painful emotions.

It can be a day when the loss of relationship is mourned.
Deceased dads are grieved.
Abuse is brought back to mind.
Men may lament not having a wife and/or child.
Many may be angry at the men who've abandoned them or failed them.

Father's Day may be a day when even as Christians, as children of God, we struggle. Even though we know God as our Heavenly Father, we may still experience sadness.

And I just want to say, that if you feel this way...It's okay!
Please don't internally beat yourself up, by thinking that you should be fine because you know the parable of the prodigal son.

Yes, as a Christian through Jesus you have become a child of God and you do know this as your heart cries out to Him when you pray, “Abba, Father...” But it is okay to struggle with brokenness, as healing can take time.

It's just over 2 years since my own biological dad ended his life, and I am now in my fifth year of singleness. I have wonderful male friends who would love to be dads and I feel for them too. Father's Day is a trigger for emotions but I am blessed to know God as my good, loving Father, whom I can turn to for the love and peace to carry me through. It is my Abba, Father, whom I can hear speak to me when I read His Word, and tell me of His good plan for me which will be fulfilled both in this time, and the time to come.

I gave a Childrens address this morning at church. I knew there would be beautiful, young kids there who would be missing their dads, so I began my message with Elijah and Elisha.

Now most of us would know that Elijah was a mighty prophet of God. Yet it also seems reasonable from scripture to deduce that Elijah was also a single man. Elijah did not seem to have any children of his own yet he was a spiritual father to his protege Elisha. We do not read about Elijah being close to his biological dad, but we do read about Elijah communicating closely with God, and that Elijah was so favoured he did not die; rather The Lord took him straight to heaven in a heavenly, chariot of fire.

From scripture we know The Lord led Elijah to the young Elisha working his farm to call him into service. Elisha left his family farm immediately to follow the godly man. We read Elisha would not leave Elijah's side when he knew The Lord was soon to take Elijah. The two men had a close spiritual relationship, and Elijah's mantle was passed onto Elisha for the work of the Lord. We also do not read about Elisha ever having children of his own...

This led me to the example of Jesus. I asked the children to consider the fact that Jesus lost his earthly dad Joseph before he began his ministry work, and that Jesus did not have any children of his own. Jesus did not have his dad, yet He talked all the time to His Heavenly Father. Jesus did not have children, yet He had His disciples whom He passed everything on to...

That then led me to St. Paul who was also a single man, devoted to Jesus and is called in scripture a spiritual parent to the church.

The children agreed that if we do not have a dad, or if we do not have kids we still are important and loved by God. The children understood that as Christians we have God as our perfect, loving, Heavenly Father and we can also have spiritual parents who may not be our parents biologically.

I personally believe that no matter how hard we try, ultimately we can not change another person, as they need to seek The Lord for themselves...However we can make choices for ourselves which can make a difference for generations to come.

Choices like choosing Jesus to fill the void only He can, and mere humans fail to do. Choosing to stay close to our Heavenly Father who will never disappoint, through constant prayer and scripture reading. Choosing to find a spiritual parent to mentor us, so that in time we can become a spiritual parent to someone else. Choosing to love over other examples we may have been given. Choosing to leave a legacy of what a godly man/woman is truly like to a generation so wanting...

Happy Father's Day 2016 – May you KNOW His peace!

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